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Benford Wins Trial Determining Ownership of $1.4 Million Commercial Property

July 14, 2017

John Benford (Of Counsel-Orlando) represented a Florida land trust, the plaintiff, in a lawsuit against a private lender for breach of contract, declaratory relief, quiet title and fraud. The overriding issue to be determined at trial was who owned a commercial property valued at $1.4 million. Because there were no formal loan documents associated with the transaction, both sides offered a range of documentary evidence and various witness testimony in support of their arguments. The plaintiff argued it conveyed the property to the defendant as collateral for a $1 million loan, and the defendant argued that it funded the loan with a series of transfers in excess of $2 million to entities allegedly affiliated with the land trust and its beneficiary. The court found in favor of John’s client, awarding the land trust sole ownership of the property and declaring the transfer of title to the lender and subsequent entities controlled by the lender to be void.

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