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Matcha v. Wachs

Supreme Court of Arizona
646 P.2d 263 (1982)


Facts

Schulz owned property in Arizona that was encumbered by several liens. First National Mortgage Association (First National) held the most senior lien, followed by Robert Wachs (defendant), who held a deed of trust in the amount of $628,648. Lanyon’s Law Service was next in priority, followed by Michael and Janet Matcha (plaintiffs), who held a $2,581.35 judgment lien assigned to them by a law firm. Schulz defaulted on the mortgage, and the property was sold to First National at a public foreclosure sale. Under Arizona law, junior lienholders had the right to redeem the property, in the order of lienholder priority, within five days after the owner’s six-month right to redeem. During the six months following the sale, while Schulz’s redemption period was running, Wachs filed notice of his intent to redeem, specifying the amount of the lien and the order of the lien’s priority. Wachs did not attach a certified copy of the lien as required by statute, but served the copy within the five days permitted for a lienholder to redeem. The Matchas brought an action for a declaratory judgment, alleging that the Matchas were entitled to redeem the property and that Wachs forfeited that right by failing to comply with the Arizona statute. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Matchas, holding that because Wachs did not comply with the redemption statutes, Wachs did not perfect the right to redeem. The appeals court reversed, finding that Wachs had substantially complied with the redemption statutes and had properly redeemed the property. The Arizona Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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