Court: Statute also protects would-be owner

Appellate ruling says actual occupancy of home is not necessary

A would-be homeowner has the same right to walk away from a mortgage as someone who already is living in the house, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled.

The judges acknowledged that laws which bar lenders from pursuing borrowers for the difference between what the property is worth and the amount owed is reserved under state law for owner-occupied premises. And in this case the borrowers never actually moved in.

But Judge Patrick Irvine, writing for the unanimous court, said it is clear that Trevis and Lisa Mueller did intend to move in.

It was only when construction problems developed, Irvine said, that the couple decided to walk away from the home and the mortgage. That , Irvine said, gives them the protections of the law.

Rest here…

Copy of the ruling below…



M & I vs. Mueller