law-homestead | home equity loans | foreclosure | enforcement of judgment by forced sale of property |

The Texas Constitution specifically protects homesteads from forced sale except to
satisfy liens securing purchase money, tax, or home improvement debts. See Tex.
Const. art. XVI, § 50; see also Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 41.002 (Vernon 2000).
Stoker v. Stoker (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Nov. 6, 2008)(Keyes)
(
divorce, property division, economic contribution claim)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by
Justice Keyes  
Before Justices Taft, Keyes and Alcala
01-07-00056-CV Ronnie H. Stoker v. Diane Fischer Stoker
Appeal from 310th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Hon. Lisa Millard

Judgment Lien

In his fifth issue on appeal, Ronnie argues that the trial court erred in granting a judgment lien on his new
home with a right of foreclosure in favor of Diane and against Ronnie. Ronnie argues that the lien violates
article XVI, section 50 of the Texas Constitution.

Section 50 of article XVI of the Texas Constitution protects a person's homestead from forced sale for
the payment of most debts except those enumerated in subsection (a). (5) Stringer v. Cendant Mortg. Corp.,
23 S.W.3d 353, 354 (Tex. 2000). Ronnie argues that none of the subsection (a) exceptions applies and
therefore the lien against his new home is void. Diane responds that Ronnie did not present evidence that the
property was Ronnie's homestead. We agree with Diane's argument.

To establish homestead rights, the claimant must show a combination of both overt acts of homestead usage
and the intention on the part of the owner to claim the land as a homestead. Sanchez v. Telles, 960 S.W.2d
762, 770 (Tex. App.--El Paso 1997, writ denied) (citations omitted). The party claiming the homestead
exemption has the burden of establishing the homestead character of the property. Id.; NCNB Texas Nat'l
Bank v. Carpenter, 849 S.W.2d 875, 879 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1993, no writ).

At trial, Ronnie did not present evidence that the property on which the trial court attached a lien was his
homestead. (6) At best, Ronnie described the property as his home. Because Ronnie presented no evidence
to show that the property was his homestead, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting an
equitable lien on Ronnie's property. See Parker v. Dodge, 98 S.W.3d 297, 302 n.2 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st
Dist.] 2003, no pet.) (stating that appellant presented no proof that lien existed on homestead and issue
waived because it was not argued to trial court).

We overrule Ronnie's fifth issue on appeal.




TEXAS SUPREME COURT CASELAW ADDRESSING HOMESTEAD ISSUES

Lasalle Bank Nat'l Assn. v. White, No. 06-1016 (Tex. Dec. 21, 2007)(per curiam)(real estate law, agricultural
homestead, home-equity loan, lien validity)

Norris v. Thomas, No. 05-0476 (Tex. Feb. 9, 2007)(Willet) (boat not homestead under Texas homestead law)