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Birt v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.

Supreme Court of Wyoming
75 P.3d 640 (2003)


In 2000, David Birt and Kimberly Birt (plaintiffs) wanted to build a house on their land. The Birts met with Richard Gibbs, a loan officer for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. (Wells Fargo) (defendant). Gibbs advised the Birts to begin the process of designing and building a home, as they were eligible for an $180,000 loan. Gibbs continued to advise the Birts that obtaining a loan would be no problem and that the Birts should continue the process. Gibbs also advised the Birts to sign a contract with Carter Brothers, a building contractor, despite knowing that the Birts’ credit had slipped and that the loan would be reduced. On September 12, 2000, the Birts received a welcoming letter from Wells Fargo detailing the estimated loan. When the contractor did not receive a loan-commitment letter from Wells Fargo, Mrs. Birt contacted Gibbs’s supervisor about the loan, but was denied. Without the loan, the Birts renounced their contract with Carter Brothers. The Birts then brought a claim against Wells Fargo for intentional interference with the contractual relationship between the Birts and Carter Brothers. The trial court granted Wells Fargo’s summary-judgment motion on the basis that the housing contract was contingent on a loan being approved, and that the contract was thus not yet binding. The Birts appealed.

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