Hawkins v. Community Bank

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: March 22, 2016
  • Case #: 14-520
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam
  • Full Text Opinion

Lenders can seek repayment from a spouse of the business owner who took the loan.

Petitioners were two spouses of two business owners. The spouses were guarantors on $2 million loans from the respondent bank to the businesses. The businesses defaulted on the loan and respondent declared petitioners in default and sought repayment. Petitioners sued and claimed that Respondent violated the U.S. Equal Credit Opportunity Act by requiring the spouses to guarantee the loans solely because they were married to the business owners. The Eighth Circuit ruled for the respondent on the grounds that a lender can seek repayment of the loan from both the businesses and the spouses.

The Supreme Court ruled 4-4, thereby affirming the Eighth Circuit decision.

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