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Copyright (c) 1987 University of Maryland School of Law
Maryland Law Review

SURVEY: DEVELOPMENT IN MARYLAND LAW, 1985-86: III. COMMERCIAL LAW

Spring, 1987

46 Md. L. Rev. 620

Author

JENIPHR A. E. BRECKENRIDGE, GILLIAN N. RUDOW and PETER Q. SCHLUEDERBERG

Excerpt

A. Debtors and Creditors

1. Role of Mortgage Agents. -- In Coner v. Morris S. Berman Unlimited, Inc. 1 the Court of Special Appeals held that a mortgagee's agent, who doubled as the agent for a mortgage broker for which his wife was the sole proprietor, could not extract a finder's fee on behalf of the broker. 2 The court observed that because of the agent's dual role, the broker had not provided arms-length services. 3 In the absence of these services, the agent could not claim a finder's fee. But even if the proprietorship had provided these services, the court would have prohibited the broker-agent from placing a loan with a company that he or she owned. 4

Mr. and Mrs. Coner appealed from an order ratifying the foreclosure sale of their house 5 to Morris S. Berman Unlimited, Inc. (Berman Unlimited). 6 The couple had obtained a loan from Berman Unlimited, securing it with a second mortgage on their home. 7 Six months later they defaulted on the loan, and Berman Unlimited foreclosed. Morris S. Berman and his wife purchased the house individually. 8

At the time of the loan, Berman deducted a $ 200.00 "Broker Fee," among other fees, from the proceeds. 9 An entity known as Mortgage Masters received the $ 200 as a finder's fee. 10 Mortgage Masters was allegedly a sole proprietorship owned by Berman's wife. 11 Mrs. Berman, however, had nothing to do with procuring the loan for the Coners. 12
 
 
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