15 Oct Graffeo Law Obtains Judgment Against former Alabama Football Player for Fraudulent Transfer of Home to Wife
October 15, 2019 – Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge John H. England, Jr. issued an Order and Final Judgment against former University of Alabama football player Marvin Barron following the fraudulent transfer of his home to his wife, Ann Barron, to avoid a debt obligation. Judge England ruled in favor of National Equipment Sales, LLC, a Kentucky-based construction equipment sales company and judgment creditor of Mr. Barron. The case was tried as a bench trial over two-days by Graffeo Law attorney Vincent J. Graffeo of Birmingham, Alabama and Clint D. Mountain, Jr. of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama firm Mountain & Mountain.
After playing football with the Alabama Crimson Tide in the early 1970s, Mr. Barron began a career in construction equipment sales. In 2000, the Barrons refinanced their Duncanville, Alabama home with a $340,000 mortgage issued through Bank of Moundville. In 2001, the Barons defaulted on their mortgage. Rather than face foreclosure, the Barrons granted Bank of Moundville a deed in lieu of foreclosure of their house. Bank of Moundville allowed the Barrons to remain in their home and make payments towards its repurchase. Over the next several years, Mr. Barron made some payments towards the repurchase of the house with funds obtained through family, friends and his business. In 2012, Mr. Barron paid $150,000 to Bank of Moundville from his company Beltline Equipment, L.L.C. as the final home repurchase payment. Mr. Barron, who was insolvent at the time, then instructed Bank of Moundville to transfer the property title solely in the name of Mrs. Barron, even though the Barrons had previously jointly held title.
Mr. Barron’s $150,000 final payment was the main issue in the case. In 2012, National Equipment wired nearly $2.4 million to Beltline Equipment to purchase several large tractors. On the same day Beltline Equipment received the wire, Mr. Barron used $150,000 of the funds to obtain a cashier’s check made payable to Bank of Moundville as a “payoff on real estate.” At trial, Mr. Barron claimed this money was part of his commission from the equipment deal. However, the equipment transaction never materialized and Mr. Barron was unable to return the entire $2.4 million because he had spent $150,000 to repurchase his home. Mr. Barron agreed to repay National Equipment and executed a promissory note. In 2013, Mr. Barron defaulted on the promissory note and National Equipment obtained a judgment against him for over $250,000 in 2014. Because of Mr. Barron’s continued failure to satisfy the promissory note judgment, National Equipment initiated a fraudulent transfer action.
In his Order and Final Judgment, Judge England ruled that Mr. Barron fraudulently transferred his half-interest in the Barrons’ house by instructing the Bank of Moundville to transfer title to solely to Mrs. Barron. The Court ordered a reformation of the conveyance deed from Bank of Moundville to Mrs. Barron to reflect the Barrons’ joint ownership of the house. The Court further declared that National Equipment was an unpaid vendor for its $150,000 purchase money and holds a first priority security interest and mortgage in the home subject to levy and execution.
Attorney V. J. Graffeo says, “the Alabama Fraudulent Transfer Act is a powerful remedy available for creditors when debtors attempt to improperly recharacterize transactions and hide assets. This result will help my client to go back in time, undo the fraudulent transfer and execute its judgment against the house purchased with National Equipment’s money.”
Case caption: National Equipment Sales, LLC v. Marvin Barron et al., In the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, 63-CV-2018-901167
For more information, please contact Graffeo Law, LLC at 205-994-8249. www.graffeolaw.com