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Taylor v. Gorilla Capital, Inc.
United States District Court, D. Oregon
June 28, 2018
DAVID NORMAN TAYLOR, and DEBRA LEE TAYLOR; Plaintiffs,
GORILLA CAPITAL, INC., JOHN HELMICK, and CASCADE TITLE, CO.; Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael McShane United States District Judge
David and Debra Taylor received a loan backed by a deed of
trust on their home. They bring this action against the
alleged broker, lender and escrow agent involved in the
making of the loan. Defendants each move to dismiss.
Taylors' son was involved in an auto finance business
with an individual identified in the complaint as Jeremy
Cruz. Compl. ¶ 11. Cruz had, at a point in the past,
worked for defendant Gorilla Capital, a corporation that
makes or invests in mortgage loans. Compl. ¶ 31. Gorilla
Capital is run by Defendant John Helmick, who is described in
the complaint as “a sophisticated lender, broker and
real estate ‘flipper' who has run Gorilla Capital
since 1993.” Compl. ¶ 16. Helmick and Cruz are
close friends. Compl. ¶ 9.
Sometime prior to July 6, 2015, a Jeremy Cruz contacted
Gorilla Capital and Helmick about a loan related to his
business, Eugene Auto Finance. He proposed that Defendants
give Plaintiffs a loan secured by a third lien on their
principal residence but with the proceeds being used for
purposes as directed by Cruz and Helmick.
On or about July 6, 2015, a loan was closed in escrow at
Cascade Title for $90, 000 with Helmick as the lender. The
proceeds went partly to certain creditors of Eugene Auto
Finance, and $39, 800.35 was distributed to Cruz personally.
Within days, Cruz lend [sic] $35, 000 of the loan proceeds to
Immediately after closing, Taylor was contacted by their son,
a business partner with Cruz. He advised them that the
payments to Eugene Auto Finance creditors were not as he
agreed with Cruz, and that the distribution to Cruz should
have been capital for Eugene Auto Finance. Taylor immediately
went back to Cascade Title to rescind the loan. The closing
occurred around 5 pm PST and Taylor found the doors locked. A
Cascade employee came out to talk to Taylor and advised them
to call the next day. The next Taylor [sic] called Cascade
Title and demanded that the loan be rescinded. Cascade title
employees told Taylor that the loan already funded and could
not be rescinded.
Within three days after closing, Taylor sent a written
rescission notice to Helmick and Gorilla Capital via email,
as this was the ordinary course of communications.
Cascade Title employees, prior to closing, confirmed that
funding would not occur until three (3) days after closing.
Taylor never provided a loan application, made any financial
disclosures nor provided evidence of an ability to repay the
loan. The loan is an asset loan, relying only on the value of
the collateral as a basis to foreclose.
Helmick is a sophisticated lender, broker and real estate
‘flipper' who has run Gorilla Capital since 1993.
Helmick as [sic] created multiple securitized real estate
investment trusts, a form of a regulated security. On
information and belief, Defendants have a long history of
working in concert in lending, as well as buying and selling
real estate. Thus, any statute of limitation applicable to
this action should be tolled in equity.
All communications with Helmick, before and after closing,
were by email and used Helmick's Gorilla Capital email.
All emails from Helmick were signed by Helmick as CEO of
Taylor never made a single payment to Helmick and never
ratified the loan after rescinding the loan. Taylor's
[sic] received no benefit from the loan nor consideration for
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