Long before eMortgages, electronic signatures, and mobile apps hit the secured lending scene, Lord Nottingham proposed that the English Parliament pass An Act for Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries in 1677 to prevent nonexistent agreements from being “proved” through false testimony. That statute and its progeny remain an important resource in today’s financial services industry. All states have adopted a version of the statute of frauds and many states have enacted statutes of frauds specifically designed to provide broad protection for financial institutions. If used effectively, these “super” statutes of frauds can quickly dispose of claims and defenses related to credit agreements, allowing lenders to recover collateral, enforce notes and guarantees, and reduce the expense of litigation. These statutes should be one of the first tools lenders reach for when defending claims for breach of an unsigned credit agreement or prosecuting loan enforcement actions where claims and defenses related to credit agreements are asserted.
John F. Rhoades is a Senior Attorney whose practice focuses on financial services and commercial litigation. He is a member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice group and financial industry group.
Mr. Rhoades regularly represents some of the nation's largest financial institutions in matters concerning mortgage banking and consumer lending. He has represented banks, mortgage servicers, title insurance companies, private investment funds, and other public and private companies in contested foreclosures, loan enforcement actions, bankruptcy proceedings, fraudulent transfer cases, post-judgment proceedings, consumer financial services matters, and other disputes in state and federal courts in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Mr. Rhoades’s commercial litigation experience includes matters involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, tortious interference, unfair competition, premises liability, and product liability. Mr. Rhoades has also represented secured creditors, unsecured creditors, and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings and creditors’ rights matters and has obtained successful outcomes for clients at trial, on appeal, and through motion practice, arbitration, and mediation.