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UNION JOINT STOCK LAND BANK OF DETROIT v. BYERS

January 6, 1938

UNION JOINT STOCK LAND BANK OF DETROIT, MICH.,
v.
BYERS et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCVICAR

Robert S. Byers died intestate, June 26, 1914, seized of a tract of land situate in Franklin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. His heirs were his widow and twelve children, in whom said tract vested under the Intestate Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

August 22, 1918, the heirs, including the widow, sold and conveyed their interest by deed, in the aforesaid tract of land, to one of the heirs, Thomas Benjamin Byers, for a consideration of $7,000, subject to a dower charge of $2,333.34, the interest to be paid annually to the widow during her natural lifetime, and the principal at her death, to those legally entitled thereto.

 September 30, 1918, Thomas Benjamin Byers and his wife procured a mortgage from George Work in the sum of $4,200, for the purpose of financing the purchase aforesaid, which mortgage was duly recorded in the Recorder's Office of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The widow and heirs executed a paper postponing the dower charge in favor of said mortgage.

 The widow died October 24, 1925.

 June 30, 1931, the Ohio-Pennsylvania Joint Land Bank of Cleveland assigned the aforesaid mortgage to the plaintiff, the Union Joint Stock Land Bank of Detroit, Michigan.

 February 8, 1932, in a proceeding in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the heirs caused a judgment to be entered against Thomas Benjamin Byers for the amount of the dower charge, $2,333.34 and interest.

 February 15, 1932, plaintiff caused judgment to be entered on the note accompanying its mortgage.

 April 5, 1932, Thomas Benjamin Byers filed a petition and was adjudicated a voluntary bankrupt by this court.

 The Trustee in Bankruptcy, under direction of this court, sold and delivered a deed to plaintiff for said tract of land, the conveyance being made subject to said dower charge.

 April 10, 1935, the plaintiffs in the action in Fayette County on the aforesaid dower charge, issued a writ of Levari Facias for the purpose of selling the aforesaid tract of land.

 This court, by Judge Schoonmaker, in this suit granted a preliminary injunction. This court, also, by the same judge, refused the motion to dismiss the bill.A hearing was held and the facts were found as hereinbefore set forth.

 Plaintiff contends that the lien of the dower charge aforesaid was discharged by the sale in bankruptcy. In the proceedings culminating in the sale, it was expressly provided that the land should be sold, discharged of all liens, excepting said dower charge; and in the deed of the trustee to the purchaser, plaintiff, it was expressly stated that the sale was made "subject to a dower charge of $2333.34 as reserved in a deed from Caroline Byers et al to Thomas Benjamin Byers, recorded in the Recorder's Office of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in Deed Book Vol. 374, page 340." It is evident, therefore, that it was not the intention in the bankruptcy proceedings to sell the property free and discharged of the lien of the dower charge, but on the contrary, that the dower charge should remain a charge against said land. Plaintiff and its predecessor, the Ohio-Pennsylvania Joint Stock Land Bank of Cleveland, recognized the dower charge as a lien after the death of the widow. They endeavored to procure a quit claim deed from the heirs, and failing in that, they attempted to procure ...


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