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Howard Savings Bank v. Brunson

New Jersey Superior Court
582 A.2d 1305 (1990)


Facts

In January 1986, Burl Brunson (defendant) purchased a parcel of property. The deed was properly recorded and indexed. In March 1986, Brunson borrowed $50,000 from Howard Savings Bank (Howard) (plaintiff). This loan was secured by a mortgage which was properly recorded right away. However, the mortgage was not properly indexed until February 1988. In October 1987, before the Howard mortgage was properly indexed, Jesus and Celeste Ijalba (defendants), purchased the property from Brunson. The deed from Brunson to the Ijalbas was executed and delivered. The Ijalbas then executed a mortgage for the property to Chrysler First Financial Services Corporation (Chrysler). The Chrysler mortgage was properly recorded. Brunson had signed an affidavit swearing that he had not allowed the creation of any legal interest that would affect the ownership or use of the property. Based on this affidavit and a thorough title search, Chrysler procured a title insurance policy for the property. In May 1988, Howard brought a foreclosure action against the Ijalbas and Chrysler. Howard claimed that the proceeds of Brunson’s sale to the Ijalbas had not been applied to Howard’s mortgage, and that Howard’s mortgage held priority over all other property encumbrances.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Margolis, J.)

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