COA: Mortgage lien holder has priority

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The Indiana Court of Appeals determined today that two contractors with mechanic's liens did not have priority over the mortgage lien held by the bank in a foreclosure action, discussing a law in a ruling for only the second time since it was enacted in 1999.

At issue in Harold McComb & Son, Inc. and American Renovations of Indiana, Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, No. 02A04-0802-CV-60, is whether Harold McComb & Son and American Renovations of Indiana, who held mechanic's liens on work they did as general contractors on a property JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on, should have priority over Chase's mortgage lien.

In a consolidated action, the trial court granted partial summary judgment to Chase, finding Harold McComb had no legal standing to challenge Chase's foreclosure action because it wasn't party to the construction loan agreement or the note between Chase and the commercial property owner.

But the general contractors believed the trial court erred in its prioritizing of the liens of the parties, granting Chase priority over the mechanic's liens.

The Court of Appeals examined Indiana Code Section 32-28-3-5(d), which the General Assembly passed in 1999 to fill a statutory gap identified by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1910 regarding mechanic's liens. The appellate court looked to Judge John Sharpnack's dissent in Provident Bank v. Tri-County Southside Asphalt, Inc., 804 N.E.2d 161, 163 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004) - which is the only other time the Court of Appeals has discussed that section of Indiana Code - and determined the judge's discussion of the section was correct, wrote Judge Patricia Riley.

Because the statutes in existence when Ward v. Yarnelle, 173 Ind. 535, 91 N.E. 7 (1910), was decided didn't address the lien priority between a mortgage executed to raise funds for construction of improvements on a property and the mechanic's liens of those who provided the labor and supplies, the General Assembly adopted Section (d) to say that when the funds from the loan secured by the mortgage are for the project that gave rise to the mechanic's lien, then the mortgage lien has priority over the mechanic's liens recorded after the mortgage, wrote Judge Riley citing Judge Sharpnack's dissent.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.