DZ BANK vs MCCRANIE | 11 Cir. - Commercial Loan, Two entities claimed they were entitled to collect on a promissory note, loan’s chain of title material dispute

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DZ BANK vs MCCRANIE | 11 Cir. – Commercial Loan, Two entities claimed they were entitled to collect on a promissory note, loan’s chain of title material dispute

DZ BANK vs MCCRANIE | 11 Cir. – Commercial Loan, Two entities claimed they were entitled to collect on a promissory note, loan’s chain of title material dispute

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
________________________
No. 11-14618
________________________
D.C. Docket No. 3:10 – cv-0222-MCR

DZ BANK AG DEUTSCHE ZENTRAL
GENOSSENSCHAFTSBANK, FRANKFURT
AM MAIN, NEW YORK BRANCH,
Plaintiff
-Counter Defendant
-Appellee,

versus

MICHAEL MCCRANIE,
a.k.a. Michael J. McCranie,
Defendant
-Counter Claimant
-Appellant.

Claiming to be the holder in due course of a commercial loan on which Appellant Michael McCranie had defaulted, Appellee DZ Bank brought an enforcement suit in federal district court. McCranie defended the suit on the grounds that DZ Bank was not in fact a holder of the loan because of a problem in the chain of title, and that even if it was, it had obtained the loan subject to certain valid defenses that prevented enforcement. The District Court granted summary judgment to DZ Bank. Because we find that the facts surrounding the loan’s chain of title were in material dispute, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

[…]

As to the evidence, DZ Bank’s showing regarding the chain of title is anything but overwhelming. Again, its only direct evidence of the assignment from Brooke Credit to Brooke Funding is one sentence in an affidavit from a DZ Bank executive who has not explained how he could have personal knowledge regarding such a transaction. See Dkt. No. 54 – 1 at 2. Nor do the agreements identified by DZ Bank do much, if anything, to bolster this showing. Those agreements merely confirm that Brooke Funding assigned whatever interest it had to DZ Bank; they do not show that Brooke Funding received a valid assignment of the loan from Brooke Credit in the first place. 1 Moreover, McCranie has produced an agreement in which Brooke Credit purported to sell almost its entire interest in the loan to an entirely different bank. Especially in light of the allegations of malfeasance and poor accounting surrounding the Brooke companies at the relevant times, these inconsistencies raise real questions about whether a valid assignment ever existed. A rational trier of fact could well conclude that DZ Bank has not demonstrated a chain of title that leads back to Brooke Credit.

[…]

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