1. Florida’s Fourth DCA recently reversed a final judgment entered in favor of Readycap Lending, LLC (“Readycap”) on its claim for breach of an unconditional guarantee against Dr. Jo Anne Daniels who guaranteed a business loan that was secured by a mortgage. Daniels v. ReadyCap Lending, LLC, No. 2D22-4106, 2024 WL 947611, at *1 (Fla. 4th DCA Mar. 6, 2024). Upon the borrowers’ payment breach, Readycap filed an action to foreclose its commercial mortgage and enforce the note. Included in Readycap’s action was a claim against Dr. Daniels for breach of her unconditional guarantee of that note and her failure “to pay all amounts due under the note.”
  2. On summary judgment the trial court ruled in favor of Dr. Daniels because Readycap failed to produce a copy of a pre-suit demand for payment it was required to send to Dr. Daniels as a condition precedent to filing suit against her. Confusingly, despite the denial of its summary judgment motion, Readycap proceeded to trial and stipulated to the fact that it did not send a demand letter to Dr. Daniels. The court found the pre-suit demand letter to be a condition precedent to filing suit against Dr. Daniels and at trial entered judgment in Dr. Daniels’ favor. Readycap then sent a demand for payment to Dr. Daniels and filed another breach of guarantee complaint against her when she failed to pay the demanded sum.
  3. The matter proceeded to trial and the court entered a judgment in favor of Readycap. Dr. Daniels appealed that judgment on res judicata grounds. Dr. Daniels argued that res judicata prevented Readycap from filing a second lawsuit against her after she had already successfully defended the same claim in the prior suit Readycap filed. The Fourth DCA agreed and reversed Readycap’s judgment. The result in Daniels demonstrates the importance of conducting an honest evaluation of one’s case prior to filing suit. This evaluation should include the ascertainment of the required elements of one’s claim and the evidence necessary to prove each element.

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