Friday, January 15, 2010

Evans update: Judge orders Mississippi Valley Title to give banks "all items" about the "historical relationship" with Charles Evans

For a collection of all posts on Evans case, see sidebar at the right. A synopsis of the case is at the bottom of this post.

Judge Olack ordered Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company to provide several banks with documents and information regarding claims filed by the banks in the Evans case and the "historical relationship" between Mississippi Valley Title and Charles Evans.

The Bank of Forest, Merchants & Farmers, State Bank, Bank of Yazoo, First State Bank, Cadence Bank, and Community Bank filed a motion requesting the Court grant them permission to conduct a 2004 exam of Mississippi Valley Title.

Rule 2004(a) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code states "On motion of any party in interest, the court may order the examination of any entity." Rules of Bankruptcy. MVT is the only party besides Chris or Charles Evans that has a true idea of the amount and number of claims, the properties involved, and the extent of any fraud that took place. The banks are thus attempting to use rule 2004 to learn exactly what is in MVT's hand as it adjudicates title insurance claims filed by banks victimized by the Evans brothers.

Judge Olack hammered David Clark, counsel for MVT in his ruling. The Court said Clark was "given a deadline in which to submit an order that reflected the rulings in the Bench Opinion and that was approved as to form by all other counsel." Translation: Judge Olack told Clark to submit an order that everyone agreed on within a certain time frame. Instead, the Court stated Clark "submitted one version and a later amended version of an order on the Motion that no other counsel had approved as to the form." The Judge then pointed out the parties could not agree on an order and chastized them for doing so, calling it "unacceptable" and that "further failure to comply with this court's directives regarding submission of orders may result in the imposition of sanctions or other relief."

The Court rejected the proposed orders by both sides and decreed:
1. MVT shall produce a property description and street address for each property insured by MVT that was issued to any creditor in the bankruptcy as well as
a. A lists of all interests against the property.
b. All items and analysis regarding each claim and its validity.
c. All appraisals for each property.
d. Any existing surveys for each property.

2. "All items regarding the historical relationship" between MVT and Chris Evans and between MVT and Charles Evans.

3. "All items that support the allegations contained in the original complaint and the first amended complaint filed by MVT in the Chancery Court of Madison County."

Copy of order

One can imagine the banks will make full use of this order, especially the part about the "historical relationship" as they have repeatedly accused MVT of hiding information from them.

Update: Old Republic's 3rd Quarter Earnings Statement. 4th Quarter release scheduled for January 28, 2010.

Synopsis of Evans case (This feature will be included with future posts on Evans case): Charles Evans, Jr. was an attorney approved by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company to provide title certificates to MVT and lenders showing a borrower had clear title to property. MVT filed a lawsuit in September accusing his brother of using over 30 LLC's to obtain fraudulent loans from over 30 banks in Mississippi. Chris Evans would allegedly use one company to purchase a large tract of prime commercial real estate in Madison and Desoto Counties. Another company owned by Evans would obtain a commercial real estate mortgage on a smaller section of the tract yet that borrowing company never obtained a deed showing ownership of the land from the other company. Thus the smaller tract was actually non-existed as the larger tract was never actually subdivided. Charles would allegedly provide a title certificate however showing the borrowing company owned the land even though it didn't. Over 80 loans for nearly $50 million were issued by Mississippi banks to companies owned by Chris Evans for lands those companies either did not own. MVT has testified federal authorities are currently investigating the case. Chris Evans filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 26, which stopped the Mississippi Valley Title's lawsuit against him as federal bankruptcy law stays most state civil court proceedings once a bankruptcy petition is filed. Mississippi Valley Title testified 65 title insurance claims for approximately $41 million have been filed by banks affected by the Evans case.


Anonymous said...

So, what do you think? Are Clark's clients stalling for time because they know too much or because they, themselves, don't yet know what they don't know?

Anonymous said...

I think it's a stalling tactic because they don't want to pay and I think they "know" and don't want it to be public record.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like MVT is going down. Now they've peeved the judge off with this stalling crap. Oh I hope these banks hold MVT's feet to the fire. They want off the hook so bad, but if they are culpable in this, they need to pay the piper.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I've had bad experiences with them and their people.

Kingfish said...

There is a simple way out of this: pay the claims for M&F, Bank of Forest, Bank of Yazoo, State Bank, First State, and Holmes County Bank and this fight will go away.

Anonymous said...

There are to many "unk unks" (unknown unknowns) They don't know what they don't know!

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