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De Leon v. Aldrete - 398 S.W.2d 160 (Tex. Civ. App. 1965)

Rule:

The rule which makes the right of the purchaser depend on the equities of each case leaves room for the consideration of all relevant factors, especially the all-important considerations of the amount which the purchaser has paid and the extent to which the vendor has been injured by the breach. Unless it appears that the amount paid by the purchaser exceeds the injury suffered by the vendor, restitution will not be allowed. In no event will the vendor go uncompensated for his injury. 

Facts:

A married couple, Dario and Felicitas De Leon (De Leon) and Cristobal P. Aldrete entered into a written contract wherein Aldrete agreed to purchase a tract of land from De Leon. Terms regarding amount, manner, and due dates were specifically contracted. Aldrete never made a payment on time and failed to render final payment in compliance with the terms of the contract. De Leon, by warranty deed, conveyed the subject land to another purchaser for cash in an amount less than that contracted for with Aldrete. The trial court entered judgment for Aldrete in the amount represented by the total payments that Aldrete had made under the contract, with interest thereon from the date of the conveyance to the bona fide purchaser to the date of judgment. De Leon argued that the trial court erred in allowing Aldrete to recover total installments paid and interest thereon. 

Issue:

Did the trial court err in allowing Aldrete to recover total installments paid and interest thereon?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court agreed that the trial court erred in allowing Aldrete to recover total installments paid and interest thereon. The court modified the judgment amount and held that De Leon was entitled to retain, as compensation for the damages resulting from Aldrete’s breach, the difference between the amount received from the second conveyance and the amount contracted for with Aldrete.

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