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Smith v. Dickinson

Filed: May 4, 1982.

LANTY L. SMITH AND MARGARET C. SMITH
v.
GERALD M. DICKINSON V. MARY LOUISE DICKINSON



Appeal by defendant and third-party plaintiff from Collier, Judge. Judgment entered 13 May 1981 in Superior Court, Guilford County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 2 April 1982.

Hill, Judge. Judges Wells and Becton concur.

Hill

On 29 May 1980, defendant and third-party plaintiff [hereinafter referred to as husband] learned that he was going to move to Greensboro from his home in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He and third-party defendant [hereinafter referred to as wife] began looking for a house in Greensboro on approximately 7 July.

Together they selected a house owned by plaintiffs at 3100 St. Regis Road, and wife returned to Pennsylvania on 9 July.

On 11 July 1980, husband applied for a conventional residential mortgage loan in the principal amount of $150,000 at Gate City Savings and Loan Association. The loan application shows that title to the property at 3100 St. Regis Road would be held in husband's name only, but husband and wife were listed as co-borrowers. While completing the loan application, husband was informed by the loan officer that although he could hold title individually, his wife also must sign the deed of trust. Husband did not indicate at that time that he would have any problem securing his wife's signature on the deed of trust.

Husband and plaintiffs executed an offer to purchase the property on 14 July, and husband paid $15,000 as earnest money to be held in escrow. The following provisions of the offer pertinent to this appeal are as follows:

This offer is conditioned upon: Buyer securing a conventional loan. . . . Buyer agrees to use his best efforts to secure subject loan and to pay the usual costs in connection therewith. However, in the event Buyer is unable to obtain a loan commitment as herein described on or before July 18, 1980 this agreement (at the option of the seller) shall be considered null and void and earnest money returned to buyer.

The deed to the Property shall be made to Gerald Milton Dickinson.

Gate City Savings and Loan Association approved husband's loan application on 18 July 1980 and began preparing the appropriate papers. Meanwhile, husband's family, assisted by wife, prepared to move to Greensboro. On 15 August, the loan papers were delivered to husband with an attached memo requesting

wife's signature where indicated so that closing could occur on 28 August.

However, on 25 August, without warning or notice to husband, wife filed for divorce in Pennsylvania and sought to enjoin husband from removing any personal property from their home in Lititz. Wife then informed husband that she did not intend to sign the loan papers. Late on 27 August, Gate City Savings and Loan Association was informed of ...


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