Jones v. Morris Plan Bank Of Portsmouth

168 Va. 284,191 S.E. 608 (1937)


Jones (P) purchased an automobile from a dealer, Parker, and agreed to pay off the balance in twelve installment payments. The note used to evidence the loan contained an acceleration clause. It was agreed that the title to the car would remain with the dealer until the entire purchase price was paid in full. P failed to make payments, and the Bank (D) obtained a judgment against him for two of the payments. That judgment was satisfied. P failed to meet the July installment payment, and D sued again. P filed a plea of res judicata, and D took a nonsuit. D took possession of the car without P’s consent, sold it, and applied the proceeds to the note. P sued D for conversion; by obtaining a judgment for the May and June installments, D waived its right under the acceleration clause to sue for the balance. P claims that the conditional sales contract was to secure the payment of the note and that title had already passed to P. D claimed that it was not required to sue for all installments in one action as the note, and the sales contract were divisible and that the title to the car had not yet passed to P so there could be no conversion.