Conflicts of Laws, Deficiency Actions, and Statutes of Limitations – Oh My!

May 10, 2017
Ben Reeves - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

What law governs a deficiency action if the choice-of-law provisions in the note and deed of trust conflict? The Arizona Court of Appeals answered that very question in ZB, N.A. v. Hoeller, No. 1 CA-CV 16-0071 (Ct. App. April 15, 2017). It turns out, the note controls.

The Facts
In ZB, ZB, N.A. (ZB), a Utah bank, lent money to the Hoellers to purchase a commercial property in Missouri. The note included a choice-of-law provision stating that Utah law governed the debt. The deed of trust securing the commercial property, however, provided that Missouri law controlled “procedural matters related to the perfection and enforcement of [ZB’s] rights and remedies against the [p]roperty.” In 2012, the Hoellers defaulted, and the bank recovered the property through a trustee’s sale.

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