Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Estate of Chapman

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

November 9, 2017

IN RE ESTATE OF TIMOTHY GLEN CHAPMAN, DECEASED

          Submitted Date: October 23, 2017

         On Appeal from the County Court at Law Lamar County, Texas Trial Court No. P-17573

          Before Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOSH R. MORRISS, III CHIEF JUSTICE.

         After the Independent Administrator[1] of the Estate of Timothy Glen Chapman (the Administrator) failed to make payments on a lien note secured by a first lien deed of trust on certain real estate located in Lamar County, Peoples Bank (the Bank) conducted a non-judicial foreclosure sale of the secured real estate. Thereafter, the Bank sued the Administrator in the 62nd Judicial District Court of Lamar County (the District Court) claiming a deficiency remaining on the note after the foreclosure sale. The Bank obtained a default judgment against Chapman's estate on the deficiency (the Deficiency Judgment), and filed this action in the County Court at Law of Lamar County, in its role as a probate court[2] (the Probate Court), seeking to remove the Administrator and to enforce its claim against certain funds that might be payable to Chapman's estate by virtue of a mediated settlement agreement (MSA) in a separate lawsuit pending in the District Court. After a hearing, the Probate Court entered a final judgment finding that any funds payable to Chapman's estate or his heirs in the separate lawsuit were property of Chapman's estate, ordering that any such funds be paid first to the Bank to satisfy the Deficiency Judgment, and awarding the Bank its attorney fees.

         In this appeal, the Administrator asserts that the judgment should be overturned because (1) the Bank lacked standing to assert its claim in the Probate Court against the Chapman estate, (2) the District Court's Deficiency Judgment that is the basis of the Bank's claim is void for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, (3) the Probate Court lacked jurisdiction over the MSA, and (4) the Probate Court erred in modifying and frustrating the purpose of the MSA. We sustain the first two issues urged on appeal by the Administrator and therefore vacate the Probate Court's judgment because we conclude that the Bank lacked standing, thereby depriving the Probate Court and the District Court of subject-matter jurisdiction over the Bank's deficiency claims.

         The Foreclosure and Deficiency Claim.

         Before his death, Chapman had entered into a lien note with the Bank secured by a first lien deed of trust on certain real estate located in Lamar County. On February 3, 2015, the Bank purchased the secured real estate at a non-judicial foreclosure sale for $250, 000.00. On June 3, 2016, the Bank filed suit against the Administrator in cause number 85528 in the District Court claiming a deficiency balance remaining after its foreclosure. On September 14, 2016, a Deficiency Judgment was entered by the District Court in cause number 85528 granting the Bank a money judgment against the Administrator for the claimed deficiency remaining after the foreclosure.

         The Election.

         The Bank never notified the Administrator that it elected to have its claim approved as a matured secured claim. See Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 403.052 (West 2014).

         The Separate Lawsuit.

         On or about January 15, 2015, the Administrator and Chapman's daughters intervened in cause number 83813 in the District Court, seeking to recover monies they claimed had been owed to Chapman from the sale of stock of Glen Chapman, Inc., a corporation owned by Chapman's family. In her suit, the Administrator sought recovery of the monies on behalf of the Chapman estate, or in the alternative, on behalf of the Timothy Glen Chapman Irrevocable Trust (the Trust).[3] On June 9, 2016, the parties in cause number 83813 entered into the MSA, which provided that a total of $400, 000.00 would be paid by those defendants to the Trust.

         The Subsequent Probate Proceedings.

         On September 6, 2016, the Bank filed an unsecured claim in the Probate Court for its "legal deficiency claim after a foreclosure sale" of the secured real estate. Two days later, the Bank filed an Emergency Motion to Remove Independent Administrator, alleging that the Administrator had diverted monies belonging to the Chapman estate into the Trust, whose beneficiaries were the children of Chapman, in an attempt to defraud the creditors[4] of the Chapman estate. After initially granting the motion to remove the Administrator, the Probate Court, in accordance with an agreement of the parties, reinstated the Administrator, and set the Bank's contested claim ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.