Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiffs entered into a land purchase agreement with the Defendants for sale of property to be paid in monthly installments to the Plaintiffs. Defendants defaulted and Plaintiffs sued for possession.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Upon execution of a contract for the sale of land, the vendor holds legal title in trust for the vendee and the vendee for all practical purposes is the owner of the property subject only to the terms of the contract.
Facts. In 1973, the Plaintiffs agreed to sell and the Defendants agreed to buy a single family home for the price of $15,000. The agreement provided for monthly payments over a 15-year period, with interest to the Plaintiffs who would retain title until the Defendants had paid in full. The contract gave the Plaintiffs the right to repossess the house if Defendants failed to cure a late payment within 30 days. The Defendants did default on the contract and the Plaintiffs filed this suit seeking ejectment of the Defendants. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Plaintiffs and the Defendants appealed.
Issue. What are the rights between a vendor and a defaulting vendee under a land purchase contract?