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Farmers Exchange Bank v. Metro Contracting Services, Inc.

107 S.W.3d 381 (2003)

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Farmers Exchange Bank v. Metro Contracting Services, Inc.

Missouri Court of Appeals

107 S.W.3d 381 (2003)

Facts

In the late 1990s and most of 2000, Harlan and Rose Russell, a married couple, were domiciled in Kansas. In October 2000, an investment company executed a promissory note in the principal amount of $293,000 to the Russells as payees (the Russells’ note). Under Kansas law, this note was deemed to be held by the Russells as tenants in common. Meanwhile, Harlan, who was the president of a Missouri corporation called Metro Contracting Services, Inc. (Metro) (defendant) executed promissory notes in favor of Farmers Exchange Bank (the bank) (plaintiff) in the total amount of about $373,000. Harlan personally guaranteed the notes. At some point, Harlan and Rose ceased to be married. Metro defaulted on the bank’s notes. In Missouri state court, the bank obtained a judgment against Harlan for the outstanding notes and sought to collect on the judgment by attaching and executing on the Russells’ note. The trial court allowed the attachment. Harlan appealed, arguing that the Russells’ note was not subject to attachment and execution under Missouri law. In Missouri, property acquired by spouses during marriage was presumed to create a tenancy by the entirety and could not be attached to satisfy a judgment against only one spouse.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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