Sunday, April 28, 2013

Harms v. Sprague case brief

Harms v. Sprague case brief
473 N.E.2d 930

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendants appealed a judgment of the Appellate Court for the Fourth District (Illinois) that reversed a judgment in their favor in an action to quiet title.

FACTS: Plaintiff owned property with his brother in joint tenancy. During his lifetime, plaintiff's brother mortgaged his interest in the property to defendants. Upon his brother's death, plaintiff brought an action against defendants to quiet title. Trial court judgment in favor of defendants was reversed on appeal, and defendants appealed.

The court affirmed on the grounds that the joint tenancy was not severed when plaintiff's brother mortgaged his interest, because a mortgage is only a lien and does not destroy the unity of title.

Further, the court held that the mortgage did not survive plaintiff's brother's death, because the lien, along with his interest, extinguished upon his death.

CONCLUSION: Judgment affirmed on the grounds that mortgage did not sever joint tenancy, and mortgage lien, like property interest, did not survive plaintiff's brother's death.
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