Tri City Nat. Bank v. Easley (WI)

Summary: If a circuit court exercises reasonable discretion during the confirmation hearing of a foreclosure action, the appellate court will generally side with the lower court’s determinations.


Tri City Nat. Bank v. Easley, 348 Wis. 2d 761, 833 N.W.2d 872 (2013).


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Facts: In November 2007, Troy Easley, and partners, defaulted on a note given to Tri City National Bank. The note was secured by mortgages on Easley’s home and business property.  Subsequently, Tri City began foreclosure proceedings in a complaint alleging Easley and other named defendants executed a personal guaranty and were responsible for the amount owed. The defendants filed an answer asserting the action was inequitable. In February 2009, the circuit court granted Tri City’s motion for summary judgment and there was no appeal filed by the defendants.

In September 2011, three days before the confirmation hearing, Easley, acting pro se, filed a complaint against Tri City alleging predatory lending practices, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and breach of good faith and fair dealings. The suit also sought a temporary restraining order preventing the foreclosure action or any eviction. Easley also appeared at the confirmation hearing with an offer to purchase and requested that the circuit court adjourn so that Easley could present the offer to Tri City.  The circuit court denied Easley’s request for additional time, his equitable arguments, and confirmed the sheriff’s sale of the property.



Holding: Affirmed. On appeal, the court held that the circuit court exercised reasonable discretion when denying Easley’s equitable argument and request for additional time during the confirmation hearing. The court’s rationale was based on preceding authority that the circuit court decision to confirm a foreclosure sale is discretionary and the appellate court will generally look for reasons to sustain the circuit court’s decision. In this case, Easley waited until the confirmation hearing to make his equitable argument. The purpose of the confirmation hearing is to determine fair value of property before confirming the sale of the property, not to appeal past motions. Furthermore, this was long after the time for appeal had expired. Also, Easley offered very scant support that he was entitled to equitable relief. Additionally, Easley had an opportunity to bring an equitable argument in response to Tri City’s motion for summary judgment, but Easley did not take the opportunity.

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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Fri, 06/20/2014 - 4:40pm