Alexander Hurst


This Summary examines how this inconsistency of law came to be, the public policy arguments for and against protecting spouses from being required to sign guaranties, and the potential actions which could be taken to resolve the issue. First, this Summary will examine the legal background of the ECOA and Reg. B as well as the paradigm that developed under the assumption that Reg. B was valid law. The Summary will then turn to the recent diverging cases dealing with the regulation’s validity in chronological order, starting with the federal cases that called the law’s validity into question, then moving to the Missouri state appellate court case that declined to adhere to this holding, and finally ending with the remaining Missouri federal court cases that have since recognized the disagreement and followed the federal precedent. Lastly, this Summary will analyze whether the bar on spousal guaranties is sound policy and will ultimately address the larger issues that have allowed this quagmire to develop, thereby invoking questions of statutory construction, spousal property law, and the nexus of federal and state courts.

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