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Reversal holds bank’s suit on repossessed vehicle filed too late

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A pro se litigant won a reversal at the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which ruled a trial court erred when it ruled in favor of a bank seeking to collect after a vehicle repossession.

Fifth Third Bank’s lawsuit against Robert Imbody was filed after the applicable six-year statute of limitations, the panel ruled, reversing judgment for the bank and ordering Marion Superior Judge David J. Dreyer to enter judgment in favor of Imbody.

Imbody purchased a vehicle with a loan from Fifth Third in July 2004, but monthly payments ceased in March 2006. In May of that year, the bank repossessed the vehicle, charged off the balance of $31,396, and sold the vehicle at auction.

Imbody agreed to make $100 monthly payments to the bank to satisfy a deficiency balance of just less than $15,000, but those payments stopped in February 2008.

The bank sued in June 2012 and the trial court ruled in its favor and also awarded prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees for a judgment of $24,939 plus court costs.

“The question presented on appeal is whether the Bank’s complaint is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. We hold that the Bank’s repossession of the collateral accelerated payment on the note, which triggered the six-year statute of limitations, and that the Bank’s complaint is time-barred” under I.C. § 34-11-2-9, Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel.

“The trial court erred when it concluded that the Bank’s complaint was timely filed. We reverse the trial court’s judgment in favor of the Bank and instruct the court to enter judgment in favor of Imbody,” the panel concluded in Robert Imbody v. Fifth Third Bank, 49A05-1307-CC-322.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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