Thinking about borrowing over $123,000 to buy a living quarters horse trailer? The case of John Michael Blake and Keith Blake v. GE Money Bank is an illustration of all the reasons you should do due diligence before you drop that kind of cash on a horse trailer.

John Michael and Keith Blake borrowed $123,173.16 from GE Money Bank to buy a horse trailer from a dealer called Southwestern Conversions. According to court filings, the dealer prepared a lien and application for title, but never actually applied for the title or license plate on the trailer.  John Michael and Keith allege they found out their title had not been properly secured, and advised GE Money Bank of this fact.  According to the Blakes, GE Money Bank said they were working out those issues with the dealer and not to worry.

About nine months later, the Blakes decided to sell the trailer through Southwestern Conversions, the same dealer they had bought the trailer from (and the same one who seemed to have botched the title application…). The trailer sold for $60,000 (a considerable loss, so it seems), but Southwetern Conversions apparently kept the $60,000 it received for the Blakes’ trailer, then filed for bankruptcy. 

Today there are some ads for trailers for sale on from Southwestern Conversions, but all of them say "Status: Unavailable".  I did find a good customer review of Southwestern Coversions from 2008 online.

The Blakes never got title to the trailer and it was now gone and they still owed payments on it to GE Money Bank.  And they had been making all their payments on time before they sold the trailer.  What a mess.  The Blakes sued GE Money Bank after the bank failed to credit their loan for the $60,000, alleging that the bank didn’t properly assist them in securing title. 

Without doing a lot of research, I can’t report the current status of this case.  I can say that it was pending in the Western District of Texas (federal court in Texas) under Cause No. AS-10-CV-860-XR, but my review of the docket on PACER indicates that United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ordered the case remanded to the 38th District Court of Medina County, Texas on June 27, 2011. 

Hat tip to Krysia Nelson at Equine Law & Business Letter for noticing this case first.

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