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Barron v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 26, 2015

BARRON
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A

Reconsideration denied April 14, 2015.

Page 831

Reformation of deed. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge Lewis, pro hac vice.

Mickey J. Barron, pro se.

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, Scot H. Michalove, Daniel P. Moore, for appellee.

BRANCH, Judge. Barnes, P. J., and Boggs, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 832

Branch, Judge.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in the bank's suit to reform the legal description of property securing a debt owed to the bank by appellant Mickey J. Barron. The bank argued that the security deed mistakenly identified only part of Barron's single parcel of real property. The trial court based its ruling on judicial estoppel, finding that in his personal bankruptcy proceeding, Barron declared that he owned only one parcel of real property, not two, as he now contends. The trial court also granted summary judgment in favor of the bank on Barron's counterclaims. Barron appeals both decisions. We affirm.

Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. OCGA § 9-11-56 (c). We review a grant or denial of summary judgment de novo and construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Home Builders Assn. of Savannah v. Chatham County, 276 Ga. 243, 245 (1) (577 S.E.2d 564) (2003).

Construed in favor of Barron, the record shows that on December 16, 1996, Barron purchased property located at 1610 Chattahoochee Run Drive in Suwanee through a recorded warranty deed; the property, which is Lot 85 of the Chattahoochee Run subdivision, is located on a corner of Chattahoochee Run Drive and Waterton Lane. Barron financed the purchase and executed a security deed in that regard. On June 28, 2001, Barron refinanced the debt and executed another security deed on the same property. The original warranty deed and both security deeds describe the secured property with the identical language:

All that tract or parcel of land lying and being in Land Lot 239 of the 7th District of Gwinnett County, Georgia, being lot 85, block B, Chattahoochee Run Subdivision, Unit 1-C, as per plat recorded in Plat Book 70, Pages 142 & 143, Gwinnett County records, which said plat is incorporated herein and made a part hereof by reference.

[332 Ga.App. 181] The referenced plat will be referred to herein as the " 1995 Plat." Barron constructed a house on Lot 85 and occupied the home in 1997.

In 2002, Barron decided to purchase most of the vacant lot adjoining the back of his property so that he could build a pool; the lot is known as Lot 94 and is located on Waterton Lane. Barron admits that to execute the property transfer, the owner/developer of Lot 94 redefined or " re-parceled" Lot 85 and the portion of Lot 94 that Barron sought to purchase by merging the sought-after portion of Lot 94 (hereinafter " Lot 94" ) with Lot 85 and issuing Barron a quitclaim deed to the redefined Lot 85. Thus, on April 26, 2002, John Wieland Homes issued to Barron, who paid cash in exchange, a quitclaim deed that described the property as Lot 85 as shown on a different plat:

All that tract or parcel of land lying and being in Unit 1-C, Chattahoochee Run subdivision, Land Lot 239 of the 7th District, Gwinnett County, Georgia, and being Lot 85 as per Plat Book 91, Page 43, Gwinnett County, Georgia, ...

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