No. 915 October Term, 1979, No. 916 October Term, 1979, Appeals from Orders dated March 30, 1979, denying relief upon a Petition to Open or Strike Judgments, of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, at Nos. 678 & 679 October Term, 1974, D.S.B. Civil Action, Law.
David F. Dunn, Allentown, for appellants.
Wesley M. Wasylik, Bethlehem, for appellee.
Brosky, Wickersham and Roberts, JJ.*fn*
[ 279 Pa. Super. Page 522]
Appellants the Donatellis (No. 915 October Term, 1979) and the Kisslingers (No. 916 October Term, 1979) challenge orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County dismissing their petitions to strike or open confessed judgments in favor of appellee First Valley Bank. The sole issue in dispute is whether the court of common pleas properly concluded that appellants did not timely seek relief. We affirm.
[ 279 Pa. Super. Page 523]
On January 2, 1975, appellants executed separate agreements guaranteeing all loans "now, heretofore or hereafter made to Lehigh Stationary Co., Inc., by [appellee] Bank and all present and future debts and obligations of the said borrowers or any of them to the Bank, now due or hereafter becoming due to an amount not exceeding $45,000.00." The agreements additionally provide:
"To the BANK are hereby pledged and the undersigned, jointly and severally, give to the BANK, as security for the payment of the liability of the undersigned hereunder a lien upon all the funds, moneys, balances, stocks, bonds, notes, policies of life insurance, or the proceeds thereof, claims and property whatsoever of the undersigned at any time in the possession or control of the BANK, together with the full right in the BANK to apply, set off or credit same against the above-mentioned liability of the undersigned."
That same day appellants executed demand judgment notes, with clauses for the confession of judgment, in the face amount of $45,000.00. On January 24, 1975, appellee Bank recorded the confessed judgments in the office of the Prothonotary of Northampton County. See generally 6A Standard Pennsylvania Practice, Ch. 29 (Judgments) § 143 (1960). Thereafter, appellee Bank made numerous loans to Lehigh Stationery Co., Inc. in reliance upon the guarantee agreements and $45,000.00 confessed judgments. Appellee Bank also made a series of loans directly to appellants as partners trading as Lehigh Stationery Co.
On February 24, 1978, appellee Bank demanded payment of all outstanding loans made to the corporation and to the partners. The corporation and partners failed to pay. On March 2, appellee Bank filed praecipes for writs of execution on the confessed judgment notes. Pursuant to the writs, the Sheriff of Northampton County levied on appellants' realty.
On March 15, 1978, appellants as partners and the corporation filed original petitions in bankruptcy, working an automatic stay on ...