No. 899 PITTSBURGH, 1980, Appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Butler County, No. 925 of 1975.
Richard L. McCandless, Butler, for appellant.
James K. O'Malley, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Hester, Johnson and Montemuro, JJ.
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 195]
E. H. Bilowich Construction Corporation (hereinafter "Corporation") was incorporated in 1969 and is solely owned by Edward H. Bilowich, President. Shirley Bilowich, his wife, is the secretary of the Corporation. Beginning in 1971, the Corporation conducted its banking business with the Citizens National Bank of Evans City (hereinafter "Citizens"). Between 1971 and 1974 the Corporation had a line of credit with Citizens in varying amounts with the largest line being $150,000.00.
In 1973, Citizens' loan officer in charge of the Bilowich account was James Streily. Thereafter, Mr. Streily assisted the Corporation in obtaining bid and performance bonds in connection with its construction operations. Mr. Streily became personally involved in the Corporation's activities. He used the Corporation's office and obtained building materials through the Corporation for his own use without reimbursing the Corporation.
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 196]
Testimony appears in the record to the effect that, when the Corporation wanted to secure a bond in 1975, Mr. Streily sought compensation for rendering that service.
At approximately the same time, in June of 1975, a judgment note, which is the subject of this appeal was signed by Mr. Bilowich. It was allegedly signed in blank form, and it was not explained to him. A chattel mortgage and a second judgment note were also executed by Mr. Bilowich. These documents were also signed by Lena Buzanoski, the office secretary of the Bilowich Corporation. Miss Buzanoski testified that she forged the signature of Mrs. Bilowich to all three documents, under the direction of and in the presence of Mr. Streily. Miss Buzanoski also testified that she did not inform Mrs. Bilowich that she had forged her signature to these documents until May of 1978. However, Mr. Bilowich was apparently aware of the forgery as early as December of 1975. A handwriting expert also testified that the signature was a forgery, and this fact remains undisputed.
These loan documents, which established a line of credit for the Corporation up to $110,000.00, were dated June 13, 1975. The judgment note was entered in the Prothonotary's Office in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County on June 16, 1975 in the amount of $110,000.00 against the Corporation and against Mr. & Mrs. Bilowich individually. Notice of entry of the judgment was mailed to the business address of the Corporation by the Prothonotary on June 17, 1975. At the time, the Corporation owed Citizens $71,000.00. In June of 1975, the Bank advanced additional monies to the Corporation, so that the total loan to the Corporation was $110,000.00. Based upon a subsequent note date December 13, 1975, which was never recorded, the line of credit was increased to $150,000.00, but only a total of $135,000.00 was borrowed as of December 24, 1975. The Corporation repaid no monies on the principal amount of the loan from June 13, 1975 until July 13, 1976, when it paid $10,000.00. $15,000.00 was repaid on August 9, 1976, and $5,000.00 was repaid on September 13, 1976. When the Corporation sold a house on
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 197]
July 27, 1977, the interest was brought current and $10,000.00 was paid on principal, leaving a balance of $100,000.00 plus interest from that date. No additional payments of ...