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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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