Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
DENNIS K. WHITE, Appellant
LUIS CALVACHE AND NORMA CALVACHE, Appellees
Appeal from the 199th Judicial District Court Collin County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. 199-00016-2016
Justices Lang-Miers, Fillmore, and Stoddart
M. FILLMORE JUSTICE
Luis and Norma Calvache agreed to sell a house to Dennis K.
White in exchange for a cash payment and White's
assumption of the payments on two existing loans on the
property. As part of the transaction, White signed a Deed of
Trust to Secure Assumption (DOTSA) for each existing loan.
The DOTSAs provided that appellees had a right to foreclose
on the property if White failed to make all payments required
by the existing loans.
subsequently notified White that he was in default under the
terms of one of the loans, and they intended to sell the
property at a foreclosure sale. White filed this lawsuit,
seeking damages and a temporary injunction to prevent the
foreclosure sale. The trial court did not rule on White's
request for injunctive relief, and the property was sold at a
foreclosure sale. The trial court subsequently granted
appellees' motion for traditional and no-evidence summary
judgment, and dismissed White's remaining claims. White,
appearing pro se in this appeal, contends the trial court
erred by failing to rule on his request for injunctive relief
and by granting summary judgment in favor of appellees. We
affirm the trial court's judgment.
9, 2011, appellees agreed to sell to Kristin Gerst a house
located at 700 Riverhead in Wylie, Texas, for consideration
in the amount of $170, 825.77, consisting of $3, 500 cash and
assumption of the payments on two existing loans on the
property. Attached to the contract was a Loan Assumption
Addendum that stated the unpaid balance on the first loan was
$133, 490.13, the monthly payment of principal and interest
on the first loan was $1, 002.98, the unpaid balance on the
second loan was $33, 835.64, and the monthly payment of
principal and interest on the second loan was $306.89.
assigned the contract to purchase the house to White in
exchange for $1, 500. The Assignment of Contract for Purchase
and Sale signed by White sets out the approximate balance of
each loan, as well as the interest rate, the monthly payment
for "PI, " and the term on each loan. At the
closing on July 30, 2011, White signed a number of documents
acknowledging he was purchasing the property subject to the
existing loans. The closing documents provided White
information about the term of each loan, and the amount of
the required monthly payment on each loan. White acknowledged
the monthly payments included only principal and interest,
and that he was required to pay separately for insurance and
taxes assessed on the property. White signed a DOTSA for each
loan, giving appellees the right to foreclose on the property
if White failed to make payments required by each loan.
agreed to pay appellees the amount of the loan payments each
month, and appellees agreed to use that money to make the
payments on the loans. Immediately after the closing, White
and appellees had a dispute over who was required to make the
August 2011 loan payments. The payments for insurance and
taxes assessed on the property. In November 2015, appellees
notified White that they intended to foreclose on the
property. White then filed this lawsuit against appellees;
Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC; Horne & Associates, P.C., the law
firm that prepared documents relating to the sale of the
property; and L. Scott Horne, an attorney with Horne &
Associates,  seeking to recover damages, and requesting
a declaration the DOTSAs were void. White also sought a
temporary injunction to prevent appellees from foreclosing on
trial court held a hearing on White's request for
injunctive relief on February 1, 2016. Following the hearing,
the parties filed briefs with the trial court on the issue of
whether a new promissory note was required when a purchaser
of real property assumes existing loans. Appellees
subsequently provided White with information regarding
payments made on the two loans and additional charges and
fees imposed by Ocwen.
February 5, 2016, Tina Hill, an attorney with Horne &
Associates, sent three letters to White on behalf of
appellees. In the first letter, Hill demanded that White
obtain homeowner's insurance on the property by February
15, 2016, and informed White that his failure to do so would
constitute a default on the first loan. In the second letter,
Hill notified White that he was in default on the first loan
due to his failure to maintain "proper and current
insurance" on the property. Hill indicated that, if
White did not provide proof of homeowner's insurance by
February 25, 2016, the loan would be accelerated. She further
stated that if "the past due installments" were not
paid by February 25, 2016, foreclosure proceedings would be
instituted. Finally, in the third letter, Hill stated White
was in default on the first loan by (1) failing to pay the
required installments of principal and interest on the loan,
taxes assessed on the property, and charges and late fees;
(2) failing to maintain insurance on the property; and (3)
allowing a "tax lien loan" to be placed on the
property. Hill demanded that White pay $27, 990.68
to cure the default. Hill informed White that if he did not pay
that amount by February 25, 2016, the entire balance of the
loan would be accelerated and foreclosure proceedings would
March 15, 2016, Horne sent White a notice of acceleration of
the first loan on the property. Horne informed White that,
due to his failure to cure the default, all unpaid principal
and accrued interest on the first loan was immediately due,
and that, as of March 14, 2016, the approximate principal
amount due on the first loan was $135, 391.95. Also on March
15, 2016, Horne notified White that appellees had requested
the property be posted for foreclosure, and the property
would be sold on April 5, 2016. White contends appellees
purchased the property at the foreclosure sale.
relevant to this appeal, White filed a second amended
petition seeking a declaratory judgment that the substitute
trustee's deed executed after the foreclosure sale and
the DOTSAs were void, seeking an accounting of all payments
made on the loans and a refund of escrow account proceeds,
and asserting claims based on common law fraud and
misrepresentation, statutory fraud, breach of contract, and
the filing of false liens in violation of chapter 12 of the
civil practice and remedies code. White filed a motion for
traditional summary judgment, and appellees filed a combined
traditional and no-evidence motion for summary judgment. The
trial court granted appellees' motion for summary
judgment without specifying its basis for doing so, and
dismissed all of White's claims against
to Rule on Request for Temporary Injunction
first issue, White complains the trial court erred by failing
to rule on his request for a temporary injunction to prevent
the foreclosure sale. To preserve this complaint for
appellate review, White was required to establish in the
record that the trial court refused to rule on his request
for injunctive relief, and he objected to that refusal.
See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a)(2)(B). Nothing in the
appellate record demonstrates the trial court refused to rule
or that White objected to its failure to rule. Accordingly,
White failed to preserve this issue for our review.
See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a)(2)(B); Booker v.
Blow, No. 05-07-00256-CV, 2008 WL 152226, at *1 (Tex.
App.-Dallas Jan. 17, 2008, no pet.) (mem. op.) (concluding
appellant waived complaint trial court erred by denying
request for temporary injunction by failing to secure
ruling); Ramirez v. Tex. State Bd. of Med.
Examiners, 99 S.W.3d 860, 863 (Tex. App.-Austin 2003,
pet. denied). We resolve White's first issue against him.
of Summary Judgment
second issue, White contends the trial court erred by
granting summary judgment because he "identified and
provided evidence to [sic] material fact issues that preclude
summary judgment on his claims in his response to"
appellees' motion for summary judgment.
we must liberally construe pro se pleadings and briefs,
Williams v. Dallas Area Rapid Transit, No.
05-14-01303-CV, 2016 WL 374833, at *2 (Tex. App.-Dallas Feb.
1, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.), we nevertheless hold pro se
litigants to the same standards as licensed attorneys and
require them to comply with applicable laws and rules of
procedure. See Mansfield State Bank v. Cohn, 573
S.W.2d 181, 184-85 (Tex. 1978); Williams, 2016 WL
374833, at *2. Otherwise, pro se litigants would benefit from
an unfair advantage over those parties who are represented by
counsel. Williams, 2016 WL 374833, at *2; Pajooh
v. Miller, No. 01-16-00927-CV, 2017 WL 4896725, at *2
(Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 31, 2017, no pet. h.)
general challenge to the grant of summary judgment is
sufficient to preserve error and "to allow argument as
to all possible grounds upon which summary judgment should
have been denied." Plexchem Int'l, Inc. v.
Harris Cty. Appraisal Dist., 922 S.W.2d 930, 930-31
(Tex. 1996) (per curiam); see also Malooly Bros., Inc. v.
Napier, 461 S.W.2d 119, 121 (Tex. 1970). However, an
appellant asserting in a general appellate issue that the
summary judgment was erroneous, "must also support that
issue with argument challenging all possible grounds on which
the summary judgment could have been granted or a reviewing
court will ...