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Murphy v. Financial Development Corp.

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
495 A.2d 1245 (1985)


Facts

Richard and Beatrice Murphy (plaintiffs) refinanced their mortgage with Financial Development Corporation (defendant), who assigned it to Colonial Deposit Company (defendant). The house was appraised at $46,000. Richard Murphy lost his job, and the Murphys wound up behind on payments. The defendants advised the Murphys of their intent to foreclose. The Murphys paid off the arrearage but not the fees. At the Murphys’ request, the defendants delayed the sale, but the Murphys were unable pay in time. The defendants provided the required legal notice of the foreclosure sale but did not otherwise advertise. The defendants did not publicize the postponement or have the house re-appraised. The only bidder at the sale was a representative of the defendants, who bid $27,000 on the house—just enough to cover the debt. The bid was accepted. Later that day, the defendants refused an offer to buy the property for $27,000. The defendants countered at $40,000 and sold the house for $38,000 two days later. The Murphys sued to set aside the sale or for money damages. The trial court, adopting the findings of a master, concluded that the defendants had acted in bad faith and failed to exercise due diligence in the sale. The court awarded the Murphys $27,000, the difference between the fair market value of the house, $54,000, and the foreclosure sale price. The defendants appealed to the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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