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Federated Capital Corp. v. Haner, 2015 UT App 132 (May 29, 2015) 

May 29, 2015

A trial court refused to award attorney fees to a debtor who successfully raised a statute of limitations defense in a collection action. Importing the standard used to determine whether attorney fees are warranted under the terms of a contract, the Court of Appeals held that attorneys fees under the reciprocal fee statute “‘should ordinarily be honored’ unless ‘compelling reasons appear otherwise.’” Id. ¶ 14. On appeal, the creditor argued that attorney fees would create a windfall for the debtor. Because the trial court failed to make factual findings in support of its conclusion that attorney fees would unjustly enrich the debtor, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded.