Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Collection of a Promissory Note - Multiple Instruments pertaining to the obligationa

Collection of a Promissory Note: Essential elements the creditor must prove 

To collect on a promissory note, a plaintiff m ust establish: (1) that the note exists; (2) that the defendant signed the note; (3) that the plaintiff is the owner and holder of the note; and (4) that a certain balance is due and owing on the note. Cadle Co. v. Regency Homes, Inc., 21 S.W.3d 670, 674 (Tex. App.—Austin 2000, pet. denied); see also Clark v. Dedina, 658 S.W.2d 293, 295–96 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1983, writ dism’d).

Business and Commerce Code Section 3.117

Business and commerce code section 3.117, titled “Other Agreements Affecting Instrument,” states in relevant part that
the obligation of a party to an instrument to pay the instrument may be modified, supplemented, or nullified by a separate agreement of the obligor and a person entitled to enforce the instrument, if the instrument is issued or the obligation is incurred in reliance on the agreement or as part of the same transaction giving rise to the agreement. To the extent an obligation is modified, supplemented, or nullified by an agreement under this section, the agreement is a defense to the obligation.
Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 3.117 (West 2002). “The separate agreement might be a security agreement . . . that contradicts the terms of the instrument.” Id. § 3.117 cmt. 1 (West Supp. 2010)

Multiple instruments / documents can be given effect as if they were one

Additionally, where two or more instruments, executed contemporaneously or at different times, pertain to the same transaction, the instruments will be read together, even though they do not expressly refer to each other. Bd. of Ins. Comm’rs v. Great S. Life Ins. Co., 150 Tex. 258, 267, 239 S.W.2d 803, 809 (1951); see also Fort Worth Indep. Sch. Dist. v. City of Fort Worth, 22 S.W.3d 831, 840 (Tex. 2000) (stating that it is “well-established law that instruments pertaining to the same transaction may be read together to ascertain the parties’ intent”).

SOURCE: Fort Worth Court of Appeals - 02-10-00296-CV - 8/4/11

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