This article covers cases from Volumes 464 through 498 of the South Western Reporter (Third Edition) and federal cases during the same period that the authors believe are noteworthy to the jurisprudence on the applicable subject.
This Survey period continues with the onslaught of cases arising from the home mortgage meltdown that began in 2008. Numerous cases of first impression on various aspects of foreclosures (a mortgage servicer is a debt collector under the Texas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and collateral attacks on a tax lien sale) and home-equity liens are addressed. Tax lien cases also remain prevalent, presenting a few unique aspects. Two cases addressed the recission of acceleration notices. Most importantly, the Texas Supreme Court addressed issues of first impression on constitutional forfeitures and limitation periods in the home-equity lien context.
As in past years, the courts addressed the ambiguity of contracts, the Statute of Frauds, and the parol evidence rule in multiple cases. Historically, courts and practititioners have rarely dealt with the Statute of Frauds, but today the issue seems to arise with increasing frequency. In one notable case, the court dealt with the often relied-upon clause in transaction documents requiring all amendments to be in writing.
In connection with title matters, the courts continued trying to discern the intent of the parties or the desired outcome. There are a number of cases illustrating drafting considerations and procedures for perfecting title. Easement cases claiming a roadway were also further refined. Finally the Texas Supreme Court addressed various statutes providing limitations on premises liability.
J. Richard White, et al., Real Property, 3 SMU Ann. Tex. Surv. 367 (2017)