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In re Martin

Oklahoma Supreme Court
875 P.2d 417 (1994)


Facts

John R. and Elsie B. Martin (debtors) were bankrupt and unable to pay the secured debts they owed Oklahoma Bank & Trust Company (bank), the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), and a state agency (creditors). The bank held liens on the Martins' farm and mineral rights, but the combined worth of those assets was insufficient to cover the Martins' large debt to the bank. The SBA held the sole lien on the Martins' homestead and a junior lien on the couple's farm. Either of these assets was sufficient to satisfy the SBA's claim against the Martins. The bank contended that the SBA should marshal assets solely from the Martins' homestead, leaving the farm fully available to help satisfy the bank's claim. However, the Martins objected on the grounds that Oklahoma law prohibited the bank from forcing the sale of their homestead. The federal bankruptcy court asked for the Supreme Court of Oklahoma's interpretation of the applicable law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Simms, J.)

Dissent (Hodges, C.J.)

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