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.

Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC v. Blevins Robertson

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

January 3, 2020

REVERSE MORTGAGE FUNDING, LLC, Appellant
v.
CARLA NAGLE BLEVINS ROBERTSON, Appellee

          Submitted: November 18, 2019

          On Appeal from the 115th District Court Marion County, Texas Trial Court No. 1900039

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

          OPINION

          Ralph K. Burgess Justice

         The trial court entered a default judgment against Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF), after it failed to timely answer a lawsuit filed against it by Carla Nagle Blevins Robertson. RMF filed a motion for new trial that was overruled by operation of law. RMF appeals. Because we find that RMF failed to establish a prima facie meritorious defense to Robertson's lawsuit, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         In 1995, Richard R. Nagle executed a will in which he left his "real property located at 1201 Pinehill Drive" in Jefferson to his wife, Katie Maurine Nagle, "to be used, occupied and enjoyed by her for and during her natural life." According to the will, this property was to vest in Nagle's daughters, Carla (Blevins) Robertson and Julie Hamm, on Katie's death. In 2008, following Nagle's death in 2005, Katie entered into a reverse mortgage loan agreement in the amount of $131, 250.00 with the predecessor in interest to RMF, [1] secured by a deed of trust on the real property and improvements located at 1201 Pine Hill Drive in Jefferson, Marion County, Texas (the Property).

         In a suit to quiet title to the Property filed on March 19, 2019, Robertson alleged that Katie's life estate in the Property terminated when she died in March 2019. Robertson claimed that because Katie only owned a life estate in the Property, she lacked authority to enter into the reverse mortgage loan agreement. When RMF did not timely answer the lawsuit, the trial court entered a default judgment in favor of Robertson finding that

Robertson is the owner in fee simple of the house and lot(s) located at 1201 Pinehill Drive . . . by virtue of the testate passage of same from her father, Richard R. Nagle, to her and her now deceased sister in a will probated in Marion County, Texas[, ] on November 14, 2005[, ] and recorded in Volume J-3 Page 144 et seq in probate Cause Number P006038.

         The trial court further determined that "Katie Maurine Nagle acquired no ownership interest in said property and only acquired a life estate in said property which terminated on her death" and that the deeds of trust dated November 12, 2008, "are void and shall be released since the 'borrower' in said documents was Katie Maurine Nagle who was not 'lawfully seised' of the property as covenanted in the deeds of trust." On May 6, 2019, RMF filed a motion for new trial that was overruled by operation of law.[2] See Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(c).

         II. Analysis

         We review the trial court's denial of a motion for new trial for an abuse of discretion. Action Powersports, Inc. v. 1STEL, Inc., 500 S.W.3d 632, 639 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 2016, no pet.) (citing Director, State Employees Workers' Compensation Div. v. Evans, 889 S.W.2d 266, 268 (Tex.1994)). Following the entry of a default judgment, the defaulting party is entitled to a new trial when

(1) the failure of the defendant to answer before judgment was not intentional, or the result of conscious indifference on his part, but was due to a mistake or an accident; provided (2) the motion for a new trial sets up a meritorious defense; and (3) is filed at a time when the granting thereof will occasion no delay or otherwise work an injury to the plaintiff.

Bank One, Tex., N.A. v. Moody, 830 S.W.2d 81, 82-83 (Tex. 1992) (citing Craddock v. Sunshine Bus Lines, 133 S.W.2d 124, 126 (Tex. 1939)). It is undisputed that RMF's failure to answer was not intentional and that the granting of a motion for new trial would not have occasioned delay or otherwise worked an injury to Robertson. ...


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.