Article courtesy of Clint Culpepper of Baker Botts
Wilson v. Cap. Partners Fin. Grp. USA, Inc., No. 05-20-00704-CV, 2022 WL 2437595, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 4600 (Tex. App.—Dallas July 5, 2022) (unpublished opinion)
In Wilson v. Cap. Partners Fin. Grp. USA, Inc., No. 05-20-00704-CV, 2022 WL 2437595, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 4600 (Tex. App.—Dallas July 5, 2022) (unpublished opinion), a lessor leased medical equipment, and the lessee signed a guarantee in respect of the lease. The lessee stopped making payments, and the lessor sent the lessee several notices of default. The lessor also sent the lessee an email announcing its intent to repossess and sell the medical equipment. Once the equipment was sold, the lessee sued the lessor for theft of service, fraud, breach of contract, and quantum meruit. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the lessor. The lessee appealed based on whether the lessor’s email provided the lessee with adequate notice of its intent to sell the collateral. The appellate court reversed the trial court. Section 9.613 of the Texas Business and Commercial Code creates a safe harbor for a notification of disposition if it satisfies the five required categories of information. The information must: (1) describe the debtor and the secured party, (2) describe the collateral that is the subject of the intended disposition, (3) state the method of intended disposition, (4) state that the debtor is entitled to an accounting of the unpaid indebtedness and states the charge, if any, for an account, and (5) state the time and place of the public disposition or the time after which any other disposition is to be made. The appellate court found the first element was the only element the lessor sufficiently met. The court explained the other four elements were deficient because the lessor’s email included vague statements that failed to communicate the information required under the statute.