In re John Hoos Co., No. 11142.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
Writing for the CourtProctor, Royston & Mueller, Towson, Md., for Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co
Citation203 F. Supp. 641
PartiesIn the Matter of The JOHN HOOS CO., Bankrupt.
Decision Date22 March 1962
Docket NumberNo. 11142.

203 F. Supp. 641

In the Matter of The JOHN HOOS CO., Bankrupt.

No. 11142.

United States District Court D. Maryland.

March 22, 1962.

Irving B. Grandberg, Baltimore, Md., for trustee.

Proctor, Royston & Mueller, Towson, Md., for Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co.

WINTER, District Judge.

The Trustee's petition to review an order of the Referee questions the validity of a chattel mortgage on certain personal property given by the Bankrupt, a body corporate engaged in the sale of hotel and restaurant supplies and equipment in Baltimore County, Maryland, to Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company (hereinafter called "Mercantile") to secure a $15,000.00 loan.

After the Bankrupt consented to an adjudication, Mercantile filed its proof of claim as a secured creditor, exhibiting the chattel mortgage, the note it secured, and a statement showing an unpaid balance of $10,230.28, with 5½% interest from December 9, 1959. A sale of the mortgaged personalty was conducted by the Trustee under an order of the Referee which transferred the lien of the mortgage to the proceeds of sale; and, after a hearing and the filing of formal findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Referee sustained the validity of the mortgage and directed the Trustee to pay Mercantile the sum of $10,230.28, less its proportionate share of the expenses

203 F. Supp. 642
of the proceeding, a net sum of $9,667.61

The chattel mortgage, which was duly recorded among the Chattel Records of Baltimore County, and which was otherwise in standard and usual form, recites that as security for the prompt payment of the principal sum, the Bankrupt

"* * * does hereby bargain and sell unto the Mortgage, its successors and assigns, any and all personal property now located at 9221 Harford Road, Baltimore County, Maryland, including but not limited to, all silverware, dishes, china, commercial cooking utensils, glassware, fixtures, office furniture, etc.
"The Mortgagor hereby covenants that it shall not during the term of this mortgage reduce the wholesale value of the personal property herein mortgaged below the sum of Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) Dollars.
"The Mortgagor further covenants that it is the legal owner of the personal property above described, and that it is free and clear of any lien, claim or encumbrance, and that it will not convey its interest therein or remove it from the premises where it is now located (9221 Harford Road, Baltimore County, Maryland) or from the State of Maryland, without the written consent of the Mortgagee. * * *"

The Trustee contends that the Referee was in error in two regards. First, that the description of the mortgaged personalty was legally insufficient to meet the standards of the law of Maryland, the place where the mortgage was executed and the situs of the personalty1 and, second, that the mortgage was intended to apply to a moving and shifting stock of merchandise, including after-acquired property, and as such was void as to the Bankrupt's creditors. The Trustee argues that on either or both of the grounds, title to the mortgaged personalty passed to the Trustee,2 and Mercantile is relegated to a claim as a general, and not a secured, creditor.

There is no merit in the Trustee's first contention. The Maryland cases concerning the sufficiency of property descriptions in chattel mortgages have been recently reviewed in Phillips v. J. F. Johnson Lumber Co., 218 Md. 531, 147 A. 2d 843 (1959). See also, Note, XX Md.L. Rev. 282 (1960). In view of the careful analysis in the Phillips case, extensive discussion here is unnecessary, except to say that the general test for determining the adequacy of a description is met if (p. 542, 147 A.2d p. 849) "* * having in mind the nature of the property, the description is such as to enable third persons, aided by inquiries which the mortgage itself suggests, to identify the property." In the course of its opinion in the Phillips case, the Maryland Court of Appeals cited with approval the opinion of Judge Chesnut in In re Oliver C. Putney Granite Corporation, 14 F. Supp. 31 (D.C.Md.1936), a case closest on its facts to the description in the case at bar. In the Putney case, Judge Chesnut held sufficient a description which read: "* * * all the tools, machinery, appliances and other personal property now used by the mortgagor in the operation of its stone-cutting plant located upon the real estate hereinbefore described, including...

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2 cases
  • McCormack v. E. E. McCormack Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • 16 Diciembre 1964
    ...absence of an express agreement, the property substituted for that mortgaged is not within the lien coverage. In re John Hoos Co., D.C., 203 F.Supp. 641; 10 Am.Jur. 804, Chattel Mortgages, § Page 202 Other jurisdictions do not seem to follow this strict [239 Or. 271] rule, but state that, w......
  • DeMott v. Congdon, No. 23395.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 3 Enero 1967
    ...the description is not impaired by adding the words "all other personal property." See In 370 F.2d 911 re John Hoos Co., D.C.Md.1962, 203 F. Supp. 641. The judgment of the district court is reversed and the cause is remanded for further Reversed and remanded. ...

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