California Code of Civil Procedure Section 726(B) - Interpretation

The Legislature inserted the "fair value" language into Code of Civil Procedure section 726, subdivision (b), to protect the defaulting mortgager by preventing creditors from buying in at their own sales at deflated prices and realizing double recoveries by holding debtors for large deficiencies. (Rainer Mortgage v. Silverwood, Ltd. (1985) 163 Cal.App.3d 359, 366; Roseleaf Corp. v. Chierighino (1963) 59 Cal.2d 35, 40.) The fair value of the property thus is its intrinsic value, without considering the impact on value resulting from the foreclosure proceedings. ( Rainer Mortgage v. Silverwood, Ltd., supra, 163 Cal.App.3d at pp. 366-367.) In Rainer Mortgage, for example, the court recognized that in determining a property's fair value, it would be improper to consider the temporary reduction in fair market value resulting from the foreclosure and the right of the debtor to redeem the property for a one-year period following the foreclosure sale. ( Id. at pp. 366-367; and see San Paolo U.S. Holding Co. v. 816 South Figueroa Co. (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 1010, 1013, 1026.)