Justia Arkansas Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Banking
Agrifund, LLC v. Regions Bank
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court concluding that Regions Bank and Optimum Agriculture, LLC had lien priority to crop proceeds and that Optimum Agriculture, LLC was entitled to a statutory landlord lien, holding that the circuit court did not clearly err.On appeal, AgriFund, LLC, one of the three creditors in this intercreditor dispute over lien priority to the crop proceeds, argued that its lien was superior to those held by Regions and Optimum. The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed, holding that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the circuit court did not clearly err in finding that AgriFund did not have priority to the proceeds and that Optimum held a landlord's lien. View "Agrifund, LLC v. Regions Bank" on Justia Law
Tilley v. Malvern National Bank
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the circuit court’s judgment and decree of foreclosure finding in favor of Bank and against Appellant on his counterclaims against Bank and his third-party complaint against the former vice president of commercial lending at Bank (“VP”). The court held (1) the circuit court erred in failing to submit Appellant’s legal counterclaims and third-party claims to the jury; (2) the circuit court erred in granting Bank and VP’s motion to strike Appellant’s jury trial demand based on a predispute jury-waiver clause contained in the loan agreement; and (3) Marvell Light & Ice Co. v. General Electric Co., 259 S.W. 741 (1924), is overruled to the extent that it holds that there is a per se new business rule preventing lost profits unless the business is an old business. View "Tilley v. Malvern National Bank" on Justia Law
Booth v. Franks
Appellants were minority stockholders in First Community Bank of Crawford County (FBC). After First Bank reached an agreement to merge with FCB, First Bank filed an application with the Arkansas State Banking Board. The Board subsequently approved the merger. Appellants filed a complaint seeking review of the Board’s decision, arguing (1) the Board did not adequately fulfill its duties under administrative law in reaching its decision, and (2) the statues and regulations followed by the Board unconstitutionally infringe on the due process and property rights of minority stockholders. The circuit court concluded that Appellants failed to preserve their substantive objections due to their failure to present these objections before the Board. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellants’ claims, holding that Appellants’ arguments were not preserved for judicial review. View "Booth v. Franks" on Justia Law
Dickinson v. SunTrust Nat’l Mortgage Inc.
After foreclosure proceedings were instituted against Petitioners, Petitioners filed an amended class-action complaint against the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the owner of their mortgage and note, arguing that Fannie Mae was not “authorized to do business” in the state, as required by the Statutory Foreclosure Act, because it had failed to obtain a certificate of authority from the Arkansas Secretary of State. A federal district court certified to the First Circuit the question of whether the Act allows authorization under federal law. The First Circuit answered that the Act does contemplate authorization under federal law and that Fannie Mae’s federal charter was sufficient to allow it to proceed under the statute. View "Dickinson v. SunTrust Nat'l Mortgage Inc." on Justia Law
Asset Acceptance LLC v. Newby
Asset Acceptance, LLC filed a complaint against Amy Newby, alleging that Newby had received a credit card from Asset and that her account was past due and remained unpaid. Newby asserted counterclaims against Asset. Asset subsequently filed a motion to compel arbitration, claiming that the credit card was issued to Newby by Chase Bank and was subject to a cardholder agreement that contained an arbitration provision. The circuit court denied the motion, concluding that Asset had waived its right to arbitration by filing its complaint in the circuit court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in (1) denying Asset’s motion to compel arbitration, and (2) denying sanctions against Asset pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 11. View "Asset Acceptance LLC v. Newby" on Justia Law
Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Walker
Appellees filed a class-action complaint against a Bank, asserting several claims arising from the Bank’s alleged practice of manipulating customers’ checking-account debit transactions to maximize the amount of overdraft fees charged to each customer. The Bank filed a motion to dismiss, or alternatively, a motion to compel arbitration based on an arbitration provision contained in the Deposit Agreement attached to Appellees’ complaint. In response, Appellees denied the existence of a valid arbitration agreement. The circuit court denied Bank’s motion, ruling that the arbitration provision was unconscionable and, thus, unenforceable. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the circuit court did not find that there was a valid arbitration agreement, the case must be remanded to the circuit court to determine whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between the parties. View "Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Walker" on Justia Law
First State Bank v. Metro Dist. Condos. Prop. Owners’ Ass’n, Inc.
Debtors executed a promissory note in favor of First State Bank to purchase a condominium. After Debtors defaulted on their loan, First State subsequently filed a complaint against Debtors, the loan’s guarantor, and the condominium property owners’ association (Metro POA), claiming that it was entitled to collect money owed it from the Debtor and guarantor, and that any interest Metro POA had in the real property related to unpaid assessments was inferior to and subject to State Bank’s mortgage. The circuit court granted First State judgment against Debtors and the guarantor, gave First State the right to foreclose on the property, and ruled that Metro POA’s interest would survive the foreclosure action and become the liability of the purchaser. Thereafter, First State purchased the property at a foreclosure sale. On appeal, First State argued that the circuit court erred in refusing to extinguish Metro POA’s lien for unpaid assessments and in awarding Metro POA attorney’s fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in refusing to extinguish Metro POA’s interest and in awarding attorney’s fees to Metro POA. View "First State Bank v. Metro Dist. Condos. Prop. Owners' Ass'n, Inc." on Justia Law
First Ark. Bank & Trust v. Gill Elrod Ragon Owen & Sherman, P.A.
Developers purchased forty acres with the intent to develop it. Appellants secured a mortgage on the property with a bank. Later Developers formed a municipal property owners' district (the District). Law Firm was retained by the District as legal counsel for the proposed issuance of improvement bonds to finance public improvements in the development. At issue in this case were certain bonds issued by the District that were sold to several banks (Appellants). Developer defaulted on payment of the capital improvement use fees on the bonds and subsequently defaulted on the original mortgage, and the property was sold. Appellants sued Law Firm, alleging that Law Firm had a duty to inform Appellants of the mortgage on the real property and that it failed to inform them. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Law Firm. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding that the circuit court (1) correctly found Law Firm was not liable under the Arkansas Security Act; (2) erred in granting judgment on the issue of attorney malpractice; and (3) correctly found Law Firm had no duty to Appellants under contract, negligence, or breach of a fiduciary duty. View "First Ark. Bank & Trust v. Gill Elrod Ragon Owen & Sherman, P.A." on Justia Law
Regions Bank v. Chase Bank USA, N.A.
This appeal was a companion to another case handed down on this same date, Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. Regions Bank. The appeal involved challenges only to postjudgment matters in the case. Subsequent to Chase Bank filing its notice of appeal of the circuit court's order granting summary judgment against it and posting a supersedeas bond, several parties in the case moved for attorneys' fees against Chase. The circuit court denied the motions. Additionally, one of the parties filed several additional posttrial motions, which Chase opposed. Appellants appealed, making several arguments. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that because the Court reversed the order granting summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings against Chase in Chase Bank USA, N.A. the arguments raised in the instant appeal were moot. View "Regions Bank v. Chase Bank USA, N.A." on Justia Law
Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. Regions Bank
Wanda Stephens purchased property in Little Rock consisting of Tract A and Tract B. In 2001, Wanda executed a quitclaim deed to the Stephens Family Limited Partnership (SFLP) and mortgaged the property to Regions Mortgage. In 2002, Wanda executed a warranty deed conveying Tract A to herself for life with a remainder to Greg Stephens and his heirs. In 2005, Wanda mortgaged Tract B of the land to Chase Bank. Regions Bank (Region) subsequently made a loan to Wanda, taking as collateral a mortgage on Tract A and Tract B. Wanda defaulted on the first mortgage, and Regions Mortgage foreclosed on both tracts. $308,828 remained from the sale. Chase and Regions asserted claims to the monies, and SFLP and the Stephens heirs intervened. All parties claimed to be first in priority. The circuit court granted partial summary judgment against Chase, finding that the interests of Regions, SFLP, and the Stephens heirs were superior to Chase's. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that because the question of whether Chase had actual notice of the Stephens heirs' claim on the property was a question of fact, summary judgment was inappropriate. View "Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. Regions Bank" on Justia Law