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Contracts Keyed to Kuney
Fanucchi & Limi Farms v. United Agri Products
Citation:414 F.3d 1075 (2005).
In December 1994, United loaned Fanucchi money to finance its 1995 operating expenses. The 1994 Loan was memorialized in various documents and the terms of the loan were set out in detail. United increased the loan amount from $700,000 to $800,000 in January 1995, to $900,000 in March, and then to $1,475,000 in September. All increases were made in writing. Fanucchi’s 1995 crops failed and it was unable to repay the loan.
Fanucchi consulted with Wayne Keese, a United representative, and with bankruptcy counsel. Keese persuaded Fanucchi not to file bankruptcy and orally promised to subordinate United’s debts to new crop financing lenders for up to five years with proceeds to be divided 60/40 (60% going to United and 40% to other creditors). Various letters to this effect were sent to other creditors to enable Fanucchi to obtain financing for subsequent crop seasons. Additionally, Keese allegedly promised to forgive up to $400,000 at the end of the five years if Fanucchi had paid its debt down to that amount. Keese’s employment with United ended in spring 1998 and, thereafter, United was no longer willing to perform in accordance with the oral agreement.
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