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Vonk v. Dunn

775 P.2d 1088, 161 Ariz. 24 (1989)

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Vonk v. Dunn

Arizona Supreme Court

775 P.2d 1088, 161 Ariz. 24 (1989)

Facts

David and Romaine Vonk (plaintiffs) sold 160 acres to Jess, Juanita, and Frank Dunn (defendants) through a $4,000 down payment and a promissory note for the remaining $24,000 balance secured by a mortgage on the property. The note included an acceleration clause that required the Dunns to pay the full remaining balance of the note if a mortgage or tax payment was not paid on time. The Vonks received a letter from the bank that the Dunns’ mortgage-payment check was being returned for insufficient funds. The Vonks’ attorney discovered that the Dunns were also behind one month in property taxes and started a foreclosure action without notifying the Dunns. The tax bill’s balance was $66, and the county treasurer had not yet sent the Dunns a letter notifying the Dunns of the unpaid balance. By this point, the Dunns had paid almost 35 percent of the mortgage’s balance. After the bank sent a letter to the Vonks admitting that their first letter was a mistake, the Vonks offered to drop the foreclosure if the Dunns paid the Vonks’ attorney’s fees. The Dunns rejected this offer because they believed that a phone call or other notice about the mistaken letter would have avoided the foreclosure proceeding. The foreclosure proceeding continued, and the trial court granted summary judgment to the Vonks because the note contained the acceleration provision and the Dunns’ payments were late. The court of appeals affirmed this holding. The Dunns appealed again and argued that the foreclosure was oppressive and unconscionable.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, J.)

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