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EARL JACKSON GREGORY, JR. v. FEDERAL LAND BANK OF JACKSON

NOVEMBER 25, 1987

EARL JACKSON GREGORY, JR.
v.
FEDERAL LAND BANK OF JACKSON



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, C.J.; ROBERTSON AND GRIFFIN, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

Of late life has not been kind to this nation's farmers, Mississippi's being no exception. Debt defeated the Monroe County farmer who today seeks to invalidate foreclosure of his land and secure other relief from his creditor the Federal Land Bank. For better or for worse, our law affords him no more favor than the fates. We affirm.

 II.

 A.

 Earl Jackson Gregory, Jr., was born on the farm. In 1967 he purchased fifteen acres of Monroe County farmland. Over the years he added to his holdings, ultimately acquiring some 992 acres - a large main tract where the shop and grain bins were located plus two separate 70-acre tracts. Gregory's debt rose, too. In early 1980 Gregory was past due on his loan with Northeast Mississippi Production Credit System to the tune of almost $300,000. On top of that he owed the Federal Land Bank of New Orleans (now Federal Land Bank of Jackson) (hereinafter "FLB") some $250,000. All Gregory could do was tread water and try to refinance.

 On April 30, 1980, Gregory applied to FLB for a loan of $580,000. His loan application stated that his primary occupation was farming, and that his "overall agricultural operation" included 1,092 acres of which he owned 992 acres. Under the heading "Loan Purpose Profile," Gregory requested to borrow $250,000.00 to liquidate or refinance a prior FLB loan, $300,000.00 for refinancing a non-real estate loan, and $30,000.00 to buy stock in the Farm Credit Association and to pay closing costs. Finally, Gregory stated in his loan application: "The total loan purpose is considered to be primary for agriculture purposes: Yes X No ___."

 The loan was approved and then closed on June 20, 1980. On that date, Gregory executed and delivered to FLB a promissory note for $580,000.00 and, as well, a deed of trust covering the lands in Monroe County that are the subject of

 this dispute. At the land closing, Gregory signed a loan disbursement statement showing that the proceeds were distributed as follows:

 (a) Capitol stock in the association $ 29,000.00

 (b) To liquidate prior FLB loan 247,392.24

 (c) To Gregory and Northeast Mississippi Production Credit System [also a part of the Farm Credit Association] 299,528.71

 (d) To Gregory and John Sibley 2,750.00

 (e) To the Association 1,329.05 $580,000.00

 On the disbursement statement Gregory acknowledged that the loan purpose had not changed from that reflected on the loan application.

 As fate would have it, Gregory fell into arrears on this new loan and later defaulted. In early September, 1984, the FLB commenced foreclosure. Sale was held on October 5, 1984, at which time the FLB submitted the highest bid and a Trustee's Deed was drawn up conveying the lands to the FLB. However, Gregory ...


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