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Judge Upholds $96M Jury Verdict Against BBVA Compass

BBVA CompassA Dallas judge has entered a $96.2 million judgment supporting the fraud findings and the bulk of a December 2017 jury verdict against BBVA Compass. The bank and one of its executives were found guilty of fraud during loan renewal and modification negotiations with David Bagwell, a Tarrant County, Texas, developer last year.

The recent judgment by Dallas County State District Court Judge Staci Williams preserves all but one portion of the original $98 million jury verdict and adds pre- and post-verdict interest.

The judgment also preserves the jury’s $40 million payment to be made by BBVA Compass to Bagwell for punitive damages, in addition to the amount towards the actual damages. The 2017 verdict had included payments of around $38 million to Bagwell and $20 million to his related business entities.

BBVA Compass disagreed with the 2017 verdict. A bank spokesperson had told Dallas News that they strongly disagreed with the jury’s findings and “will pursue all actions to remedy what it feels is an unfair verdict including an appeal upon the judgment.”

The lawsuit was filed by Bagwell and grew out of his efforts to modify loan terms for his projects during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

According to a statement by Boyd Powers Williamson, the legal firm that represented the developer, the trial jurors had agreed that BBVA Compass had committed fraud during a renegotiation of terms and conditions of the developer, David Bagwell’s, financing for three high-end housing projects in Colleyville, Texas.

The evidence presented during the trial showed that during the 2008-09 housing crisis, BBVA Compass had “deceived Bagwell about the status of efforts to refinance his loans,” the statement by Boyd Powers Williamson said. Additionally, it said that the bank had assured Bagwell that “his loans were being renewed while the bank was simultaneously working in secret to sell the loans at a steep discount to a competing developer. Once the new developer acquired the debt, partnerships associated with the developments were forced into bankruptcy and lost control of the properties.”

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Dallas, Texas. You can contact her at Radhika.Ojha@theMReport.com.

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