Periods of economic depression, to a far greater degree than more prosperous times, bring into sharp conflict the competing interests of debtor and creditor. This conflict becomes especially apparent in the field of mortgage law. The mortgagee-creditor wants to enforce payment of the debt according to the terms of the contract, taking advantage of the security for which he bargained. The mortgagor-debtor is anxious to protect, if possible, his own investment in the mortgaged property. Because of the vast number of cases which occurred during the 1930's in which it appeared unduly harsh and inequitable to accord mortgagees their traditional privileges and remedies, steps were taken to relieve these hardships. In some cases, the demand for relief was met directly by judicial adaptation to the unusual circumstances. Broad equitable principles and powers were invoked to prevent enforcement of the mortgage in a situation which seemed unfair to the debtor. In other states, however, the courts refused special relief for mortgagors; then, frequently, state legislatures came to their aid. It is with these legislative solutions that this comment will deal, with the purpose of discovering to what extent this "depression jurisprudence" has become a permanent part of our mortgage law.
John F. Buchman, III S.Ed.,
MORTGAGES--"DEPRESSION JURISPRUDENCE" --REMAINING EFFECTS IN STATUTORY LAW,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss2/8