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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
February 2, 1982, Argued and Submitted ; March 11, 1983, Decided
[*1344] FLETCHER, Circuit Judge:
This is an appeal from an order of the district court affirming the bankruptcy court's grant of summary judgment for the appellee Wallace Perry, the bankruptcy trustee of a bankrupt land development corporation, Cochise College Park, Inc. (Cochise). 2 The judgment relieves the trustee from liability for his actions in collecting and using payments under installment land contracts between Cochise and a nationwide class of land purchasers. We have jurisdiction under 11 U.S.C. § 47(a) (1976) (repealed 1978). We conclude that the bankruptcy court's analysis of the complex transactions [**2] involved in this case may have led to improper conclusions about the ownership of the payments received on the land sale contracts and that it applied incorrect legal standards in evaluating the trustee's alleged misconduct. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
In the late sixties, Cochise, an Arizona corporation, acquired an equity interest in several thousand acres of "barren desert land" in southwestern Arizona. DeMarco v. Security Planning Service, Inc., 462 F. Supp. 1066, [**3] 1069 (D.Ariz. 1978). Naming the area Cochise College Park, Cochise platted subdivisions of the property but made only minimal improvements, failing to provide such necessaries as roads, streets, water, and electricity. Cochise then conducted a nationwide sales campaign to induce individuals to purchase lots in the various subdivisions. The sales were almost all on the installment basis with small downpayments and five-to-eight year terms to pay the balance in monthly payments. Id.
Before its bankruptcy in mid-1972, Cochise entered into thousands of land sale contracts, in each of which Cochise promised to transfer a warranty deed to a particular real estate lot and to construct certain improvements. In return, the purchaser promised to pay sums of money at times certain. Until final payment, Cochise held on to the deed or, where the deed had been delivered prior to final payment, took a mortgage on the lot. The operative documents for each sale included a land sale contract, a promissory note, a warranty deed, and in some cases a mortgage.
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703 F.2d 1339 *; 1983 U.S. App. LEXIS 29752 **; Bankr. L. Rep. (CCH) P69,327; 1983 WL 1071499
IN RE COCHISE COLLEGE PARK, INC., Bankrupt, EMMA DeMARCO HALL, et al., Plaintiffs, and CHRISTINE BALDRIAN, et al., Intervenors-Appellants, v. WALLACE PERRY, Bankruptcy Trustee and as Ex-Receiver in Equity in Cause No. B-72-393 PHX WPC, Defendant-Appellee
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
William P. Copple, District Judge, Presiding.
Disposition: Reversed and remanded.
executory contract, executory, land sale contract, bankrupt, promissory note, contracts, purchasers, bankruptcy court, reorganization, obligations, vested, administrative expense, receive payment, filing date, lease, property of the estate, personally liable, damages, class member, ownership, mortgage, promises, executed contract, Bankruptcy Act, proceedings, leasehold, parties, deed, negligent misrepresentation, answer to an interrogatory
Contracts Law, Contract Formation, Offers, General Overview, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Executed Contracts, Types of Commercial Transactions, Negotiable Instruments, Executory Contracts, Bankruptcy Law, Administrative Powers, Executory Contracts & Unexpired Leases, Breach, Material Breach, Nonperformance, Civil Procedure, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Case Administration, Examiners, Officers & Trustees, Eligibility & Qualifications, Duties & Functions, Capacities & Roles, Standards of Performance, Creditors & Debtors, Real Property Law, Bankruptcy, Secured Claims, Powers to Assume & Reject, Time Limitations, Rejections, Anticipatory Repudiation, Bankruptcies, International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Arbitration, Discharge & Termination, Governments, Legislation, Effect & Operation, Operability, Sales, Estate, Gift & Trust Law, Trustees, Duties & Powers, Compensation, Estate Administration, Claims Against Estates, Priority of Claims, Lease Agreements, Reorganizations, Torts, Duty On Premises, Trespassers, Fiduciaries, Business Torts, Fraud & Misrepresentation