FACTS: Petitioner argues that the non-registration of the certificate of sale did not affect the title acquired by Apolinario Cruz as the purchaser in the judicial foreclosure of mortgage and that the finality of the judgment rendered in the judicial action for foreclosure of mortgage was valid and binding on the respondents as the successors-in interest of the judgment debtor. In contrast, the respondents maintain that they were lawfully entitled to the property in litis because there was no registration of the certificate of sale or confirmation from the court and that with the release of mortgage being validly registered in the Office of Registry of Deeds, thereby rendering the title free from any lien and encumbrances, they already had the right to transfer the property in their names.
ISSUE: Is non-registration of property after judicially foreclosure and sale had the effect of invalidating the foreclosure proceedings, such that ownership reverts to the original owner?
The effect of the failure of Apolinario Cruz to obtain the judicial confirmation was only to prevent the title to the property from being transferred to him. For sure, such failure did not give rise to any right in favor of the mortgagor or the respondents as his successors-in-interest to take back the property already validly sold through public auction. Nor did such failure invalidate the foreclosure proceedings. To maintain otherwise would render nugatory the judicial foreclosure and foreclosure sale, thus unduly disturbing judicial stability. The non-transfer of the title notwithstanding, Apolinario Cruz as the purchaser should not be deprived of the property purchased at the foreclosure sale. With the respondents having been fully aware of the mortgage, and being legally bound by the judicial foreclosure and consequent public sale, and in view of the unquestioned possession by Apolinario Cruz and his successors-in-interest (including the petitioner) from the time of the foreclosure sale until the present, the respondents could not assert any better right to the property. It would be the height of inequity to still permit them to regain the property on the basis alone of the lack of judicial confirmation of the sale. After all, under the applicable rule earlier cited, the judicial confirmation operated only “to divest the rights of all the parties to the action and to vest their rights in the purchaser, subject to such rights of redemption as may be allowed by law.”
Consequently, the late Fernando F. Yapcinco and the respondents as his successors-in-interest were divested of their right in the property, for they did not duly exercise the equity of redemption decreed in the decision of the trial court. With Yapcinco having thereby effectively ceased to be the owner of the property sold, the property was taken out of the mass of the assets of Yapcinco upon the expiration of the equity of redemption.