West Virginia Record

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Couple says government agency didn't record lien of debt with commission

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 6, 2020

Contract 07

BLUEFIELD — A couple says USDA Rural Development Rural Housing Services failed to record a lien of debt and caused them damages.

Monroe County Commission, Jeffry A. Pritt, Pritt Law Firm, Matthew Lee Mines and the estates of Edgar and Mae Mines were also named as defendants in the suit.

Donnie Hoke and Cathy Hoke purchased a parcel of land for $20,000 after acquiring a title search and finding no liens or mortgages on the property, according to a complaint filed in Monroe Circuit Court and later removed to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

After purchasing the property, RHS claimed to hold a deed of trust on the 1.03-acre property upon a mortgage, but they negligently failed to have the deed of trust properly recorded and indexed in the public records of Monroe County.

"The defendant...negligently failed to record their lien of debt or notice of debt with the executor of the estates of Edgar and Mae Mines," the complaint states.

The county commission, through its clerk, owed a duty to the public and, specifically, to the plaintiffs, to properly notice any deeds of trust recorded in their institution and to properly index those records, according to the suit.

Pritt and his law office certified the title to the 1.03 acres and failed to mention the deed of trust of record, the complaint states.

The Hokes claim Pritt and his law offices were negligent in making their title examination and failed to examine actual written indices in the Office of the Clerk of the County Commission of Monroe County.

The mistake in indexing was not discovered until the Notice of Sale was served on the plaintiffs in 2019, according to the suit.

The Hokes claim the RHS is now attempting to sell the property and is attempting to exercise their liens on the property.

The Hokes are seeking damages and a hearing to assess liability and damages. They are represented by Paul S. Detch in Lewisburg.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 1:20-cv-00065

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Bluefield Division