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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Nevins

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
NANCY J. NEVINS & RE/MAX WEST REALTY, INC., Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Brad McCall, Judge. Nancy Nevins appeals the district court's finding she personally guaranteed the Wells Fargo line of credit extended to her business, RE/MAX West Realty, Inc.

John P. Roehrick of Gaudineer, Comito & George, L.L.P., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Matthew C. Holmer of Brooks Law Firm, P.C., Davenport, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

OPINION

VOGEL, P.J.

Nancy Nevins appeals the district court's finding she personally guaranteed the Wells Fargo line of credit extended to her business, RE/MAX West Realty, Inc. Nevins argues the statute of frauds precludes the admission of the oral guarantee. She further asserts the district court improperly relied on the unpublished decision from this court of her dissolution of marriage when finding Nevins personally benefitted from the line of credit. While we agree with Nevins the district court improperly referenced the dissolution of marriage decision, the error was harmless. We further conclude the statute of frauds does not preclude the admission of the oral guarantee, as it was an original promise. Therefore, we affirm.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Nevins is the owner, president, and employee of a business, RE/MAX West Realty, Inc. (West Realty).[1] In 2006, Nevins was receiving a salary from her business of approximately $3000 each month as well as a year-end bonus. On November 13, 2006, Nevins was solicited by Wells Fargo to open a line of credit for her business. The phone conversation was recorded. During the conversation, the following exchange occurred:

Female Voice: You personally guarantee to pay Wells Fargo upon demand all that the applicant owes on the BusinessLine account. As guarantor you authorize Wells Fargo, without notice or prior consent, to change any of the terms including the amount of credit available on the applicant's BusinessLine account . . . . If you understand and agree to these terms please respond now with a yes; if you do not please respond with a no.
Nancy Nevins: Yes.
Female Voice: You understand and agree to these terms ...

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