Friday, May 04, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 64

Summary of Decision May 4, 2012

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court


Docket Number: S 11 0230


Appeal from the District Court of Hot Springs County, Honorable Robert E. Skar, Judge
Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Stephen R. Winship of Winship & Winship, P.C., Casper, Wyoming

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Michael Messenger and Curtis Cheney of Messenger & Jurovich, P.C., Thermopolis, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Cheney.

Date of Decision: May 4, 2012

Facts: Earl D. Wallace and Nawana V. Wallace (the Senior Wallaces) borrowed $15,789 from Pinnacle Bank - Wyoming (Pinnacle) to finance a vehicle the Senior Wallaces purchased for their son and his wife (the Junior Wallaces). Although the Senior Wallaces borrowed the money in their own names and agreed to make the payments on the loan, the collateral for the loan was the vehicle they bought for and titled in the Junior Wallaces’ names. To that end, the Junior Wallaces signed a Third Party Security Agreement pledging the vehicle as collateral.

The day following the loan transaction, the Junior Wallaces filed a bankruptcy petition. During the course of the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee seized and eventually sold the vehicle to benefit the bankruptcy estate. The Senior Wallaces thereafter stopped making payments on the loan.

After making demand for payment, Pinnacle filed a complaint in district court seeking damages in the amount of the principal due on the note together with accrued interest, late fees, and attorney fees. The Senior Wallaces contended that because Pinnacle had not taken sufficient steps to protect the vehicle from seizure by the bankruptcy court, the Senior Wallaces no longer had any obligation to repay the loan. The district court rejected the defenses asserted by the Senior Wallaces and granted Pinnacle’s motion for summary judgment.

Issues: The Senior Wallaces presented the following issues on appeal:

1. Whether Appellee is barred from collecting from Appellants due to the application of the doctrine of avoidable consequences?

2. Whether Appellants’ loan obligation was discharged by a supervening frustration?

3. Whether Appellee’s impairment of the collateral securing the loan precludes it from collecting on the loan?

4. When Appellee transferred its lien to the Bankruptcy Trustee, was Appellee no longer the proper party in interest to collect on the loan obligation?

5. Whether the failure to provide Appellants with notice of the sale of the collateral should have barred Appellee’s suit?

Holdings: The Senior Wallaces are in default on their Loan Agreement with Pinnacle, and are not excused from performance by any of their asserted defenses. The Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of Pinnacle and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion, including a determination of the accrued interest and attorney fees and execution on the judgment.

Justice Golden delivered the opinion for the court.

No comments:

Check out our tags in a cloud (from Wordle)!