PlainsCapital Bank v. Martin (Opinion)Annotate this Case
Respondent borrowed money from Bank pursuant to a construction loan agreement and promissory note. Defendant secured his obligations by executing a deed of trust on property. After Respondent defaulted on the note, Bank foreclosed its contractual deed of trust lien on the property. Bank purchased the property for less than the secured debt. Respondent sued Bank, arguing that Tex. Prop. Code Ann. 51.003 required Bank to offset the property’s fair market value on the date of foreclosure against any judgment in favor of Bank. Bank counterclaimed for damages and attorney’s fees. The trial court rendered judgment for Bank, concluding that section 51.003 did not apply. The court of appeals reversed, determining (1) Respondent’s deficiency must be calculated pursuant to section 51.003, and the term “fair market value” as used in the statute is the historical willing-seller/willing-buyer definition of fair market value; and (2) a factual question existed requiring further proceedings. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 51.003 applies to this case, but the term “fair market value” in that section does not equate precisely to the historical definition; and (2) the trial court did not err in its finding as to the section 51.003 fair market value of the property on the date of the foreclosure sale.