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First Properties, LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank

993 So. 2d 438 (2008)

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First Properties, LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank

Alabama Supreme Court

993 So. 2d 438 (2008)

Facts

In 1998, the Jefferson County fire district foreclosed on a property on account of the failure of the owner, Ruthia Dumas, to pay for fire-protection services. The fire district bought the property at the foreclosure sale. The fire district recorded a deed to the property listing the fire district as both the grantor and grantee. The deed did not identify Dumas as the owner of record. In 1999, Dumas, who continued to reside at the property after foreclosure, obtained a mortgage on the property. On July 31, 2004, JPMorgan Chase Bank (plaintiff) was assigned Dumas’s mortgage. On December 18, 2004, the fire district sold the property via quitclaim deed to First Properties, LLC (defendant). This deed did list Dumas as the owner of record before the foreclosure sale. JPMorgan filed suit seeking a declaratory ruling that it was a bona fide purchaser for value because it did not have notice of the fire district’s and First Properties’s claims to the property. The trial court ruled in favor of JPMorgan. First Properties appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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