Friends in litigation over boat loan

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 6, 2010, 8:34am

GALVESTON � A Kemah couple claims a friend from Arizona is demanding payments on a boat loan they insist did not default, recent court documents say.

Barbara and Paul St. Clair's lawsuit against Gordon Peterson of Fountain Hills, Ariz., filed Aug. 20 in Galveston County District Court, asserts the plaintiffs agreed to pay Peterson monthly installments of $375 for the $150,000 he gave them in 2006 to purchase the boat.

The St. Clairs say that they paid the defendant promptly for the past four years and were never informed about any issues regarding the loan.

"The plaintiffs' payments have been each and every month and have never been late," the original petition says.

"The defendant has accepted each of these payments by depositing them into his bank account. Until earlier this month, the defendant never expressed any issues with his agreement with the plaintiffs."

Last month, Peterson sent the St. Clairs a letter calling for repayment on the loan and requesting them to sign a promissory note.

The letter allegedly said "the loan is only for 60 months, the defendant expected payments toward the principle, and demanded the plaintiffs send him a cashier's check for $115,000 immediately with the balance to be paid at a rate of $2,500 per month plus the $375 monthly interest rate payments," according to the suit.

The St. Clairs argue that such demands went against their agreement with Peterson.

They consequently seek a declaratory judgment and attorney's fees.

Attorney Michelle M. Slaughter of Houston is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-2375

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