United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
ORDER ON APPEAL
DEBRA M. BROWN, District Judge.
This is an appeal brought by Appellant-Debtor William Holyfield challenging numerous post-trial decisions made by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. This Court has jurisdiction over Holyfield's appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a).
Standard of Review
Where, as here, an appeal derives from a core proceeding in a bankruptcy court, "the district court... applies a de novo standard of review to... conclusions of law and [a] clearlyerroneous standard to findings of fact." In re BP RE, L.P., 735 F.3d 279, 282 (5th Cir. 2013) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)).
Relevant Factual and Procedural Background
While convoluted, the facts of this case are largely undisputed.
A. Underlying Facts
On August 10, 1995, William B. Wallace executed a warranty deed conveying to Plaintiff Joyce Whitehead property located at 15082 Old Panola Road, Como, Mississippi 38619 ("Land"). Doc. #10 at 2. The conveyance was secured by an August 9, 1995, deed of trust executed by Joyce in favor of Thomas Schuler, as trustee for Wallace. Id. The deed of trust on the Land was recorded on December 1, 1997. Id.
Earlier, on April 15, 1997, Joyce and her daughter Lisa Oliver purchased a 1997 Redman Brighton-LE mobile home ("Mobile Home") from Holloway Homes and placed it on the Land. Doc. #10 at 2, 12. Pursuant to the terms of the sales contract, Joyce and Oliver were obligated to pay Holloway $462.84 per month. Id. at 2.
On May 7, 1997, Joyce and Oliver executed a "Certificate of Mobile Home as Real Estate" designating the Mobile Home as part of the real estate for taxation purposes. Doc. #10 at 3. On June 24, 1997, the certificate was recorded in the Office of the Chancery Clerk of Panola County, Mississippi. Id. Shortly after, Holloway informed Joyce and Oliver that Oliver failed to qualify as a borrower due to her having previously filed for bankruptcy. Id.
On June 18, 1997, Joyce and L.V. executed an "Installment Note, Security Agreement, and Disclosure Statement" ("Mobile Home Security Agreement") in favor of Holloway regarding the $51, 672 outstanding balance on the Mobile Home. Doc. #10 at 3. The Mobile Home Security Agreement provided for 360 monthly payments in the amount of $472.56. Id. The same day, Holloway assigned the Mobile Home Security Agreement to South Trust Mobile Services, Inc. ("South Trust"). Id. On July 1, 1997, a UCC-1 Financing Statement reflecting the sale and related financing of the Mobile Home was filed in the personal property lien records of the Panola County Chancery Clerk and with the Mississippi Secretary of State. Id.
On August 26, 2002, following years of tax delinquency, the parcel was sold at a tax sale to S&S Properties, LLC. Doc. #10 at 4. During the subsequent two-year redemption period, the Panola County Chancery Clerk provided notice of the sale to Joyce, via certified mail and service by the Sheriff of Panola County; and to the public, via publication in The Southern Reporter on June 10, 2004. Id. at 4-5.
On December 23, 2004, Joyce filed a voluntary Chapter 13 action in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Doc. #10 at 6.
On February 28, 2005, Wachovia Bank, N.A., the successor to South Trust, granted Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc., power of attorney to enforce and maintain the Mobile Home Security Agreement. Doc. #10 at 6.
On November 15, 2005, the Panola County Chancery Clerk executed a tax deed conveying the Land to S&S. Doc. #10 at 6. Approximately two months later, on January 22, 2006, S&S ...