Harder & Sons, Inc., an International Harvester dealership in Ionia, Michigan, sold a used International Harvester 1066 diesel tractor to Terry on an installment contract. Although the contract listed Blaser’s address as Ionia County, Blaser informed Harder at the time of purchase that he was going to work and live in Barry County. Blaser took delivery of the tractor at his Ionia County address three days later. On that same day, Harder filed a financing statement, which was executed by Blaser with the installment contract, in Barry County. The State of Michigan UCC requires an Article 9 financing statement to be filed in the debtor’s county of residence. The contract and security agreement were immediately assigned to International Harvester Credit Corporation (International Harvester).
Blaser subsequently moved to Barry County for about three months, then to Ionia County for a few months, then to Kent County for three weeks, and then to Muskegon County, where he sold the tractor to Jay and Dale Vos. At the time of sale, Blaser informed the Vos brothers that he owned the tractor. He did not tell them that it was subject to a lien. The Vos brothers went to First Michigan Bank & Trust Company (Bank) to obtain a loan to help purchase the tractor. When the Bank checked the records of Ionia County and found that no financing statement was filed against the tractor, it made a $ 7,000 loan to the Vos brothers to purchase the tractor. About six months later, International Harvester filed suit to recover the tractor from the Vos brothers on the grounds that it had a prior perfected security interest. Did Blaser act ethically in this case? Who wins? International Harvester Credit Corporation v. Vos, 290 N. W. 2d 401, 1980 Mich. App. Lexis 2430 (Michigan Court of Appeals)

  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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