Bank seeks to collect on note from deceased woman's estate

Kelly Holleran Jan. 5, 2009, 5:52am

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank has filed suit against the unknown heirs of a deceased Texas woman, alleging the heirs failed to make payments on a promissory note after her death.

Azzie Lee McClatchy executed a promissory note with Chase on Nov. 19, 2004, for $20,000 with interest at 6.85 percent, according to the complaint filed Dec. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

The suit states "this is an in rem proceeding" and that Chase Bank "does not seek personal liability" against any defendants obligated for the debt or named in the suit.

Monthly installments were to begin on Jan. 1, 2005, and to continue until May 1, 2008, the suit states.

Along with the execution of the note, McClatchy executed a homestead lien contract and deed of trust on property at 4220 Garden St. in Beaumont that would secure payments on the note, the bank claims.

The homestead lien contract and deed of trust conveyed McClatchy's property as the security, according to the complaint.

McClatchy died Jan. 31, 2008. The suit states it appears that no probate proceeding has been opened for McClatchy thus no executor or administrator will be made a party in this proceeding.

Under the Texas Probate Code, the heirs of the McClatchy estate, whether known or unknown, acquired her interest in the property upon her death.

J.P. Morgan has not received a payment from McClatchy since June 1, 2008, although it made written demand for her to pay the money Oct. 20, 2008, the suit states.

"The total amount of the debt as of the date of this petition consists of $14,705.21, which represents the unpaid principal balance in addition to other charges due and owing," the suit states.

The bank wants to hold a public auction on the property McClatchy conveyed as a security.

"A public auction of the Property would be the most expedient means to put the Property back into the stream of commerce, as well as into the housing stock of the community," the suit states. "Otherwise, the Property will continue to be a wasting asset that is subject to vandalism and deterioration."

J.P. Morgan is seeking an order directing the sale of the property or foreclosure on the property, an order declaring McClatchy's unknown heirs have no personal liability for the loan agreement and other relief to which it may be entitled.

It is represented by Mary M. Speidel of Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th District Court.

Case No. A182-886

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