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Equity Savings and Loan Association v. Chicago Title Insurance Co.

190 N.J. Super. 340 (1983)

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Equity Savings and Loan Association v. Chicago Title Insurance Co.

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division

190 N.J. Super. 340 (1983)

Facts

Harvey Goldberg owned a property with two mortgages on it. The first mortgage was held by Philip Raben in the amount of $12,000, and the second was held by Valley Savings and Loan Association in the amount of $40,000. Goldberg later obtained a subordination of the Raben mortgage in order to get a third mortgage, for $48,000 from Equity Savings and Loan Association (plaintiff). Goldberg falsely certified to Equity that the Valley mortgage had been cancelled. About a year later, Goldberg obtained yet another mortgage, in the amount of $54,000 from Spencer Savings and Loan Association. Goldberg lied to Spencer about the Equity and Raben mortgages and used the proceeds to pay off the original Valley mortgage. After the additional loans were discovered by the lenders, Chicago Title Insurance Co. (defendant) paid Spencer, was assigned Spencer’s mortgage interest, and purchased Raben’s mortgage. Based on the standard operation of securities, the order of priority would be Equity, Chicago (through Raben), and Chicago (through Spencer). Equity filed suit, and Chicago asserted a superior interest through remedial subrogation, also known as subrogation by equitable assignment. The trial court determined that the equities were equally balanced and ruled that Equity had first priority. Chicago appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brody, J.)

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