Justia Washington Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Commercial Law
Newman Park, LLC was formed for the sole purpose of developing a piece of property. In 2004, it took out a loan to purchase the property at issue in this suit. In 2008, without knowledge of the other owners in Newman Park, one member went to Columbia Community Bank and requested a loan for his 95%-owned company, Trinity. Trinity had nothing to do with Newman Park, but the Bank's loan to Trinity was secured by a second deed of trust on the Newman Park property. The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the Bank, who was tricked into refinancing the property that the borrower lacked authority to pledge as security, could benefit from equitable subrogation when that Bank had no preexisting interest in the property. The property-owner/debtor argued that the Bank's lack of the preexisting interest barred it from equitable subrogation because of the "volunteer rule" which would characterize it as an intermeddler. The Court rejected the volunteer rule as a bar to equitable subrogation. The Court affirmed the appellate court which held that the defrauded Bank was entitled to be equitably subrogated as first priority lienholder. View "Columbia Cmty. Bank v. Newman Park, LLC" on Justia Law