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ARNDT v. MATZ (05/22/50)

May 22, 1950

ARNDT, APPELLANT,
v.
MATZ



Appeal, No. 130, Jan. T., 1950, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, 1948, in Equity, No. 2255, in case of Wilson I. Arndt v. Gertrude R. Matz. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert Grey Bushong, for appellant.

James F. Marx, with him M. Bernard Hoffman, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Jones and Bell, JJ.

Author: Drew

[ 365 Pa. Page 42]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE DREW

Wilson I. Arndt, plaintiff, seeks by this bill in equity to have a resulting trust established in certain real estate title to which is in the name of Gertrude R. Matz, defendant, and further seeks to compel defendant to convey that property to plaintiff. After hearing testimony and arguments, the learned court below entered a decree dismissing the bill and plaintiff now appeals.

In January, 1945, plaintiff was negotiating for the purchase of 1057-59 North Ninth Street in the City of Reading, which premises he was then occupying as a tenant. Lacking sufficient ready cash to complete the transaction plaintiff approached John W. Matz, defendant's husband, and asked him to purchase the property and hold it for plaintiff until he could obtain sufficient

[ 365 Pa. Page 43]

    funds to pay Matz the amount of the consideration plus any expenses incurred by Matz. Matz orally agreed and on February 23, 1945, took title in his own and his wife's names as tenants by the entireties, paying $4500 in cash and giving a mortgage for $5000 to one Clara L. Donnini. On July 11, 1945, plaintiff told Matz that he was ready to take over the property, but on July 18, 1945, before anything was done in that connection, Matz died. On his death title passed automatically to defendant who had no knowledge of any such agreement between her husband and plaintiff.

In addition to the above facts, the learned chancellor also found that there was no evidence that the transaction between Matz and plaintiff created a debt, that there was no fiduciary relationship between them, and that there was no fraud alleged or proved. From those facts the chancellor concluded that no resulting trust existed and that the oral agreement between Matz and plaintiff was unenforceable because of the Statute of Frauds.*fn1

Plaintiff's claim for a resulting trust is based solely on the contention that Matz loaned the money to plaintiff and took title only as security.

A resulting trust arises where the trustee purchases property with his own money if in fact that money is advanced as a loan to the cestui que trust: Gates v. Keichline, 282 Pa. 584, 128 A. 490; Jennings v. Everett, 161 Pa. Superior Ct. 443, 55 A.2d 569. On the other hand, if the agreement is nothing more than an oral contract for the sale of real estate it is unenforceable unless there are additional circumstances present to take it out of the operation of the Statute of ...


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