United States District Court, S.D. Texas
OPINION ON JUDGMENT
N. Hughes United States District Judge.
August 2004, Latonya Thompson, her husband Dejaun Henry, and
the Mortgage Store Financial, Inc., concurrently signed a
primary and secondary lien note and purchase money deeds of
trust for each. The primary note was for $211, 760. The
secondary lien was a balloon-payment note with a principal of
$ 52, 940. Both deeds of trust gave the note's holder a
security interest in the real property at 2023 Upland Shadows
Drive, Sugar Land. Under both note s's default provision,
the note holder could accelerate payment and make the full
principal and interest immediately due if Thompson missed an
installment. The note required Thompson to pay monthly from
October 2004 until the note matured on September 1, 2019.
has not paid an installment since June 1, 2005. Thompson and
Henry divorced in July 2005. In August 005, the primary note
holder sold the property at a foreclosure sale for $217,
813.50. The secondary note holder was neither involved in the
sale nor received any proceeds from it. Thompson was served
with a writ of possession on September 7, 2005. Thompson
lived in the property until she was evicted.
National Trust Association, as Trustee for Cornerstone Quarry
2010 A Trust, holds the secondary note. On May 23, 2016, U.S.
Bank mailed Thompson a notice of default. On September 23,
2016, U.S. Bank mailed Thompson a notice of acceleration. The
amount owed on the second note, excluding court costs and
attorneys' fees, is $111, 156.97.
collect on the promissory note, JS Bank must show that (a) it
holds the note, (b) Thompson made the note, and (c) the note
has not been paid. Thompson says that she is not the
note's maker. She is wrong.
Thompson closed on the property, she simultaneously signed,
and notarized, many documents. The primary and secondary
notes and deeds of trust were some of these documents.
presumes that signatures on;i negotiable instrument are
genuine. If a party denies the signature's validity then
the party claiming validity must establish it. If validity is
denied, the presumption that the signature is valid remains
until evidence shows otherwise.
claims that her signature is a forgery. This is not enough to
trump the presumption of validity. Thompson must show that
her signature is invalid.
says that she did not sign the notes. She says that her
signature was forged on the documents. Her evidence of
forgery is that (a) the notary "is a criminal who pled
guilty to tampering with a governmental document one year
before the [notes] were allegedly signed" and that
"in a 1 attempt to conceal her criminal history, the
notary changed the name under which her commission to be a
notary was registered" and (b) the loan officer who
negotiated the loan was Thompson's brother' in-law
and "such behavior suggest there was a lack of
objectivity and appearance of impropriety in the
overcome the signature's validity, Texas requires
"clear and unmistakable proof that either the grantor
did not appear before the notary or that the notary practiced
some fraud or imposition upon the
grantor." Thompson relies on her affidavit and the
notary's probation papers to support her position.
According to Thompson, the notary's alleged concealment
is that she was originally commissioned as "Thelma Teran
Keyes" on October 29, 1999, but was recommissioned on
October 29, 2003, as "Thelma Keyes." Thompson
imagines that Keyes removed her middle name from her
registration because she pleaded guilty to tampering with a
government record on June 17, 2003. However, her registration
lasts for four years. She was first commissioned on October
29, 1999, and her license expired four years from that date,
or October 29, 2003. While she did remove her middle name,
when her recommissioned license expired on October 29, 2007,
it was re-recommissioned without her middle name.
affidavit says that she did not sign either note and that
there was a conspiracy between her ex-husband, his brother,
and Keyes to forge Thompson's signature. However, in a
pretrial conference before this court, Thompson admitted that
she signed the primary lien note, which was ...