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7th Circuit upholds ruling in favor of borrowers

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A dispute between a lender and subsidiaries created by a restaurant owner to refinance its debt made its way before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time. This time, the judges ruled in favor of the borrowers.

Quality Dining Inc. created subsidiaries BKCAP LLC, GRAYCAP LLC, and SWCAP LLC and made a deal with Captec Financial and GE Capital for 34 separate loans, with each loan secured by a restaurant. Captec assigned 13 of its loans to Captec Franchise Trust 2000-1. The borrowers and lender disagreed about the prepayment requirements for 12 of the loans, landing the parties in court and before the 7th Circuit in 2009.

There is ambiguity in the prepayment provision of the loan agreements, so the judges sent the case back to the District Court for a full trial on the merits. The 7th Circuit found both parties’ arguments as to how to interpret the loan agreement impossible without additional evidence. The District Court then ruled in favor of the borrowers, awarded prejudgment interest, and denied attorney fees for lender Captec Franchise Trust 2000-1.

The lender appealed, claiming the borrowers’ interpretation of the prepayment provision is unreasonable based on the language of the decision issued by the 7th Circuit in the first appeal. The judges did say the borrowers’ interpretation was unreasonable, but the lender’s argument is way off base, wrote Judge John Tinder. The judges didn’t call the lender’s interpretation unreasonable, but they should have, he wrote.

The evidence offered at trial supports the borrowers’ interpretation, and the District Court didn’t err in considering the testimony of the borrowers’ lead negotiator, who testified about an original lenders’ lead negotiator’s construction of the prepayment provision.

There is also no question that the borrowers are entitled to prejudgment interest after September 2009, Tinder wrote, and that the lender is not entitled to attorney fees.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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