Moffatt v. Wyman

Full title: MOFFATT v. WYMAN

Court: Supreme Court of Arkansas

No. 5-109

Date published: Jun 29, 1953

Facts:

  • L. A. Wyman and his wife, appellees, were facing foreclosure on their 40-acre homestead in 1950.
  • E. W. Moffatt, the appellant, offered to assist the appellees in saving their homestead by lending them money.
  • After negotiations, on March 28, 1950, the appellees executed a warranty deed conveying the land to the appellant.
  • On the same date, a written contract was made between Wyman and the appellant, stipulating that Wyman could repurchase the land for $1,615 by December 1, 1950, with possession retained by Wyman until that date. Time was declared to be of the essence.
  • The contract also stated that Wyman must exercise the right to repurchase by December 1, 1950.
  • The appellant collected $1,000 from an insurance policy after a combination home and store building on the land was destroyed by fire in May 1951.

Issues:

  • Whether the evidence supported an alleged extension of time for payment and the amount necessary for appellees to redeem the land.
  • Whether the appellant’s right to insist on a forfeiture for non-payment by December 1, 1950, was waived.
  • Whether the transaction should be treated as a mortgage or as a specific performance of the repurchase contract.

Decision:

The court affirmed the chancellor’s decision.

  • The court found that there was sufficient evidence to support an extension agreement for the time of payment and a waiver by the appellant of his right to insist on a forfeiture.
  • Even if the transaction was not intended as a mortgage, the appellant, by entering into the extension agreement and accepting weekly payments, waived his right to insist on a forfeiture.
  • The chancellor’s finding as to the amount required to redeem the land was supported by the evidence, whether the suit was treated as one to redeem from a mortgage or for specific performance of the repurchase agreement.

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