Linda S. Hume


The principal thesis of this Article is that property and contract questions should not be solved independently and are most usefully approached in a distinct order. Because the installment contract divides the incidents of property ownership usually associated with legal title between the parties to the contract, it should be treated differently than the earnest money contract in which the incidents of ownership are not divided. In addition, it is important to first answer some remedial questions before proceeding to make decisions about the property interest of each party to the contract. To support this thesis, this Article explains in detail how the Ashford legacy has affected the treatment of real estate contracts in Washington. It then compares the Washington approach with the doctrine of equitable conversion. Finally, it suggests an analysis for real estate contract problems and applies that analysis to some remaining problem areas.