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DARBY & ASSOCIATES, LTD. et al. v. FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION et al.
53131.
DEEN, Presiding Judge.
Confirmation of sale. Hart Superior Court. Before Judge Williford.
The purpose of confirmation hearings is to establish that the sale was fairly conducted and that any disparity between value and sale price, if it exists, is not such as to shock the judicial conscience. Brooks v. Bast, 242 Md. 350, 219 A2d 84, 15 ALR3d 1265, 1271; Giordano v. Stubbs, 228 Ga. 75 (3) (184 SE2d 165). Its purpose is to protect the debtor and establish that he has not been overreached by a hungry creditor. In the absence of such statutory safeguards, suit for deficiency judgment could of course proceed without any judicial oversight. Markert v. Equitable Life Assur. Society, 53 Ga. App. 598 (186 SE 884). "It is an elementary proposition of law that a statute is never to be construed so as to produce an unreasonable result and so as to defeat its over-all purpose so long as it is open to a construction which will produce a reasonable result consistent with the purpose for which the statute was enacted." State of Ga. v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 212 Ga. 630, 635 (94 SE2d 708). We thus read the words "person instituting the foreclosure" as meaning the entity given the right to institute the proceedings under the terms of the instrument. This entity continues to exist in its successors in estate who become so by operation of law -- the administrator or executor if the owners dies, the guardian if there is a failure of mental capacity, the trustee in bankruptcy, receiver or liquidator. It is obvious that the legislature did not intend for the rights of the debtor to be affected by such contingencies as death or bankruptcy of the creditor in the 30-day interim period. Further, the creditors involved here, the bank and the mortgage company, continued in existence; they did not vanish from the face of earth. But according to law they could only function through the liquidator and trustee. Viewed either way, the proceeding here did not lack a proper party plaintiff.
"What it may have brought or what it may have been regarded as being worth on the market at times relatively close to the date of sale may be considered as aids in arriving at market value at the time of sale -- which is what the court is charged with determining." Thompson v. Maslia, 127 Ga. App. 758, 764 (195 SE2d 238). There was no error in limiting the period of time during which discovery of these appraisals could be had to that fairly approximating the data on which the creditors' decisions would have been made.
3. The statement of the bidding agent for the creditors that he would have been willing to go as high as $1,225,000 for the property (which was in fact bid in for $1,055,000) does not demand a finding that the market price was higher than the bid price, although it is certainly subject to that construction. Whether the witness thought the higher price was in fact the value of the land or whether other factors would have been involved does not appear. The statement represents no more than a personal opinion in any event; there was other opinion evidence offered indicating a market price lower than that bid. There is no evidence whatever to indicate any interest in purchasing the land on the part of anybody other than the security deed grantees representatives. Accordingly, the opinion of the witness Thomas as to what his top bid might have been, had he been forced into that position, does not demand a finding that the market value was not approximated.
The trial court properly entered an order of confirmation.
Johnson & Montgomery, William D. Montgomery, Albert Sidney Johnson, John Shiver, Kent T. Stair, for appellees.
Jones & Barnwell, Taylor W. Jones, Troutman, Sanders, Lockerman & Ashmore, Mark S. Kaufman, for appellants.
ARGUED JANUARY 5, 1977 -- DECIDED JANUARY 25, 1977.
Friday May 22 05:51 EDT


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