Salazar v. ThomasAnnotate this Case
Salazar was born in Mexico in 1945. He speaks little English and cannot write English. His wife attended school through the second grade. She does not speak, read or write English. They operate a food truck. In 1992, they purchased commercial property on Brundage Lane in Bakersfield. Most of the businesses occupying the property were run by their children, who did not pay rent. They also had rent-paying tenants. In 2005, a deed of trust and assignment of rents was recorded, listing as collateral the Brundage Property and another parcel. The debt was a promissory note for $350,000. The proceeds bought the other property. Both purport to have been made by the Salazars, who claim that the signatures were forged (presumably by their son) and not made at their direction. Notice of default and election to sell under deed of trust were recorded in 2005. Their daughter, Marina, negotiated with the lender. When the son disappeared in 2009, Salazar started making payments. Marina signed her parents’ names to a forbearance agreement that identified the Salazars as “borrower” and released all claims. In 2012, the Salazars sought quiet title. The trial court granted summary judgment on the three-year limitations period, but did not address affirmative defenses, holding that the 2005 notices triggered the statute of limitations. The court of appeal reversed. Notices of default under a void deed of trust provided notice of a cloud on title, but did not dispute or disturb the possession of the property; the statute of limitations does not bar their action.