COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2017
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES||
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
Commitments to extend credit
In the ordinary course of business, Huntington makes various commitments to extend credit that are not reflected in the Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements. The contract amounts of these financial agreements at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, were as listed in the following table.
Commitments to extend credit generally have fixed expiration dates, are variable-rate, and contain clauses that permit Huntington to terminate or otherwise renegotiate the contracts in the event of a significant deterioration in the customer’s credit quality. These arrangements normally require the payment of a fee by the customer, the pricing of which is based on prevailing market conditions, credit quality, probability of funding, and other relevant factors. Since many of these commitments are expected to expire without being drawn upon, the contract amounts are not necessarily indicative of future cash requirements. The interest rate risk arising from these financial instruments is insignificant as a result of their predominantly short-term, variable-rate nature.
Standby letters-of-credit are conditional commitments issued to guarantee the performance of a customer to a third party. These guarantees are primarily issued to support public and private borrowing arrangements, including commercial paper, bond financing, and similar transactions. Most of these arrangements mature within two years. The carrying amount of deferred revenue associated with these guarantees was $5 million and $8 million at September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively.
Commercial letters-of-credit represent short-term, self-liquidating instruments that facilitate customer trade transactions and generally have maturities of no longer than 90 days. The goods or cargo being traded normally secures these instruments.
Commitments to sell loans
Activity related to our mortgage origination activity supports the hedging of the mortgage pricing commitments to customers and the secondary sale to third parties. At September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, Huntington had commitments to sell residential real estate loans of $1.0 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively. These contracts mature in less than one year.
The nature of Huntington’s business ordinarily results in a certain amount of pending as well as threatened claims, litigation, investigations, regulatory and legal and administrative cases, matters and proceedings, all of which are considered incidental to the normal conduct of business. When the Company determines it has meritorious defenses to the claims asserted, it vigorously defends itself. The Company considers settlement of cases when, in Management’s judgment, it is in the best interests of both the Company and its shareholders to do so.
On at least a quarterly basis, Huntington assesses its liabilities and contingencies in connection with threatened and outstanding legal cases, matters and proceedings, utilizing the latest information available. For cases, matters and proceedings where it is both probable the Company will incur a loss and the amount can be reasonably estimated, Huntington establishes an accrual for the loss. Once established, the accrual is adjusted as appropriate to reflect any relevant developments. For cases, matters or proceedings where a loss is not probable or the amount of the loss cannot be estimated, no accrual is established.
In certain cases, matters and proceedings, exposure to loss exists in excess of the accrual to the extent such loss is reasonably possible, but not probable. Management believes an estimate of the aggregate range of reasonably possible losses, in excess of amounts accrued, for current legal proceedings is up to $65 million at September 30, 2017. For certain other cases, and matters, Management cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss at this time. Any estimate involves significant judgment, given the varying stages of the proceedings (including the fact that many of them are currently in preliminary stages), the existence of multiple defendants in several of the current proceedings whose share of liability has yet to be determined, the numerous unresolved issues in many of the proceedings, and the inherent uncertainty of the various potential outcomes of such proceedings. Accordingly, Management’s estimate will change from time-to-time, and actual losses may be more or less than the current estimate.
While the final outcome of legal cases, matters, and proceedings is inherently uncertain, based on information currently available, advice of counsel, and available insurance coverage, Management believes that the amount it has already accrued is adequate and any incremental liability arising from the Company’s legal cases, matters, or proceedings will not have a material negative adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position as a whole. However, in the event of unexpected future developments, it is possible that the ultimate resolution of these cases, matters, and proceedings, if unfavorable, may be material to the Company’s consolidated financial position in a particular period.
Meoli v. The Huntington National Bank (Cyberco Litigation). The Bank has been named a defendant in a lawsuit arising from the Bank’s commercial lending, depository, and equipment leasing relationships with Cyberco Holdings, Inc. (Cyberco), Cyberco allegedly defrauded equipment lessors and financial institutions, including Huntington, in financing the purchase of computer equipment from Teleservices Group, Inc. (Teleservices), which itself later proved to be a shell corporation. Bankruptcy proceedings for both Cyberco and Teleservices ensued.
In an adversary proceeding brought by the bankruptcy trustee for Teleservices in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, judgment was rendered against Huntington in the amount of $72 million plus costs and pre- and post-judgment interest. Huntington appealed the judgment to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the judgment in part and remanded the case for further proceedings. The case is currently before the bankruptcy court again. The parties have completed briefing on liability and the appropriate calculation of damages, and await the scheduling of a hearing on the issue.
Powell v. Huntington National Bank. Huntington is a defendant in a class action filed on October 15, 2013 alleging Huntington charged late fees on mortgage loans in a method that violated West Virginia law and the loan documents. Plaintiffs seek statutory civil penalties, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees. Huntington filed a motion for summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ claims, which was granted by the U.S. District Court on December 28, 2016. Plaintiffs have appealed to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments were held on October 24, 2017.
FirstMerit Overdraft Litigation. Commencing in December 2010, two separate lawsuits were filed in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas and the Lake County Court of Common Pleas against FirstMerit. The complaints were brought as class actions on behalf of Ohio residents who maintained a checking account at FirstMerit and who incurred one or more overdraft fees as a result of the alleged re-sequencing of debit transactions. The parties have reached a global settlement for approximately $9 million cash to a common fund plus an additional $7 million in debt forgiveness. Attorneys' fees will be paid from the fund, with any remaining funds going to charity. FirstMerit’s insurer has reimbursed Huntington 49% of the approximately $9 million, which totals approximately $4.4 million. The court preliminarily approved the settlement on December 5, 2016 and the cash portion of the settlement was funded on December 12, 2016. The settlement received final approval on June 2, 2017 and there has been no appeal, so the settlement is final. Huntington is in the process of issuing settlement checks, forgiving the agreed-upon debt, and taking other actions as agreed upon in the settlement agreement. Because the settlement is in the process of being concluded, we anticipate no further reporting on this matter.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef