It’s time for the next installment of Holcomb Dunbar law series “Insurance Law from A to Z.” This was put together by our litigation group who practice in the insurance law arena. Of course, if you have questions about these or any other topics please do not hesitate to contact us.
This week’s installment – Interest
There is no “legal rate of interest” in Mississippi for judgments. Miss. Code Ann. § 75-17-7 allows the recovery of both prejudgment and post-judgment interest. If there is a contractual rate of interest, the contract rate will be applied. If not, the judge is given the discretion to determine the appropriate rate of interest.
Miss. Code Ann. § 75-17-7 gives courts the discretion to award simple or compound interest. In re Guardianship of Duckett, 991 So. 2d 1165, 1182 (Miss. 2008). The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that awarding post-judgment interest at the rate of one percent above the prime rate was within the chancellor’s discretion in tort suit against as underinsured motorist carrier. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Estate of Francis ex rel. Francis, 825 So. 2d 38, 50 (Miss. 2002).
Subject to certain exceptions, the legal rate for “notes, accounts and contracts” is 8% per annum, calculated according to the actuarial method. Miss. Code Ann. § 75-17-1. See also § 87-7-3 (1% per month on unpaid construction contracts).
Prejudgment interest is only available if damages are fixed and liquidated. Falkner v. Stubbs, No. 2010 CT 01664 (Miss. August 22, 2013).
The information contained in this post is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this report. Accordingly, the information in this report is provided with the understanding that the authors are not herein engaged in rendering legal, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult with your counsel or the attorneys at Holcomb Dunbar.