1. In 1955, Robert Baxter and his wife purchased a home located at 456 Privet Drive, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. They made a $100 down payment and borrowed the balance of $11,600 on a 30 year mortgage. In late 1961, when the Baxters were behind in their mortgage payments, they entered into an agreement to sell the house to Winston and Emily Severson if the Seversons would pay the three months arrearages on the loan and agree to make the future payments on the mortgage. Ms. Baxter and Ms. Severson were sisters. The Seversons paid the arrearages, moved into the house, and have lived there to date. In 1970, the Seversons spent $2000 to finish the basement. In 1976, Mr. Baxter sued to evict the Seversons from the house, claiming that they had never purchased it and thus had no right to live there. What is the basis for Mr. Baxter’s claim that they did not have a contract for the sale of the house? What defense can the Seversons use? Who will succeed?
2. On May, 17, 2009, Dennis Broward met with Stan Kingston, a loan officer with Hometown Bank, to discuss borrowing $30,000 from the bank to start a new business. After learning that he did not qualify for the loan on the basis of his own financial strength, Broward told Kingston that his former employers, James and Dawn Westerman of California, might be willing to guarantee the payment of the loan. On May 18, 2009, Kingston talked to Mr. Westerman, who stated that he would personally guarantee the loan to Broward. Based on this guaranty, the bank loaned Broward $30,000. The bank sent the guarantee to the Westermans, but it was never returned to the bank. When Broward defaulted on the loan, the bank filed suit against the Westermans to recover on their guarantee. Are the Westermans liable?
3. Six people, including Betty Rosen and Alicia Feldman, were members of the board of directors of the Tensile Corporation. A bank agreed to loan the corporation $1.2 million if the board members would personally guarantee the payment of the loan. Feldman objected to signing the guaranty to the bank because of other pending personal financial negotiations that the contingent liability of the guaranty might adversely affect. Feldman agreed with Rosen and the others board members that if they were held personally liable on the guaranty, she would pay her one-sixth share of that amount to them directly. Rosen and the other members of the board signed the personal guaranty with the bank, and the bank made the loan to the corporation. When the corporation defaulted on the loan, the five guarantors had to pay the loan amount to the bank. When they attempted to collect a one-sixth share from Feldman, she refused to pay, alleging that her promise was unenforceable. Does Feldman have to pay the one-sixth share to the other board members?
4. Nathan and Carmelita Costanza were married in 1959. Carmelita had a son from a previous marriage, Carmine Bruno, who lived with them. Nathan and Carmelita moved to California where they invested $400,000 in agricultural property. Carmine, then in his early teens, moved with them to California. In 1966, Carmine, then 18 years old, decided to leave home and seek an independent living. Nathan and Carmelita, however, wanted him to stay with them and participate in the family venture. They made a promise to Carmine that if he stayed home and worked, they would leave their property to him by will. Carmine agreed and remained home and worked the family venture. He received only his room and board and spending money. When Carmine married, Nathan told him that his wife should move in with the family and that Carmine need not worry, for he would receive all the property when Nathan and Carmelita died. Nathan and Carmelita entered into identical wills leaving their property to Carmine when they died. Nathan died in the late 1980s. Shortly before his death, without the knowledge of Carmine or Carmelita, he had changed his will and left his share of the property to his grandson from his first marriage, Marco Fenestra. Carmine sued to enforce Nathan’s promise. What arguments will Carmine and Marco use? Who will succeed?
5. Pacific Wholesale is in the business of buying and selling gold and silver for customers’ accounts. Garrett Soldano became a customer of Pacific in 1999 and thereafter made several purchases through Pacific. On January 28, 2000, Soldano telephoned Pacific and received a quotation on silver bullion. Soldano then bought 300 ounces of silver for a total price of $12,978. Pacific immediately contacted US Precious Metals and purchased the silver for Soldano. The silver was shipped to Pacific, who paid for it. Pacific placed the silver in its vault while it waited for payment from Soldano. When Pacific telephoned Soldano about payment, he told Pacific to continue to hold the silver in its vault until he decided whether to sell it. Meanwhile, the price of silver had fallen substantially and continued to fall. When Soldano refused to pay for the silver, Pacific sold it for $4,650, sustaining a loss of $8,328. Pacific sued Soldano to recover the loss. What arguments will Pacific and Soldano use? Who will succeed?