Regions Bank, the predecessor to RL Regi, providing commercial financing for real estate development for Lighthouse Cove, which was guaranteed by the individual business partners and their spouses, including Lionel L. Yow and his wife, defendant Connie S. Yow. After Lighthouse Cove defaulted, Connie Yow, among others, signed a forbearance agreement that included a waiver of claims against the lender. When the loan again went into default RL Regi sued and Connie Yow alleged violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) as a defense.
The North Carolina Supreme Court held that “the agreement expressly releases the lender from ‘any and all claims, defenses and causes of action.” Reversing the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the opinion continued that while “ a contract which on its face involves illegal conduct will not be enforced”, there was nothing “facially illegal about this loan relationship in which a lender provided a loan upon certain conditions; moreover, parties routinely forego claims in settlement agreements.”
This opinion does recognizes that Connie Yow “acknowledged that she freely and voluntarily entered into the agreement ‘after an adequate opportunity and sufficient period of time to review, analyze, and discuss .… Read More