Nielsen v. Woods

687 P.2d 486 (Colo. App. 1984)

 

RULE:

An action to quiet title is an action in equity. A court of equity will grant relief against forfeiture of land for condition broken when the breach is not gross or willful, is for the performance of an act, and the thing to be done may be done afterwards so as to put the party seeking forfeiture precisely in the same situation as he would have been but for the breach. Thus, equity will not enforce a forfeiture if the party insisting upon it may be made whole otherwise. And, the granting of equitable relief rests in the sound discretion of the court.

FACTS:
 
 

Plaintiff seller owned property that he purchased with a Veteran's Administration (VA) loan. His sale of the property to a purchaser was conditioned on the refinancing of the loan within two years to restore his VA eligibility. The successor in interest tried but was unable to refinance the property within that time. The district court found that a forfeiture should not be declared because the title insurance company was ready, willing, and able to liquidate the balance of the VA loan and restore the seller's VA loan eligibility. The district court also found that the seller failed to establish damage resulting from the delay in the restoration of his VA loan eligibility. On appeal, the court affirmed.
ISSUE:

Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff the relief of forfeiture against defendant?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:
The seller conveyed a fee simple subject to a right of entry for condition.  Because restoration of the VA loan eligibility by the title insurance company made him whole, he was not entitled to a forfeiture.  Forfeitures, abhorrent to the law, are construed strictly. 
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