Commercial lenders will be glad to learn the Supreme Court of Ohio recently released a slip opinion overturning the Eighth District Court of Appeals’ decision in JNT Properties, LLC v. KeyBank, Nat’l Assoc. and concluding that KeyBank’s use of a "365/360" method of interest calculation in a commercial promissory note was not ambiguous.
As previously reported in our July 2011 and January 2012 blog posts, this case concerned KeyBank’s use of the 365/360 method of interest calculation. The promissory note at issue set the initial interest rate at 8.93% per annum, but also stated:
The annual interest rate for this Note is computed on a 365/360 basis; that is, by applying the ratio of the annual interest rate over a year of 360 days, multiplied by the outstanding principal balance, multiplied by the actual number of days the principal balance is outstanding.
The Court of Appeals held on June 30, 2011, that the language describing the 365/360 method could not "be read as clearly evidencing an intent of the parties to alter the ordinary meaning of the term ‘per annum,’ or as creating an ‘annual interest rate’ other than the stated rate of 8.93 percent." (The use of the 365/360 …