Skolnick v. Skolnick

In Skolnick v. Skolnick, 131 Conn. 561, 41 A.2d 452 (1945), a mortgage foreclosure action, the defendant and his father were tenants in common of a jointly mortgaged property. Seven years after executing the mortgage, the holder of the mortgage threatened to foreclose. The defendant drew and delivered a check to his wife, the plaintiff, who endorsed the check to the holder. The holder assigned the mortgage to the plaintiff at the request of the plaintiff's husband. The plaintiff then commenced a mortgage foreclosure action against her husband and his father. One of the questions before the court was whether a tenant in common who purchases an encumbrance against his property holds the encumbrance as a trustee for both himself and his cotenant. In its analysis, the court cited the "well recognized" rule, grounded in public policy, that the purchase of such an encumbrance by a tenant in common's wife is tantamount to a purchase by the cotenant himself. See id., 131 Conn. at 564. In Skolnick, the funds used to purchase the encumbrance were those of the cotenant husband, whose wife merely endorsed his check and was assigned the property by the holder at his request.