Insight LLC v. GunterAnnotate this Case
This appeal arose from a dispute in district court over two liens on real property: a deed of trust and a mortgage. Appellants (Insight, LLC and several other companies) are assignees of a mortgage secured by 160 acres of real property owned by Summitt, Inc., which included an 18-acre parcel Summitt purchased from Respondents Patrick and Monica Gunter. The Respondents held a deed of trust on the 18-acre parcel. Summitt defaulted on its obligations to both Insight and the Gunters. Insight filed suit naming Summitt's principals and the Gunters as defendants. The Gunters denied that their deed of trust was junior to the Insight-Summitt mortgage. The district court denied Insight's motion for summary judgment because there was an issue as to who was the initial encumbrancer. After trial, the district court found that the closing of the Gunter-Summitt deed of trust was separate and independent from the Insight-Summitt mortgage. Furthermore, the court found that the Gunters' deed of trust effectively encumbered the Gunter property at the time the transaction between Summitt and the Gunters closed. However, it found that the Insight mortgage on the combined 160-acre parcel did not create an encumbrance on the Gunter property until the Gunter-Summitt transaction closed. On appeal, Insight argued that the mortgage had priority as a matter of law because it was a purchase money mortgage that was first recorded. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the district court's finding that Insight had notice of the Gunters' deed of trust was clearly erroneous. Further, the Insight-Summitt mortgage was a purchase money mortgage , and that the court erred in concluding the deed of trust took priority. Accordingly, the Supreme Court vacated the district court's judgment in this case and remanded the case for further proceedings.