At 10:30 the COA will hear the case of Bharat Patel, Jagdesh Barat and New Vision v. Bancorp South. BancorpSouth held a deed of trust on a parcel of mostly undeveloped commercial property situated in Rankin County. The debt was in default. Patel argues that BancorpSouth persuaded him and Barat to purchase the property at the foreclosure sale by agreeing to fund the purchase of the property based on a bid amount set by BancorpSouth. Bankcorp South required New Vision to execute a deed of trust and a promissory note and Barot and Patel were each required to execute a separate unconditional guaranty. Because Bankcorp South failed to disclose the property contained wetlands, New Vision was unable to develop the property and New Vision defaulted on the note. BancorpSouth filed a suit against the Defendants to enforce the terms of the Note and Guaranties and initiated foreclosure of the deed of trust.
New Vision, Barot and Patel then filed suit in Rankin County Circuit Court against BancorpSouth for claims arising from the purchase of the Property and to stop the foreclosure. The court dismissed the case under the first to file rule. The Defendants in the original suit moved to arbitrate. Bankcorp South argued that by filing the second lawsuit, and by taking action in the first lawsuit inconsistent with arbitration, the Defendants waived arbitration.
Patel et al brief
Bankcorp South’s Brief
Patel et al reply brief
Watch the argument here. (If you can. I could only watch Wednesday afternoon’s argument on my phone).