United States v. Meadors

753 F.2d 590 (7th Cir. 1985)



The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1691 et seq., prohibits a creditor from requiring a spouse's signature on an application for credit, if the applicant has qualified, under the creditor's standards, for the amount of the credit requested.


Appellant sought review of district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of appellee creditor in its action to collect from appellant as guarantor of her husband's loan. The district court found that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1691 et seq., did not protect appellant, that she had waived protections by signing, and that her signature required no independent consideration. The appellate court reversed and remanded the case.


Did the district court err in granting summary judgment to appellee creditor without determining first whether appellant’s signature on guaranty was required?




Appellant's ECOA defense was meritless as she voluntarily signed, thus, the ECOA was not implicated. Appellant's signing of the guaranty waived claims relating to collateral sale. Appellant's contention, that she was not bound as she received no consideration for signing, was held to merit trial. Independent consideration was unnecessary for a guaranty signed simultaneously with principal agreement, and the district court failed to consider whether appellant's signature was required, anticipated, or relied upon.

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