The Bank of Edwardsville has filed suit against First Clover Leaf Bank, alleging a sales contract on land The Bank of Edwardsville owned fell through because of a lis pendens and complaint First Clover filed.
The land in question is located at 2020 Golf Course View Drive in Edwardsville, according to the complaint filed April 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
The Bank of Edwardsville says it is the trustee for a Land Trust Agreement executed on June 17, 1992, containing the contested land.
However, two of First Clover's customers, Steven and Tammy Gardner, pledged the same property as security for a $470,000 promissory note they executed on Nov. 21, 2003.
On April 20, 2003, a sales contract for the sale of the land for $743,500 was entered and closing was to be at Guaranty Title Company.
After Guaranty Title Company contacted First Clover for payoff of the mortgage on May 15, First Clover informed Guaranty Title that it was going to place a lis pendens against the property because of debts the Gardners owed the bank, according to the complaint.
A lis pendens is a notice that a lawsuit has been filed questioning the ownership interest in a property.
The Bank of Edwardsville claims it offered to pay First Clover the remaining balance of the Gardners' promissory note out of proceeds from the April 20 sales contract.
But on May 27, First Clover filed the lis pendens and filed a complaint for constructive trust, the suit states.
As a result of First Clover's failure to agree to provide a complete release of its lien on the property, the April 20 sales contract fell through, according to court records.
The complaint was dismissed on Dec. 4 after Madison County Circuit Court found there was no valid mortgage to form a legal basis for a constructive trust, The Bank of Edwardsville claims.
The Bank of Edwardsville says First Clover interfered with its sales contract by wrongfully failing to agree to release the mortgage and by wrongfully placing an encumbrance on the property by filing a lis pendens and complaint with no legal basis.
"Defendant's conducts constituted an intentional interference with plaintiff's Sales Contract and demonstrated a willful disregard for the rights of Plaintiff," the suit states.
In the five-count complaint, The Bank of Edwardsville is asking the court to declare the mortgage not valid and not legally enforceable.
The bank is also seeking unspecified punitive damages, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.
It is represented by Thomas R. Ysursa in Belleville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-170.