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Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell

Law Dictionary
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Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 290 U.S. 398, 54 S. Ct. 231, 78 L. Ed. 413, 1934 U.S. 958.

Brief Fact Summary. As an emergency measure, during the Great Depression, Minnesota passed a law that modified lender’s contractual rights of foreclosure with their debtors. The constitutionality of the law was brought into question.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A State action that impairs a private contract is not valid unless it is reasonably related to the achievement of a legitimate State end.


Facts. In the midst of the Great Depression, Minnesota passed a law declaring an emergency and saying that during the emergency period courts could extend the time periods in which mortgagers could pay back their debts to their lenders. Pursuant to the statute, Blaisdell’s period of redemption was extended, unquestionably modifying the lender’s contractual rights of foreclosure. The constitutionality of the law was brought into question.

Issue. Did the Minnesota law violate the provision of the United States Constitution which prohibits a state from impairing the obligations of contracts?
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