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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Boedigheimer

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 16, 2013

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Respondent,
v.
Wendi S. Boedigheimer, et al., Appellants.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Washington County District Court File No. 82-CV-12-2968

Charles F. Webber, Erin L. Hoffman, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)

Rene L'Esperance, Boedigheimer Law Firm, P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellants)

Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Rodenberg, Judge; and Hooten, Judge.

RODENBERG, Judge

Appellants Wendi S. Boedigheimer and Robert Boedigheimer appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. on its claims arising from a revolving-line-of-credit agreement between the parties. Appellants also appeal the district court's summary dismissal of their counterclaims. We affirm.

FACTS

Appellants entered into a revolving-line-of-credit agreement with respondent[1] on August 3, 1999. This was a variable-rate credit agreement, with a maximum interest rate of 18%, a credit limit of $50, 000, and a maturity date of July 30, 2004. The agreement did not contain a choice-of-law clause.[2] The validity of the initial credit agreement is not challenged on appeal. Appellants' balance on the account fluctuated for several years as they both used the credit line and paid down the balance from time to time. Appellants made their last draw on the account on May 24, 2002. After that time, appellants made payments each month by way of automatic electronic payments in response to monthly account statements mailed by respondent. Appellants stopped making payments on the account in 2010.

On September 6, 2002, respondent sent appellants documents setting forth new terms to apply to the account (2002 mailing). The 2002 mailing did not seek any expression of assent to the changes in terms, but stated that continued use of the account after the effective date of December 14, 2002 would constitute acceptance of the new terms. Appellants did not pay off the debt and continued their indebtedness on the account after that date. The 2002 mailing also removed the July 30, 2004 maturity date in the original agreement and increased the "floor" interest rate to seven percent, and added a choice-of-law clause identifying South Dakota law as applying to the account. Appellants continued to keep a balance on the account after the original maturity date of July 30, 2004 and never attempted to pay off or otherwise close their account prior to ceasing monthly payments in 2010.

There were two subsequent mailings changing the terms of the credit agreement. The first was on June 20, 2006 and related to changes in various service charges (2006 mailing). The second was on August 10, 2009 and increased the minimum interest rate to 15.74% and lowered the credit limit (2009 mailing). Both mailings set forth an effective date after which the changed terms would apply to the account if appellants chose to continue their indebtedness on the account.

Prior to February of 2009, appellants' automatic monthly payments applied only to interest on the account. Appellants increased their monthly payments in February 2009 in an effort to pay down the principal balance on the account. Approximately nine months later, the higher minimum interest rate applicable after the effective date of the 2009 mailing resulted in an increase in the minimum monthly payments, and resulted in appellants' payments again applying only to interest. Appellants continued to make monthly payments on the account until June 2010, and made a final payment of $1, 000 on September 3, 2010. In October of 2010, appellants sent several letters to respondent requesting various documents relating to the account. Appellants contend that they did not receive any responses to these requests until August 2012.

Respondent sued appellants in May 2011 for breach of contract and for an account stated, claiming that appellants owed a balance of $42, 735.76[3] plus interest at six percent per year. Appellants counterclaimed, alleging unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, [4] and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Appellants also asserted that respondent's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations and that the original revolving-line-of-credit agreement was usurious.[5]

Respondent moved the district court for summary judgment, arguing that no genuine issues of material fact existed concerning any claim against it. Appellants argued that material issues of fact precluded granting respondent's motion, and moved for summary judgment dismissing respondent's complaint. The district court granted respondent's ...


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