Brief Fact Summary. Petitioner’s husband died and she was the executrix and sole beneficiary of his will. Her husband owned an apartment building subject to a mortgage. Petitioner contracted with the mortagee to continue to operate the property and remit the net rental to mortgagee.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Gain from the sale or disposition of property is the excess of the amount realized from the sale over the adjusted basis.
Petitioner concedes that if she had been personally liable on the mortgage and the purchaser had either paid or assumed it, the amount so paid or assumed would be considered a part of the amount realized within the meaning of § 111 (b).View Full Point of Law
Issue. Should the property be considered equity with a zero basis or was the value of the property the actual value undiminished by the mortgage?
Held. Chief Justice Vinson issued the opinion for the Supreme Court of the United States in affirming the lower court and holding that the proper basis is the value of the property undiminished by the mortgage.
Dissent. Justice Jackson issued a dissenting opinion arguing that she acquired a right to property equal to that of equity, and she sold the equity
Discussion. The Supreme Court examined the ordinary meaning of property and found that it included the physical thing which is subject to ownership or the aggregate of the owner’s rights to control and dispose of it. The Court found that Congress did not intend for “property” to mean “equity.”