Estate of Voelker

Decision Date20 April 1977
Docket NumberNo. 2-57875,2-57875
Citation252 N.W.2d 400
Parties21 UCC Rep.Serv. 817 In the Matter of the ESTATE of Ernest E. VOELKER, Deceased. FIRST SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, Appellant, v. Arnold VOELKER, Executor of the Estate of Ernest E. Voelker, Deceased, Appellee.
CourtIowa Supreme Court

Noah, Smith & Ott, Charles City, for appellant.

Alfred A. Beardmore, Charles City, for appellee.


RAWLINGS, Justice.

First Security Bank and Trust Company (First Security or claimant) appeals from trial court's adverse adjudication in probate on hearing requested by First Security after denial of its claim against Arnold Voelker, executor of the estate of Ernest E. Voelker, deceased (executor). We affirm.

First Security's claim was predicated on three security supported promissory notes executed and given it by Kenneth Elliott, co-signed by Ernest E. Voelker (decedent), admitted accommodation party. Various payments had been made on these notes, a balance of $10,586.73 being allegedly unpaid and owing.

One item of collateral on the instantly involved supplemental financing statement bearing date July 27, 1973, was sixty acres of growing corn. In drafting this security instrument claimant failed to describe the land upon which the crop was being grown. As a result another of Kenneth Elliott's creditors gained priority over First Security and accordingly received $6,239.06, sale proceeds from the corn.

In resisting First Security's claim the executor contended decedent was released from liability on his accommodation obligation to the extent of collateral lost ($6,239.06) as the result of claimant's negligence in drafting the supplemental security agreement here in question. Trial court agreed, and pro tanto released the accommodation party but allowed the remainder of said claim.

As stated by claimant, the sole issue here raised is "Whether the failure of the secured party through negligence to perfect a security agreement and financing statement by legally describing sixty acres of corn relieves a guarantor and co-maker on promissory notes from liability to the secured party the claimant in this case."

I. This proceeding for judicial establishment of a contested claim was properly tried in probate as a law action. Consequently, our review is confined to the issue here raised, not de novo. If trial court's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence, and were not induced by an erroneous view of the law, they will stand. Furthermore, we are neither bound by findings of fact resulting from application of an erroneous rule of law, nor trial court's determination of the law. See Flexsteel Ind., Inc. v. Morbern Ind. Ltd., 239 N.W.2d 593, 596 (Iowa 1976); In re Estate of Northup, 230 N.W.2d 918, 921 (Iowa 1975); Solbrack v. Fosselman, 204 N.W.2d 891, 893 (Iowa 1973); Section 633.33, The Code 1973.

II. At the outset, several statutes presently come into play.

Section 554.9105, The Code 1973, says:

"1. In this Article unless the context otherwise requires:

" * * *his

"b. 'Chattel paper' means a writing or writings which evidence both a monetary obligation and a security interest in or a lease of specific goods. When a transaction is evidenced both by such a security agreement or a lease and by an instrument or a series of instruments, the group of writings taken together constitutes chattel paper;

"c. 'Collateral' means the property subject to a security interest, and includes accounts, contract rights and chattel paper which have been sold;

" * * *lat

"h. 'Security agreement' means an agreement which creates or provides for a security interest;

"i. 'Secured party' means a lender, seller or other person in whose favor there is a security interest, including a person to whom accounts, contract rights or chattel paper have been sold. When the holders of obligations issued under an indenture of trust, equipment trust agreement or the like are represented by a trustee or other person, the representative is the secured party."

Also, prior to amendment by the 1974 Session of the Sixty-Fifth General Assembly, ch. 1249, § 57, not here relevant, Code § 554.9402 stated:

"1. A financing statement is sufficient if it is signed by the debtor and the secured party, gives an address of the secured party from which information concerning the security interest may be obtained, gives a mailing address of the debtor and contains a statement indicating the types, or describing the items, of collateral. A financing statement may be filed before a security agreement is made or a security interest otherwise attaches. When the financing statement covers crops growing or to be grown or goods which are or are to become, fixtures, the statement must also contain a description of the real estate concerned. A copy of the security agreement is sufficient as a financing statement if it contains the above information and is signed by both parties." (emphasis supplied).

See also Code § 4.1(36)(b).

Additionally, as to its duties in connection with an instrument or chattel paper, a secured party must exercise reasonable care, including the taking of...

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    • United States
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    ... ... L. R. Z. H. Corp. (1977), 74 N.J. 45, 376 A.2d 931; First Security Bank & Trust Co. v. Voelker (Iowa 1977), 252 N.W.2d 400; American Bank of Commerce v. Covolo (1975), 88 N.M. 405, 540 P.2d 1294; Peoples Bank v. Pied Piper Retreat, Inc ... ...
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    ... ... Farmers State Bank v. Cooper (1980), 227 Kan. 547, 608 P.2d 929, 936; In re Estate of Voelker (Iowa 1977), 252 N.W.2d 400, 403; Shaffer v. Davidson (Wyo.1968), 445 P.2d 13, 15. See Anderson, supra, at Section 3-606:8. See, also, ... ...
  • Hemenway v. Miller
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    ... ... The debtor argued that this unjustifiably impaired the collateral thereby allowing foreclosure of a secured interest in real estate. Had the creditor preserved its security in the personalty, recourse to the real estate would have been unnecessary. Although the court held that ... See, e.g., In re Estate of Voelker, 252 N.W.2d 400 (Iowa 1977) (creditor took security interest in crop but, ... Page 745 ... by omitting description of real estate on which crop ... ...
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