First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (FCB) is a North Carolina state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA/FCNCB), a Delaware financial holding company also headquartered in Raleigh. A borrower sued FCB, claiming wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract and fraud, and sought a recovery of monetary damages and other declaratory and injunctive relief. FCB counterclaimed for the accelerated amount of the defaulted loan in issue. Defending FCB, AGG had to overcome the bias against banks and other financial institutions common in disputed foreclosure cases.
The case went to trial in Gwinnett County (Georgia) Superior Court. The focus of the testimony adduced from FCB’s witnesses and the plaintiff’s witness on cross examination was that the bank proceeded carefully and in accordance with the loan documents. AGG partner David McAlister was consulted by FCB with regard to the foreclosure issue. He was able to testify that FCB proceeded lawfully and within its contractual rights.
Arnall Golden Gregory successfully defended FCB and obtained a judgment on FCB’s counterclaim in the sum of $460,000. The judgment, which included interest, attorneys’ fees and court costs, was secured to a large extent by the plaintiff’s investment property in issue, giving FCB the option to foreclose or recover from the plaintiff’s income and other assets.