This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
However created, a lien is not an interest in land, but merely a security for payment of a debt. From this it follows that (4) a contract to release a mortgage is not within this clause of the statute.1 Thus a contract to extinguish the lien of the mortgage on all the realty2 or to release certain land from the operation of the mortgage3 is enforceable, though oral. So contracts to release pre-existing liens as to waive a mechanic's lien4 or to assign a vendor's lien5 or a contract concerning the relative priority of liens6 are none of them within the clause of the statute. So it has been held that if A has a vendor's lien on realty conveyed by him to B and X pays B's debt to A under an oral agreement with B that X shall have a lien on such realty to secure such payment, the contract is not within the statute of frauds, and can be enforced on the theory of subrogation.7 So a contract for the sale of a judgment,8 or for setting a decree aside,9 or for restricting the execution to be issued on a judgment already rendered,10 or for releasing the lien of a judgment,11 are none of them contracts for the sale of realty, though they may affect title to realty collaterally.
4Turpie v. Lowe, 158 Ind. 314; 92 Am. St. Rep. 310; 62 N. E. 484; Martin v. Martin, 16 B. Mon. (Ky.) 8; Brown v. Lawton, 87 Me. 83; 32 Atl. 733; Swon v. Stevens, 143 Mo. 384; 45 S. W. 270.
1 Borcherdt v. Favor, - Colo. App. -; 66 Pac. 251; Scott v. Mc-Farland, 13 Mass. 309; Wendover v. Baker, 121 Mo. 273; 25 S. W. 918; Montpelier, etc., Co. v. Follett, -Neb. -; 94 N. W. 635; Kelley v. Stanberry, 13 Ohio 408; Bedell v. Tracy, 65 Vt. 494; 26 Atl. 1031.
2 Kemp v. Small, 32 Neb. 318; 49 N. W. 169.
3 McMillan v. Jewett, 85 Ala.
476; 5 So. 145; Cramer v. Wilson, 202 111. 83; 66 N. E. 869; Baxter v. Pritchard, - la. -; 98 N. W. 372; Stall v. Jones, 47 Neb. 706; 66 N. W. 653; Shaw v. Walbridge, 33 O. S. 1.
1 Seymour v. Mackay. 126 111. 341; 18 N. E. 552; Brooks v. Jones (la.), 82 N. W. 434; Stevenson v. Adams, 50 Mo. 475; Hemmings v. Doss, 125 N. C. 400; 34 S. E. 511; Taylor v. Taylor. 112 N. C. 27; 16 S. E. 924: Bean v. Bean. 28 S. C. 607; 5 S. E. 827.
- Winnemucca First National Bank v. Kreig, 21 Nev. 404; 32 Pac. 641.