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Lin v. Coronado

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

December 18, 2014

HELEN LIN, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
MIREYA B. CORONADO et al., Defendants and Respondents.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, No. EC058565 Donna F. Goldstein, Judge.

Page 697

COUNSEL

Kaladjian Law Office and Hrair Kaladjian for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Anderson, McPharlin & Conners, Jesse S. Hernandez and Vanessa H. Widener for Defendants and Respondents.

Page 698

OPINION

MOSK, ACTING P. J.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Helen Lin (Lin) appeals from a judgment entered on an order sustaining a demurrer without leave to amend in favor of defendant Mireya B. Coronado (Coronado). In her operative first amended complaint, Lin alleges she “pooled” her $150, 000 with $100, 000 provided by River Forest Financial LLC (River Forest) and Elevation Investments LLC (Elevation) “in partnership for the purchase” of a residential property (the property) at a foreclosure auction for the purchase price of $250, 000.

The original version of the trustee’s deed for the property specified that River Forest had a 75 percent interest in the property and Elevation had a 25 percent ownership interest in the property, but Lin was named on that version of the deed as a grantee without any stated percentage interest in the property. Lin alleges that the trustee’s deed that was executed and recorded omitted Lin’s name, which name had been included in the unrecorded, original trustee’s deed; River Forest subsequently quitclaimed the property to Elevation; and without Lin’s knowledge, Elevation then sold the property to Coronado. Lin claims that the alteration of the original deed renders it void, giving a transferee such as Coronado no interest in the property. As a result, Lin, in her cause of action against Coronado, seeks to quiet title to the property.

In affirming, we hold that the alteration of the deed to omit Lin’s name was not material because the original version of the deed showed she had no interest in the property. Thus, Coronado, as a purchaser, has title to the property.

BACKGROUND

Lin filed a first amended complaint against Coronado, Elevation, and Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation (Cal-Western).[1] The trial court sustained a demurrer without leave to amend as to the quiet title cause of action against Coronado, and a judgment in favor of Coronado was entered.

Page 699

Lin alleges in her first amended complaint as follows: Lin obtained a cashier’s check for $150, 000 that she “pooled” with $100, 000 provided by River Forest and Elevation “in partnership” to purchase the property at a foreclosure auction. A “declaration of trustee’s sale confirmed her Purchase Money investment in the Subject Property, ” and Cal-Western, the trustee for the property, accepted her cashier’s check and endorsed it. A trustee’s deed prior to recording was sent to Kucherov. That deed provided “Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation (herein called trustee) does hereby grant and convey, but without covenant or warranty, express or implied to RIVER FOREST FINANCIAL LLC 75%, ELEVATION INVESTMENTS 25% HELEN LIN.” The altered trustee’s deed that was executed and recorded stated, “CAL-WESTERN RECONVEYANCE CORPORATION (herein called trustee) does hereby grant and convey, but without covenant or warranty, express or implied, to RIVER FOREST FINANCIAL LLC 75%, ELEVATION INVESTMENTS 25% (herein called Grantee)”—thus omitting Lin’s name. The trustee’s deed was returned to River Forest. Lin did not know about the omission of her name from the trustee’s deed. River Forest then, without Lin’s knowledge, executed and recorded a quitclaim deed in the property in favor of Elevation. Elevation then sold the property to Coronado. Several ...


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