Windett v. Union Mut. Life Ins. Co. - 144 U.S. 581 (1892)


U.S. Supreme Court

Windett v. Union Mut. Life Ins. Co., 144 U.S. 581 (1892)

Windett v. Union Mutual Life Insurance Company

No. 253

Argued March 31, April 1, 1892

Decided April 18, 1892

144 U.S. 581

Syllabus

If a mortgagor, who has agreed by the terms of the mortgage that he will pay all taxes and that the mortgagee, in case of sale for breach of condition, shall be allowed all moneys advanced for taxes or other liens or assessments, with interest, neglects to pay taxes duly assessed, and the land is duly sold for the nonpayment of such taxes, and the validity of the deed made to the purchaser is doubtful, the mortgagee, upon a bill for foreclosure, is entitled to be allowed a sum paid by him to buy up the tax titles, exceeding the amount of unpaid taxes and interest by a very small part only of the penalties accrued.

An agreement to pay an attorney at law a retainer for professional services which are never performed is not to be implied.

In equity, to foreclose a mortgage. The mortgagor having failed to pay the taxes on the mortgaged premises, they were sold for taxes. The mortgagee bought in the tax titles from the purchaser and filed this bill to foreclose the mortgage. The mortgagor set up in reduction of the mortgage debt a claim for retainers as attorney at law of the mortgagee for services never performed, and further contested the allowance of the amount paid by the mortgagee to acquire the tax titles, on the ground that the sales were void by reason of noncompliance with the provisions of the Statutes of Illinois in this respect. The master allowed the sum paid for the acquisition of the tax titles, and disallowed the amounts claimed for retainer, allowing only amounts for services actually performed. From the decree rendered on that basis the defendant appealed.

Page 144 U. S. 582



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