Oct 26 2015

Trial Verdict 2015-29: Springfield Partner Brad Martin

Springfield Partner Brad Martin obtained a directed verdict after a half day of trial testimony in a case involving a bank’s attempt to reform a reverse mortgage and claim unjust enrichment.

An elderly widower had his estate lawyer prepare and record a deed to his children while reserving a life estate. He applied for a reverse mortgage after the deed to his children was recorded and advised the bank that he only had a life estate. The bank approved the reverse mortgage but failed to obtain the signatures of the remainder men. After the bank extended a significant amount of money to the borrower, he died and the property passed to his children. The bank refused to discharge the mortgage and sought reformation of the mortgage based on mutual mistake and claimed unjust enrichment.

The court, after hearing the plaintiff's case, entered judgment for our clients from the bench, concluding there was no mutual mistake and finding that the bank had not met its burden of proof regarding unjust enrichment. Brad was assisted by his assistant and several law clerks throughout the case; as well as attorneys Tom Bacon and Jennifer Rymarski, who handled one of the critical depositions.

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