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Mortgage can be equitably reformed because of mutual mistake

July 10th, 2014 by Joseph William Singer

In a classic application of a traditional doctrine of contract law, the Massachusetts Land Court allowed a mortgage document to be reformed because of mutual mistake. Citibank, N.A. v. Heywood, 2014 WL 2158409 (Mass. Land Ct. 2014). While courts are very reluctant to amend written property documents or contracts because of unilateral mistake, it is standard practice to ignore the written terms of the agreement, despite the statute of frauds, when the evidence shows that it does not reflect the intent of both parties. The court noted that [A] court acting under general principles of equity jurisprudence has broad power to reform, rescind, or cancel written instruments, including mortgages, on grounds such as fraud, mistake, accident, or illegality” as long as the mistake was mutual.

Posted in Mortgages, Real estate transactions, Statute of frauds | Comments Off on Mortgage can be equitably reformed because of mutual mistake

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