466 F.3d 623 (8th Cir. 2006), 05-3850, Sadler v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC

Docket Nº:05-3850.
Citation:466 F.3d 623
Party Name:Elsie SADLER, Terry Sadler, Appellees, v. GREEN TREE SERVICING, LLC, Appellant.
Case Date:October 17, 2006
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 623

466 F.3d 623 (8th Cir. 2006)

Elsie SADLER, Terry Sadler, Appellees,

v.

GREEN TREE SERVICING, LLC, Appellant.

No. 05-3850.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

October 17, 2006

Submitted: May 19, 2006

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Matthew B. Uhrig (argued), Lake Law Firm, argued, Jefferson City, MO, for Appellees.

Page 624

David G. Wasinger (argued), Murphy & Wasinger, argued, St. Louis, MO, for Appellant.

Before WOLLMAN, BOWMAN, and RILEY, Circuit Judges.

BOWMAN, Circuit Judge.

Green Tree Servicing appeals from the District Court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration of claims made by plaintiffs Elsie and Terry Sadler in this lawsuit. Our jurisdiction over the appeal from the arbitrability determination is invoked under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 16(a)(1)(C) (2000) ("An appeal may be taken from . . . an order . . . denying an application . . . to compel arbitration ...."). We reverse and remand.

The genesis of this case is a thirty-year loan on a mobile home that BankAmerica Housing Services made to Elsie Sadler (then Smith) in 1997. She executed a Retail Installment Contract and Security Agreement1 that included provisions for arbitration of disputes and waiver of jury trial. In December 2004, Green Tree took over servicing the loan. At that time, Elsie and Terry Sadler lived together in the mobile home and had made all required monthly payments. Nevertheless, in January 2005, Green Tree sent a notice of default and in April 2005, a notice of foreclosure. Unable to resolve the dispute, the Sadlers removed their possessions from the mobile home. In June 2005, Green Tree sent notice that the mobile home had been sold with a deficiency of over $18,000. Counsel for the Sadlers has represented to this Court that the couple never missed a payment before the foreclosure. In fact, at oral argument, counsel said that the Sadlers continued to make post-foreclosure monthly payments according to the terms of the Agreement.

The Sadlers filed a diversity suit in the District Court alleging conversion, negligent infliction of emotional distress (as to Elsie Sadler only), and violations of Missouri statutory law resulting from Green Tree's handling of the foreclosure. The complaint also included claims for punitive damages and attorney fees and a...

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