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Barber v. Jacobs

Connecticut Court of Appeals
753 A.2d 430 (2000)


Barber (plaintiff) and his family planned to move from Toronto, Canada to Connecticut. Barber and his wife viewed property owned by Robert and Linda Jacobs (defendants) on April 19, 1994. They offered to purchase the property on May 25, 1994, and requested a wetlands inspection on the property. The parties entered into a purchase contract with a closing date of August 8, 1994. The contract included a mortgage contingency clause, which conditioned the transaction upon Barber’s ability to secure a mortgage on the property. Barber also paid a ten percent deposit in the amount of $327,000, which was held in escrow by Irwin K. Liu, the Jacobs’ attorney. Barber applied for a mortgage from the Putnam Trust Company of Greenwich (bank). The bank initially approved the loan but did not give Barber a formal mortgage commitment. Subsequently, Robert Hartch, attorney to both Barber and the bank, reviewed the property’s inland wetlands file and found that the property was in violation of agency regulations. Hartch found that the issue would be a serious obstacle to obtaining a loan, and disclosed this information to both Barber and the bank. The bank reversed its loan approval and issued a denial. Hartch requested that the Jacobs return Barber’s deposit. The Jacobs refused. Barber filed an action for interpleader, seeking a determination of the rights to the deposit. The trial court found that Barber made sufficient reasonable efforts to secure a mortgage.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Daly, J.)

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