The Circuit Court erred in awarding punitive damages because only the unsupported fraud claim supported punitive damages 14 B. The Circuit Court failed to perform the required Games analysis 14 C. Relief granted on claims that do not authorize punitive damages cannot be used to justify an inflated punitive award 16 a. The amount of the loan forfeiture is not "compensatory damages" or "harm" that may be included in the relevant ratio 1 8 a. THE CIRCUIT COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO OFFSET COMPENSATORY DAMAGES AWARDED AGAINST QUICKEN LOANS WITH THE SUMS PREVIOUSLY PAID TO PLAINTIFFS BY SETTLING CO- DEFENDANTS 24 CONCLUSION 26 TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Page Cases Action Marine, Inc. Its finding of unconscionability completely ignored the requirement of substantive unconscionability, and its finding of fraud was unsupported by evidence on multiple required elements of fraud, let alone by the necessary clear and convincing evidence. Further, the Circuit Court exceeded its authority in ordering the forfeiture of even the principal amount of the loan at issue. The arguments advanced by Plaintiffs in their effort to salvage the extraordinary windfall provided to them by the Circuit Court are all contrary to the record, contrary to established law, or both.
THE CIRCUIT COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE LOAN TO PLAINTIFFS WAS UNCONSCIONABLE.
Unconscionable contracts are - and should be - rare animals. Unconscionable contracts reflect an "overall and gross imbalance, one-sidedness, or lopsidedness in a contract," id. In its opening brief, Quicken Loans demonstrated that the loan brought immediate and substantial North Dakota cash advance loans benefits to Ms.
She received lower monthly payments, a better interest rate, and a large cash payout that she promptly put to good use, paying off high-interest debts and getting a new automobile. Just as the trial court failed to weigh these undisputed benefits against the costs of the loan, Plaintiffs likewise fail to balance the benefits and costs, as would be required to show that the loan is absurdly one-sided.
Plaintiffs also ignore the recent case in which Judge Copenhaver held that a loan is not unconscionable under West Virginia law where the plaintiffs received similar benefits to Texas payday advance those Ms.
A finding that the transaction was flawed, however, still depends on the existence of -2- unfair terms in the contract. A litigant who complains that he was forced to enter into a fair agreement will find no relief on grounds of unconscionability. Inasmuch as the word "unconscionable" cannot be divorced from substantive unfairness in the contract, the disjunctive makes sense (as Plaintiffs themselves recognize) only if "induced" by "unconscionable" conduct means induced by fraudulent conduct.
First, while the Guida appraisal was incorrect, over-appraisal of the property securing a loan does not divest the borrower of his or her vastly lowered interest rate on the consolidated debt or of the benefits of receiving additional funds to (in this case) retire existing debt and purchase a new car. Instead, it deprives the lender of its intended security for the loan, and hence it greatly increases the risk of loss to the lender. That great risk of loss, and the benefits to the borrower, foreclose any notion that an inflated appraisal makes a loan "absurdly" one-sided in favor of the lender. Moreover, Plaintiffs ignore the point that there is a separate statute that deals with inflated appraisals, see W. Second, the balloon payment was not unconscionable. A "balloon" simply represents the remaining principal of the loan given the payments of interest and principal to date.
Accordingly, on the due date, some of the principal would still be outstanding.
Jefferson a very long time before this payment of principal came due — far longer than is allotted in many other balloon payments - and she could have viewed that (and its corresponding, long-term, lower monthly payment) as a benefit. But because of the amortization schedule in the note, she did not automatically have to do so. A consumer is entitled to find that flexibility an attractive option, and to choose it. Here, of course, and self-evidently for reasons having nothing to do with the balloon, she could not North Dakota cash advance loans make even the minimum payments required by the note. Third, the closing costs charged were all within legal limits and were commensurate with the risk of the loan. Plaintiffs argue that the closing costs could have been lower, but there is no legal basis for their assumption that every borrower is entitled to the best possible deal, and that lenders must take pains to avoid making "too much" money off of a North Dakota cash advance loans loan. Quicken Loans is a for-profit business, and it is allowed to pursue and make profits. THE CIRCUIT COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT PLAINTIFFS PROVED FRAUD BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. Plaintiffs continue to rest their fraud case most heavily on the supposed promise of refinancing within "three or four months. However, Plaintiffs fail North Dakota cash advance loans to prove the existence of the promise, its falsity, its materiality, or their reliance upon it by clear and convincing evidence. First, the supposed promise is supported only by Ms. Plaintiffs do not dispute the case law establishing that uncorroborated testimony does not satisfy the standard of clear and convincing 2 These would necessarily include what Plaintiffs call "pure" profits - whatever those may be. Jefferson declined the Loan until the June 6 promise. Indeed, the lack of any documentation supporting this allegation — even though the record included numerous internal e-mails between Quicken Loans employees and e-mails from Ms.