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WM Capital Partners, LLC v. Thornton

Tennessee Court of Appeals
525 S.W.3d 265 (2016)


Facts

Anthony and Elizabeth Thornton (defendants) obtained a series of loans from Tennessee Commerce Bank to assist in the operation of the Thorntons’ business. In exchange, the Thorntons granted the bank a security interest in the business’s assets, including its trucking equipment. The Thorntons also personally guaranteed the loans. The Thorntons defaulted on the loans. In June 2011, the Thorntons asked the bank to repossess and sell the collateral, and to apply the proceeds to the loans. The value of the assets would have exceeded the amount due on the loans, but the bank refused the request. Subsequently, the bank sold the loans to WM Capital Partners, LLC (WMCP) (plaintiff). WMCP repossessed the collateral, but it is not clear from the record when this occurred. WMCP sold the collateral at auction in July 2013. In the two years prior to the sale, the value of the Thorntons’ equipment depreciated significantly and no longer covered the amount due on the loans. WMCP sued the Thorntons for a deficiency judgment based on the Thorntons’ personal guarantees of the loans. The Thorntons argued that the disposition of their collateral was not commercially reasonable given the time that passed between its repossession request of the bank and WMCP’s actual sale of the collateral. The chancery court granted WMCP summary judgment. The Thorntons appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McBrayer, J.)

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