Lundy v. Skinner

Decision Date19 November 1935
Docket Number42966.
Citation263 N.W. 520,220 Iowa 831
PartiesLUNDY et al. v. SKINNER et al.
CourtIowa Supreme Court

Appeal from District Court, Hardin County; O. J. Henderson, Judge.

Suit by executors of an estate on a note. Defense that it was barred by the bankruptcy of the maker of the note. Facts show improper listing of the claim in bankruptcy, the address of the holder not being given in the listing of claims scheduled. Directed verdict for the defendant. Facts stated in opinion.

Reversed.

Birdsall, McGrath & Archerd, of Clarion, and D. W. Dickinson and John L. Butler, both of Eldora, for appellants.

Walters & Kepford, of Toledo, for appellees.

PARSONS, Justice.

Suit at law on a promissory note given by R. A. Skinner (otherwise known as Roland Skinner), and Leota Skinner, by the executors of the estate of E. W. Lundy, deceased, payee in the note. The deceased was a resident of Hardin county, Iowa, living in the town of Union from 1856 until his death, October 1, 1928. The note was dated March 1, 1923, and for $15,494.59, and due March 1, 1924, with interest at 8 per cent. per annum. Suit was brought thereon by the executors against defendants.

The defendant R. A. Skinner answered, pleading a discharge in bankruptcy on June 23, 1925, in a voluntary bankrupt proceeding of the defendant, who was named therein as " Rolland A. Skinner." The note was secured by a chattel mortgage. Skinner was a tenant of the deceased on a farm about five and a half miles southwest of Union, and rented it for four years of the deceased, his tenancy expiring on the July 4th following the date the note was given; and he knew the residence of the deceased was at Union, and testified that residence was continued until the death of the deceased E. W. Lundy. The listing of the debt in the bankrupt proceedings gave the name of the deceased, and his post office address as Eldora, Iowa. Skinner testified in this case to there being a post office at Union, to his knowledge and the record conclusively shows that the deceased lived at Union from 1856 until his death, and that his address during all that time was at Union. At the close of the evidence the plaintiff moved the court for a directed verdict on account of the improper listing of the claim by the bankrupt. The defendant moved for a directed verdict on account of the discharge from bankruptcy. The question then arises in this case, and that is the only question submitted: Does the giving of an improper post office address in listing a claim in bankruptcy affect the discharge on a claim so listed? In other words, can the discharge be used under such circumstances so as to discharge the debt so improperly listed? Plaintiff appealed to this court, and filed an abstract and argument; but we are not favored with any argument of the appellee herein, so we do not have the benefit of whatever may have been urged on behalf of the bankrupt.

Section 17 of the Bankruptcy Act, now 11 USCA § 35, provides that a discharge in bankruptcy should release a bankrupt from all his debts provable, except certain ones; among those are the creditors who have not been duly scheduled in time for proof and allowance, with the name of the creditor, if known to the bankrupt, unless such creditor had notice by actual knowledge of the proceedings in bankruptcy. It is required also that the post office address of the creditor be properly given, the object of that being so that the various notices may be sent to him by mail and otherwise, advising him of the doings of the bankrupt proceedings, and that he may be sure to have the knowledge that the bankrupt proceeding is pending.

Gilbert's Collier on Bankruptcy (2d Ed.) at page 430, says: " Extreme exactness must be used in describing the creditor by name, or he will not be ‘ duly scheduled." And then in the next section: " Even greater care should be observed in addresses. Schedules are defective if they do not contain the residence of the creditors or show that they are unknown. The schedule of the residence of a creditor as ‘ unknown,’ when it could have been ascertained by the exercise of...

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