Lott v. Tarver

In Lott v. Tarver, 741 So. 2d 394, 397 (Ala. 1999) the purchasers (the Lotts) alleged that the sellers (the Tarvers) had misrepresented to them the number of years of payments remaining on a mortgage debt that encumbered the property. The Court held that the period allowed by the statute of limitations for the purchasers to file a fraud action against the sellers had begun to run when the purchasers bought the property, because when they bought it the mortgage was already recorded. The Court concluded that because the recorded mortgage clearly showed the date of the final payment, the purchasers could have, by "simple addition," determined that the mortgage debt could not be paid off at the point when they said the sellers had told them it would be paid off. Id. at 398. Although the purchasers in Lott were not provided with a copy of the mortgage, the vendor's-lien deed delivered to them did disclose where the mortgage was recorded. Id. Thus, this Court concluded, knowledge of the contents of the mortgage was, as a matter of law, imputed to the purchasers, by operation of Alabama's recordation statute, Ala. Code 1975, 35-4-90. Id.