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FinanceAmerica v. Harvey E. Hall, Inc.

Delaware Superior Court
380 A.2d 1377 (1977)


Facts

Harvey Hall owned an appliance store called Harvey E. Hall, Inc. (HEH) (defendant). HEH bought appliances from Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. (Sylvania). Sylvania and John P. Maguire & Co., Inc. (Maguire) financed HEH’s appliance purchases. As part of the financing, Sylvania and Maguire required both Harvey Hall and his wife Anna Hall (defendant) to sign a separate personal guaranty for HEH’s debt. The personal guaranty was specifically addressed to Sylvania and Maguire. Within the next 10 years, Sylvania and Maguire both assigned their rights to the guaranty to FinanceAmerica Private Brands, Inc. (FA) (plaintiff). Also within that time, Harvey Hall passed away. Anna continued to operate HEH for about five years after Harvey’s death, but then closed the store. HEH owed almost $7,000 to FA. FA sued Anna Hall under the personal guaranty to recover the $7,000. Anna asked the court to dismiss the case on the basis that the personal guaranty could not be assigned.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Christie, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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