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609_s_w_2d_754 Land Title

609_s_w_2d_754 Land Title - 109NST Print Request LEXSEE...

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109NST Print Request: LEXSEE Time of Request: February 18, 2003 04:41 PM EST Number of Lines: 186 Job Number: 1821:0:80879389 Client ID/Project Name: me Research Information: Lexsee 609 s.w.2d 754 Send to: BAIN, BRUCE BAIN & BAIN 1535 WEST LOOP S FL 4 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77027-9509
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LEXSEE 609 s.w.2d 754 Land Title Company of Dallas, Inc., et al., Petitioners v. F.M. Stigler, Inc., et al., Respondents No. B-9272 SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS 609 S.W.2d 754; 1980 Tex. LEXIS 420; 24 Tex. Sup. J. 117 December 10, 1980 SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: [**1] Rehearing Denied January 21, 1980. PRIOR HISTORY: From Dallas County, Fifth District. COUNSEL: Cowles, Sorrels, Patterson & Thompson, R. Brent Cooper, Dallas, DeLange, Hudspeth, Pitman & Katz, Eugene J. Pitman, Sellers & Berg, Michael G. Tapp, Houston, for petitioners. Storey, Armstrong, Steger & Martin, Hugh L. Steger, Robert S. Addison and Frederick W. Addison, III, Dallas, for respondents. OPINIONBY: DENTON OPINION: [*755] This priority of liens case involves the question of ratification by a principal of the unauthorized act of its agent. Floyd M. Stigler, Inc. and others sued Leon D. Hogg, Jr. for recovery on its note and for judicial foreclosure of its deed of trust. Stigler also sued HNC Realty Company to set aside the foreclosure sale, to declare the subordination agreement invalid, and to declare its prior deed of trust lien superior to HNC's deed of trust. Hogg and HNC filed third-party actions against Land Title Company of Dallas, Inc., d/b/a Southwest Land Title Company, for indemnity and contribution. The trial court found that plaintiff Floyd M. Stigler, Inc. ratified the action of its agent, R. B. Russell, by retaining the benefits of an unauthorized transaction [**2] executed by Russell subordinating the Stigler's first lien to that of HNC Realty Company. The trial court rendered judgment that Stigler take nothing against HNC. The court of civil appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the cause. 595 S.W.2d 158. We reverse the judgment of the court of civil appeals and affirm the judgment of the trial court. In 1972, Floyd M. Stigler, Inc. and other heirs of the Lively estate contracted to sell forty-three acres of land, situated in Dallas County, to Leon D. Hogg, Jr. Closing was set for February 15, 1973. Stigler executed a warranty deed to Hogg dated February 12, 1973 and delivered it to its agent R. B. Russell. Hogg executed a deed of trust and note payable to Stigler for $ 1,418,332.76. A provision was included in the deed of trust that it could be subordinated to a lien for construction and improvements. On February 9, 1973, Stigler executed a power of attorney authorizing Russell to subordinate Stigler's first lien to a subsequent lien for construction and improvements. This power of attorney was filed of record in Dallas County on February 23, 1973. Because Hogg had difficulty obtaining funds for the down payment, [**3] closing was not held on February 15, 1973. Closing was held on August 15, 1973 at which time the warranty deed and deed of trust were filed of record. At closing, Hogg tendered $ 472,777.60 to Stigler as down payment of the purchase price.
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