Ryan v. Weiner

610 A.2d 1377 (1992)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Ryan v. Weiner

Delaware Court of Chancery
610 A.2d 1377 (1992)

Play video


Robert Ryan (plaintiff) was a 69-year-old retired laborer with a ninth-grade education. In 1971, Ryan and his wife purchased a home for $8,600 using a loan secured by a mortgage. After making payments for 12 years, Ryan fell into arrears. The mortgage lender instituted foreclosure proceedings and obtained a default judgment against Ryan. A sheriff’s sale was scheduled for June 1984. The fair market value of Ryan’s house was $19,800, and the balance of the mortgage was $7,800, meaning that Ryan had approximately $12,000 in equity. Norman Weiner (defendant), a licensed real estate broker, went to Ryan’s home unsolicited in May 1984. Ryan believed that Weiner was offering to lend him money to pay off his arrears, with the loan to be secured by the house. Early the next morning, Weiner took Ryan to Weiner’s lawyer to sign documents. The documents were not explained to Ryan, and Ryan was not advised of the right to seek legal advice. Ryan believed he was signing loan documents, but in fact, he signed a deed transferring his house to Weiner outright. The deed stated that Ryan received $7,000 in consideration, but Weiner never gave Ryan any cash, nor did Weiner pay off the outstanding mortgage or satisfy the default judgment against Ryan. Thus, Weiner obtained ownership of Ryan’s house, while Ryan received nothing of financial value and remained personally liable for the mortgage. Ryan remained in the home as a tenant, paying Weiner monthly rent. Weiner made the monthly mortgage payments. The rent was initially similar to the mortgage payments. However, Weiner raised the rent substantially over seven years, while the mortgage payments increased only slightly. By May 1991, Ryan believed he had paid Weiner more than the total of the outstanding mortgage and the amount of Weiner’s so-called loan. Ryan therefore stopped making payments. Weiner commenced a summary proceeding in the justice-of-peace court to evict Ryan. That court stayed the proceeding so the Delaware Court of Chancery could first determine whether the deed to Weiner should be canceled.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Allen, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 744,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 744,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 987 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 744,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 987 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership