Charter Nat'l Bank-Houston v. Stevens

In Charter Nat'l Bank-Houston v. Stevens, 781 S.W.2d 368 (Tex.App.--Houston 14th Dist. 1989, writ denied), Charter had made loans to Stevens for commercial real estate purposes. When Charter gave notice of its intent to foreclose after Stevens was faced with business hardships, one of the tenants of the commercial property contacted Charter, expressed an interest in purchasing the property at the foreclosure sale, and made arrangements for financing. Charter's representative promised to contact the tenant but failed to do so and, as the sole bidder at the foreclosure sale, Charter obtained the property. Charter's outside counsel served as substitute trustee. The tenant filed a wrongful foreclosure suit in which Stevens intervened. Judgment was awarded to Stevens for the difference between the fair market value as found by the jury and the stipulated indebtedness due to Charter. Id. at 370. The judgment was affirmed on appeal. Id at 376. In tracing Texas law on wrongful foreclosure, the court in Charter noted that the means for finding a causal connection between irregularities of the sale and inadequacy of selling price is described in Allen v. Pierson, 60 Tex. 604 (1884). Charter Nat'l Bank-Houston, 781 S.W.2d at 372. The court noted, "under our system it is a question of fact to be determined from the evidence whether or not the irregularity had any influence upon the consideration for which the property sold. It is not a matter of law to be assumed by the court." Id. at 374.