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Veale v. Citibank

June 19, 1996

CARL S. VEALE, MARY A. VEALE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
CITIBANK, F.S.B., A FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN FKA CITICORP SAVINGS OF FLORIDA, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. (No. 92-8444-CIV-JAG). Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., Judge.

Before Edmondson, Circuit Judge, and Fay and Gibson,*fn* Senior Circuit Judges.

Author: Fay

FAY, Senior Circuit Judge:

This appeal arises from the District Court's judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs, Carl and Mary Veale, brought suit under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), alleging that Citibank did not provide the required material disclosures in connection with a home mortgage loan. Because Citibank did not violate TILA as a matter of law, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In July of 1989, the Veales borrowed $361,800 from Citibank. The loan was secured by a first security interest in the Veale's primary residence. The Veale's used the money to pay off $24,825.98 previously owed to Citibank and to pay off two other mortgages retained by two other lenders. The rest of the loan was used to pay $269.05 to Epic Mortgage, a $723.60 intangible tax, a $53.40 recording fee, a $6.60 release fee, $582.70 in documentary stamps, $2,571.00 in title insurance, a $21.00 Airborne fee, and $835.00 in prepaid finance charges. The Veales did not retain any of the loan proceeds.

According to the note, the loan was "payable in 84 installments, the first one of $3,582.87, 83 of $3,582.87, and 1 of $350,565.12." Thus the note obviously contained a typographical error, as it could not require both 84 and 85 payments. The Truth in Lending disclosure statement listed 84 payments: 83 plus the final balloon payment.

The Truth in Lending recision notice provided by Citibank gave the Veales until midnight of July 29, 1989 to rescind the transaction. On July 31, 1989, the Veales executed a Verification of Election not to Cancel.

In September of 1991, the Veales defaulted. Citibank sued for foreclosure in state court. In June of 1992, the Veales attempted to rescind the transaction under TILA, but Citibank rejected the demand for recision. Citibank purchased the property at the state court foreclosure sale.

The Veales brought suit in United States District Court, alleging that Citibank violated the TILA disclosure requirements and demanding recision. The Veales moved for summary judgment but the District Court denied the motion. At the close of the Veale's case during a non-jury trial, Citibank moved for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 52(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn1 The District Court granted the motion and entered judgment for Citibank.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review conclusions of law de novo but do not disturb findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. See U.S. v. Thomas, 62 F.3d 1332, 1336 (11th Cir.1995), cert. denied, U.S., 116 S. Ct. 1058, 134 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1996).

III. ANALYSIS

A. The $21 Federal ...


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