Koenig v. Van Reken
Michigan Court of Appeals
279 N.W.2d 590 (Mich. Ct. App. 1979)
Koenig (plaintiff) owned a home subject to three mortgages and she became delinquent on her property taxes. Foreclosure proceedings also began on one of the mortgages. Van Reken (defendant) convinced Koenig that for a fee, he could service the mortgages and pay the delinquent taxes. The parties agreed that Van Reken would purchase the property at about half of the market value, free the property from the foreclosure proceedings and outstanding taxes, and then give Koenig the exclusive right to repurchase it. This right to repurchase was subject to a lease-option agreement under which Van Reken leased the home to Koenig for a monthly rent. Subsequently, Koenig defaulted on a monthly rental payment and Van Reken evicted her from the home. Koenig brought suit for a declaratory judgment that the deed sold to Van Reken was an equitable mortgage.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, P.J.)
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