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Mid Penn Bank v. Farhat

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 25, 2013

MID PENN BANK, Appellant
v.
ZENE FARHAT T/D/B/A I & S HOMES & SAHEIRA FARHAT, Appellees

Appeal from the Judgment Entered June 11, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Civil Division at No(s): 2010-CV-9947

BEFORE: BOWES, GANTMAN AND OLSON, JJ.

OPINION

OLSON, J.

Appellant, Mid Penn Bank, appeals from the judgment entered on June 11, 2012 in the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. After careful consideration, we vacate and remand this matter to the trial court with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Appellant and against Appellees, Zene Farhat T/D/B/A I & S Homes (Zene) and Saheira Farhat (Saheira), consistent with the conclusions set forth below.

The trial court summarized the testimony adduced during the bench trial in this matter as follows:

[Zene] is the son of [Saheira] and Ismail Farhat. [Zene] is a sole proprietor of a business that builds houses called I&S Homes.
On June 15, 2007, [Zene] met with [Appellant's] loan officer, Scott Woods (hereinafter "Mr. Woods"), who[] advanced a $165, 000.00 unsecured line of credit to [Zene] (hereinafter "loan").[FN 1]
[FN 1] Identified as Loan No. 500041009.
On August 3, 2007, [Saheira] transferred Lot 19 of the Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan of Pheasant Hill Phase I, Wayne Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (hereinafter "the property") to [Zene] for $1.00. As a result, [Zene] became the record owner of the property from August 2007 through January 15, 2010. Construction of a house on the property started in December of 2007 and was completed in June of 2008.
Meanwhile, [Zene] was paying timely interest payments on the loan he [received] in June of 2007. Near the end of 2009, Dennis Sweigart (hereinafter "Mr. Sweigart"), a commercial loan officer for [Appellant], contacted [Zene]. Mr. Sweigart had taken over [Zene's] file since Mr. Woods had left the company. [Zene] and Mr. Sweigart met on December 23, 2009. Mr. Sweigart informed [Zene] that he needed to begin paying on the principle [sic] and suggested [Zene] use the property to secure the loan. [Zene] refused to provide security and stated he would continue to pay interest. Additionally, [Zene] testified he informed Mr. Sweigart the property belonged to his [f]ather. Mr. Sweigart informed [Zene] that if he did not provide collateral the [Appellant] would file judgment against him.
Thereafter, Terrence Michael Monteverde (hereinafter "Mr. Monteverde"), senior vice president and chief credit officer, contacted [Zene] to instruct that he either provide security for the loan or pay the loan in full[, ] pursuant to the loan documents. Again, [Zene] refused to provide security for the loan. [Zene] ceased making payments on the loan after December 30, 2009.
By deed dated January 15, 2010, the property was transferred back [to Saheira] for $1.00. In May of 2010, [Saheira] sold the property for $275, 000.00.
[Appellant] obtained a judgment against [Zene] and a lien against his primary residence/real property on June 10, 2010.[FN2, 3] However, [Zene's] primary residence was encumbered by a mortgage held by U.S. Bank in the amount of $149, 778.71. Moreover, [on January 29, 2010, Zene] obtained a home equity loan in the amount of $50, 000.00 secured by a mortgage on his personal residence. [Zene's] other assets were his business equipment. [Appellant] obtained a levy/judgment, but not a lien, against [Zene's] personal property. []
[FN 2] [On June 7, 2010, Appellant entered a confessed
judgment against Zene in the amount of $168, 210.01 at Docket No. 2010 CV 07599 in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County.]
[FN 3] [Zene's primary residence is located in Halifax, Pennsylvania.]

Trial Court Opinion, 4/17/12, at 2-4 (record citations omitted; renumbered footnotes appear in original text).

Appellant commenced this action under the Pennsylvania Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), 12 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5101 et seq., to pursue a judgment against Appellees[1] for the $165, 000.00 obligation and the accrued interest.[2] The foregoing evidence was introduced at a non-jury trial conducted on February 9, 2012. At the conclusion of that proceeding, the court instructed the parties to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The parties timely complied and, on April 17, 2012, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Zene and Saheira and against Appellant. Appellant filed a motion for post-trial relief on April 27, 2012, which was denied by order of court on April 30, 2012. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal on May 23, 2012 and subsequently submitted a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to the trial court's directive ...


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