Justia Minnesota Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Banking
Hansen v. U.S. Bank National Ass’n
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the district court's dismissal of Appellants' complaint against U.S. Bank on statute of limitations grounds, holding that Appellants' breach of fiduciary duty claim was timely.On January 24, 2017, Appellants filed their lawsuit, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. U.S. Bank moved to dismiss the claim, arguing that Appellants failed to satisfy the applicable six-year statute of limitations. In response, Appellants asserted that they had suffered no damages earlier than August 2012. The district court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that Appellants could have raised their claims in April 2010. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that "some damage" occurred on April 27, 2010. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that U.S. Bank failed to establish - based on the pleadings - that Appellants suffered "some damage" in the form of financial harm before August 2012, and therefore, the district court erred by granting the motion to dismiss. View "Hansen v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n" on Justia Law
Graves v. Wayman
When Amos Graves was anticipating losing his home to foreclosure, Michael Wayman persuaded him to enter into a transaction that would purportedly save his home. Graves executed a quitclaim deed in favor of a corporate entity under Wayman’s control, but, the next day, sent a cancellation notice to Wayman, as was his statutory right. Wayman refused to cancel the transaction. When Wayman ceased making mortgage payments, First Minnesota Bank, the eventual mortgagee of the property, foreclosed on and purchased the home. Graves sued Wayman, Wayman’s companies, and First Minnesota, alleging that First Minnesota’s mortgage was invalid because Graves did not lawfully sell his home to Wayman. The district court awarded the property to First Minnesota, concluding that the bank was a bona fide purchaser. The court of appeals reversed and awarded the property to Graves, concluding that First Minnesota did not qualify as a bona fide purchaser. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) First Minnesota was not entitled to rights in the property as a bona fide purchaser; but (2) the court of appeals erred in concluding that Graves should be awarded title to the property free of any interest of First Minnesota. Remanded. View "Graves v. Wayman" on Justia Law
Finn v. Alliance Bank
This case stemmed from the largely fraudulent lending operations of First United Funding, LLC (First United). After First United collapsed, a court-appointed Receiver commenced this action under Minnesota’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (MUFTA) against several financial institutions, including Alliance Bank and certain Respondent Banks, that had participated in First United’s loan-participation scheme. The district court (1) dismissed the claims against the Respondent Banks for failure to bring the action in a timely fashion, and (2) allowed the claim against Alliance Bank, concluding that that the Receiver had pleaded legally sufficient claims based on a “Ponzi-scheme presumption.” The district court then entered judgment against Alliance Bank. The Receiver and Alliance Bank appealed. The court of appeals (1) divided the Ponzi-scheme presumption into three separate components and concluded that the third component was unfounded in the case of Alliance Bank; and (2) concluded that the district court erred when it dismissed the Receiver’s actual-fraud claims against the Respondent Banks. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding (1) all three components of the Ponzi-scheme presumption lack support in MUFTA; and (2) the Receiver failed to adequately plead constructive fraud, but the district court erred when it dismissed the Receiver’s actual fraud claims. Remanded. View "Finn v. Alliance Bank" on Justia Law
Citizens State Bank Norwood Young Am. v. Brown
After Gordon Brown’s debt to Citizens State Bank Norwood Young America (Bank) became delinquent, Gordon petitioned to dissolve his twenty-three-year marriage to Judy Brown. The Browns executed a marital termination agreement that was incorporated into the marital dissolution decree. Pursuant to the dissolution judgment and decree, Gordon transferred to Judy several assets. When it was unable to collect from Gordon on the original judgment, the Bank brought this action under Minnesota’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (MUFTA) to levy execution on the assets Gordon transferred to Judy, alleging that the transfers were made with the intent to defraud the Bank. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Bank, determining that the transfers were voidable under MUFTA. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment granting the Bank authority to levy execution on assets fraudulently transferred to the extent necessary to satisfy the Bank’s claim, holding that MUFTA applies to transfers made pursuant to an uncontested marital dissolution decree. View "Citizens State Bank Norwood Young Am. v. Brown" on Justia Law
Gretsch v. Vantium Capital, Inc.
Appellant entered into a mortgage with Aegis Lending Corporation. The mortgage was later assigned to Pacifica L. Ninteen, and the servicing rights were eventually transferred to Vantium Capital, Inc. (“Acqura”). After foreclosure proceedings were commenced against Appellant, Appellant filed suit against Acqura, alleging numerous state law claims. Specifically, Appellant claimed that Acqura’s violated its Servicer Participation Agreement with Fannie Mae by failing to follow guidelines applicable under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program. The district court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that Minn. Stat. 58.18(1) did not provide a private cause of action for Appellant to pursue damages for Acqura’s alleged violation of its agreement with Fannie Mae and that Appellant therefore lacked standing. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 58.18(1) provides for a private right of action and therefore gave Appellant standing to pursue her claim. View "Gretsch v. Vantium Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
Big Lake Lumber, Inc. v. Sec. Prop. Invs., Inc.
Mark Hilde hired Big Lake Lumber (Big Lake), Wruck Excavating (Wruck), and J. DesMarais Construction (DesMarais) to help him build a "spec home." 21st Century Bank (Bank) recorded a mortgage against the property to finance the purchase of the property and the home construction. After the Bank foreclosed on its mortgage, Big Lake commenced this mechanic's lien foreclosure action. The district court found that the mechanic's liens of Big Lake and DesMarais related back to the date Wruck commenced work on the improvement project, and thus, the mechanic's liens of Big Lake and DesMarais had priority over the mortgage of the Bank. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by adopting and then applying a new "integrated analysis" to find the Bank's mortgage superior to the liens; and (2) the district court did not clearly err when it found that Wruck, Big Lake, and DesMarais contributed to the same project of improvement, and accordingly, under the relation-back doctrine, the mechanic's liens of Big Lake and DesMarais had priority over the Bank's mortgage.View "Big Lake Lumber, Inc. v. Sec. Prop. Invs., Inc." on Justia Law
Marine Credit Union v. Detlefson-Delano
Respondent credit union sought to foreclose on the homestead that Appellant and her husband (Husband) owned. The district court granted summary judgment to Appellant after concluding that the mortgage Appellant signed with Respondent was void under Minn. Stat. 507.02 because it was not also signed by Husband. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the mortgage was valid because Husband had quitclaimed all of his interest in the homestead property to Appellant before the mortgage was executed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the mortgage signed by Appellant in favor of Respondent was void because (1) the mortgage at issue here did not meet any of the statutory exceptions to the signature requirement in section 507.02; and (2) Husband's quitclaim deed did not constitute an explicit waiver of his rights under the homestead statute. View "Marine Credit Union v. Detlefson-Delano" on Justia Law
Ruiz v. 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing, LLC
1st Fidelity Loan Servicing initiated a foreclosure by advertisement to collect the debt secured by a mortgage on the home of Respondent. 1st Fidelity subsequently purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. Respondent filed a complaint seeking a declaration that the sale was null and void and the recovery of monetary damages, alleging that 1st Fidelity failed to comply with certain statutory requirements. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of 1st Fidelity on the ground that it had substantially complied with the relevant statutes. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Minnesota's foreclosure by advertisement statute requires strict compliance and that a foreclosing party's failure to strictly comply renders the foreclosure void. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a party must strictly comply with Minn. Stat. 580.02(3), which requires that all assignments of a mortgage be recorded before a party is entitled to make a foreclosure by advertisement; and (2) because 1st Fidelity did not strictly comply with section 580.02(3), the foreclosure was void. Remanded. View "Ruiz v. 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing, LLC " on Justia Law
Weavewood, Inc. v. S & P Home Invs., LLC
At issue in this dispute over a mortgage was whether statutes of limitations apply to actions for declaratory judgment. The court of appeals reversed in part the district court's grant of summary judgment to Defendant based on the applicable statute of limitations, holding that to the extent Plaintiff's complaint sought declaratory relief, it was not barred by the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act is a procedural device through which parties may vindicate substantive legal rights, an action for declaratory judgment is barred by an applicable statute of limitations to the same extent that the same cause of action would be barred in a nondeclaratory proceeding. Remanded. View "Weavewood, Inc. v. S & P Home Invs., LLC" on Justia Law
Hardin County Savings Bank v. City of Brainerd Hous. & Redevelopment Auth.
Six banks (the Banks) alleged that the negligent misrepresentation of Respondent, James H. Bedard, Inc., caused them to be damaged when the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of the City of Brainerd defaulted on bonds held by the Banks. Specifically, the Banks purchased $3.3 million in bonds from the City, which helped finance a development project in the City. In deciding to purchase the bonds, the Banks relied on an appraisal and feasibility study prepared by Bedard. The Banks filed a negligent misrepresentation claim against Bedard, alleging that Bedard's study overstated the value of the project and the rate at which the land would sell. The district court dismissed the action, concluding that the Banks failed to plead their negligent misrepresentation claim against Bedard with particularity. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Banks specifically pleaded facts underlying each of the elements of their negligent misrepresentation claim, the Banks pleaded the "ultimate facts" of their claim and thus satisfied the particularity requirement under Minn. R. Civ. P. 9.02. Remanded. View "Hardin County Savings Bank v. City of Brainerd Hous. & Redevelopment Auth." on Justia Law