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Home Bldg. & Loan Asso. v. Blaisdell

Supreme Court of the United States

November 8, 9, 1933, Argued ; January 8, 1934, Decided

No. 370


 [*415]   [**231]   [***417]  MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

Appellant contests the validity of Chapter 339 of the Laws of Minnesota of 1933, p. 514, approved April 18, 1933, called the Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium Law,  [*416]  as being repugnant to the contract clause (Art. I, § 10) and the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, of the Federal Constitution. The statute was sustained by the Supreme Court of Minnesota, 189 Minn. 422, 448; 249 N. W. 334, 893, and the case comes here on appeal.

 [**232]   [****32]  ] The Act provides that, during the emergency declared to exist, relief may be had through authorized judicial proceedings with respect to foreclosures of mortgages, and execution sales, of real estate; that sales may be postponed and periods of redemption may be extended. The Act does not apply to mortgages subsequently made nor to those made previously which shall be extended for a period ending more than a year after the passage of the Act (Part One, § 8). There are separate provisions in Part Two relating to homesteads, but these are to apply "only to cases not entitled to relief under some valid provision of Part One." The Act is to remain in effect "only during the continuance of the emergency and in no event beyond May 1, 1935." No extension of the period for redemption and no postponement of sale is to be allowed which would have the effect of extending the period of redemption beyond that date. Part Two, § 8.

] The Act declares that the various provisions for relief are severable; that each is to stand on its own footing with respect to validity. Part One, § 9. We are here concerned [****33]  with the provisions of Part One, § 4, authorizing the District Court of the county to extend the period of redemption from foreclosure sales "for such additional time as the court may deem just and equitable," subject to the above described limitation. The extension is to be made upon application to the court, on notice, for an order determining the reasonable value of the income on the property involved in the sale, or if it has no income, then the reasonable rental value of the property, and directing the mortgagor "to pay all or a reasonable part of such  [*417]  income or rental value, in or toward the payment of taxes, insurance, interest, mortgage . . . indebtedness at such times and in such manner" as shall be determined by the court. 1  [***418]  ] The section also provides that the time for redemption  [*418]  from foreclosure sales theretofore made, which otherwise would expire less than thirty days after the approval of the Act shall be extended to a date thirty days after its approval, and application may be made to the court within that time for a further extension as provided [****34]  in the section. By another provision of the Act, no action, prior to May 1, 1935, may be maintained for a deficiency judgment until the period of redemption as allowed by existing law or as extended under the provisions of the Act has expired. Prior to the expiration of the extended period of redemption the court may revise or alter the terms of the extension as changed circumstances may require. Part One, § 5.

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290 U.S. 398 *; 54 S. Ct. 231 **; 78 L. Ed. 413 ***; 1934 U.S. LEXIS 958 ****; 88 A.L.R. 1481



APPEAL from a judgment which affirmed an order extending the period of redemption from a foreclosure and sale of real property under a power of sale mortgage. The statute through which this relief was sought by the mortgagors was at first adjudged to be unconstitutional by the trial court; but this was reversed by the state supreme court. The present appeal, by the mortgagee, is from the second decision of that court, sustaining the trial court's final order.

Disposition:  189 Minn. 422, 448; 249 N. W. 334, 893, affirmed.


emergency, contracts, mortgage, impairing, conditions, contractual obligation, redemption period, cases, redemption, mortgagor, state power, circumstances, decisions, destroy, postponement, rental value, expired, Wheat, taxes, impairment of contract, Convention, provisions, parties, constitutional provision, two year, temporary, words, contract clause, equitable, declares

Real Property Law, Financing, Foreclosures, General Overview, Mortgages & Other Security Instruments, Redemptions, Deficiency Judgments, Business & Corporate Compliance, Business & Corporate Law, Cooperatives, Formation, Constitutional Law, Congressional Duties & Powers, Contracts Clause, Application & Interpretation, War Powers Clause, Governments, Police Powers, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Executory Contracts, Contracts Law, Contract Modifications, State & Territorial Governments, Legislatures, Water Rights, Riparian Rights, Torts, Contracts, Intentional Interference, Defenses, Reserved Powers