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Ruling in Bankruptcy Case Interprets Amendments to Indiana's Recording Statute

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By FindLaw Staff on February 22, 2010 11:46 AM

In Miller v. LaSalle Bank Nat'l Ass'n, No. 09-3013, the Seventh Circuit was required to interpret the legislative intent of a provision in the  2007 Amendment relating to recoding statutes, arising from an underlying bankruptcy proceeding involving a trustee's purchase of debtor's property with a recorded mortgage containing a technical defect.

As stated in the decision: "Given the obvious ambiguity in the 2007 Amendment, and the apparent activity of the bankruptcy trustees in aggressively seeking to avoid mortgages on technical grounds even after the 2007 Amendment, we hold that the 2008 Amendment did not change the meaning of the statute as amended in 2007, but merely clarified it to effectuate the legislature's intent in 2007.

Thus, the court concluded that since the 2007 Amendment is ambiguous, considering the legislative intent as shown by the 2008 Amendment that quickly clarified that the provision applied to all mortgages, the legislature likely intended the 2007 Amendment to apply to all mortgages, whenever filed.

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