OF JUDGMENT: 04/25/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. LISA P. DODSON JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: NICHOLAS VAN WISER.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: NO APPEARANCE.
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Keesler Federal Credit Union appeals from a default judgment
obtained against Billy Saucier stemming from two promissory
notes. Keesler Federal contends that the circuit court should
have required Saucier to pay its attorney's fees for
collecting on the second contract. That point is well taken.
We remand for the circuit court to reconsider the
attorney's fees award in light of our decision.
Otherwise, we affirm.
Keesler Federal sued on two promissory notes from Saucier.
The first had been secured by a vehicle; the second was a
personal loan. The deficiency following the sale of the
vehicle was approximately $5, 200, and the second loan had an
outstanding principal balance of about $3, 275. On the first
loan, Keesler Federal requested and received attorney's
fees at the maximum rate allowed under the contract, 15% of
the outstanding principal, but the circuit court denied
Keesler Federal's demand for attorney's fees on the
second loan. Accumulated interest, late fees, and court costs
were requested and awarded, also, though no post-judgment
interest was added to those awards.
Attorney's Fees on the Second Contract
The circuit court's judgment stated that attorney's
fees were not awarded on the second contract because
"there is [no] contract provision . . . concerning
attorney's fees." On appeal, Keesler Federal points
to a provision on the second page of the contract, which
appears by itself near the center of the page and is set off
by white space and horizontal lines that run the full width
of the page. It states:
You agree to pay all costs of collecting the amount you owe
under this Agreement, including court costs and reasonable
Contract construction is reviewed de novo. See,
e.g., Epperson v. SOUTH Bank, 93 So.3d 10, 16
(¶16) (Miss. 2012). We conclude that the contract
unambiguously provides for reasonable attorney's fees and
that the circuit court erred in finding otherwise. On this
point, we reverse the judgment and remand for the circuit
court to reconsider the demand for attorney's fees in
light of our decision.
Interest on Attorney's Fees, Costs, Accumulated ...