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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 1992, Stephanie Robin Cook purchased two lots in Taylor County on which she had a Jim Walter home constructed. When Stephanie married Gilbert Cook in 1998, the house was the couple’s homestead. In 1999 Gilbert took out a $54,900 mortgage on the property and signed a note payable to Irwin Mortgage Corp. Gilbert and Stephanie also signed a deed of trust in favor of Irwin to secure the loan. The deed of trust listed the address of the property. Irwin assigned the note and the deed to Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. The deed of trust contained a renewal and extension provision that said, “The Note secured hereby is in renewal and extension, but not in extinguishment, of that certain indebtedness described on the Renewal And Extension Rider attached hereto and made a part hereof for all purposes.” In turn, the renewal and extension ride described the indebtedness as a “Deed of Trust dated June 30, 1992, securing $57,600.00, executed by Gilbert C. Cook, Jr., in favor of Security State Bank as recorded in Volume 1861, Page 107, Official Public Records of Taylor County, Texas.” Gilbert died, and Stephanie brought a declaratory judgment action against Chase for a declaration that the deed of trust was invalid because the property wasn’t sufficiently described, and that the deed of trust was void and unenforceable as a lien against her homestead. Chase argued that the property description was sufficient. Alternatively, Chase sough reformation of the description on the ground of mutual mistake. Chase also said the deed of trust created an enforceable lien against Stephanie’s homestead. Stephanie presented evidence that 1. Gilbert never got a loan from Security State Bank; 2. that the deed of trust recorded in the listed volume was not a deed of trust from Gilbert to Security; 3. that, in 1992, Gilbert had borrowed $5,760 from Security State to purchase the two lots in Taylor County; 4. that Gilbert signed a deed of trust in favor of Security State securing payment of the $5,760 note and providing Security State with a vendor’s lien on the two lots; 5. that Gilbert paid off the Security State note in 1996; and 6. that, on Aug. 23, 1996, Security State executed a release of its lien providing that the note had been paid in full. After the evidence was concluded in the bench trial, Chase sought to file a trial amendment based on mutual mistake in the renewal and extension rider of the deed of trust. In support of its request, Chase offered several exhibits: 1. a Dec. 2, 1992, mechanic’s lien Gilbert and Jim Walter Homes, Inc., covering one acre of property and providing to Jim Walter Homes a purchase money security interest, described as a contractual mechanic’s lien, on the home that was to be constructed on the property; 2. a Dec. 17, 1999, settlement statement identifying the borrower as Gilbert, identifying the lender as Irwin Mortgage, providing for a loan amount of $54,900, and providing that $49,960 of the loan proceeds were to be used to “Payoff of 1st Lien Mid States Mortgage”; and 3. a Jan. 25, 2000, release of the Dec. 2, 1992, Jim Walter Homes mechanic’s lien, executed on behalf of First Union National Bank, by Mid-State Homes, its attorney-in-fact. The trial court denied the request for a trial amendment. Judgment was entered granting Chase reformation of the property description to describe the property by lot and block number, size and reference to a survey. The judgment also declared the deed of trust void and unenforceable as a lien against Stephanie’s homestead. Chase appeals the homestead decision. HOLDING:Affirmed. On appeal, Chase asserts that the trial court erred in holding that the deed of trust was void and unenforceable as a lien against Stephanie’s homestead. Chase says that the deed of trust created an enforceable lien under the doctrine of subrogation. Subrogation may arise when a lender advances money to pay off a prior lien on property, and Chase argues that Gilbert used the proceeds from the Irwin Mortgage loan to pay off a Mid States Mortgage lien on the property; therefore, Chase is subrogated to the Mid States Mortgage lien. The court finds that Chase waived its argument by not raising it at trial. However, the court also rules that even if Chase had not waived its subrogation theory, the trial court would not have erred in finding against Chase on this theory. Chase did not present any testimony establishing how Gilbert used the proceeds in the manner described by Chase. Nor was there evidence of a mechanic’s lien or any other type of lien in favor of Mid States Mortgage. “The evidence establishes neither the elements of Chase’s contractual subrogation claim as a matter of law nor that a finding against Chase on its subrogation claim would have been against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence.” The court then considers the trial court’s denial of Chase’s request for a trial amendment on the reformation issue. Chase argues that the Cooks and Irwin Mortgage intended to refer the Jim Walters Homes mechanic’s lien in the deed of trust instead of the Security State note. The court finds that the amendment would have been prejudicial on its face because it set out a new claim one for reformation based on mutual mistake, so the denial was proper. Chase knew ahead of time that Stephanie was asserting that there was no $57,600 Security State note, and that the $5,760 Security State note had been paid off. Chase, then, was not diligent in raising the new issue, either, and has not demonstrated how the trial court abused its discretion. Even if the trial court had permitted the amendment, it would not have erred in finding against Chase on its reformation claim. There was no evidence of an original agreement between the Cooks and Irwin Mortgage to renew and extend the Jim Walter Homes mechanic’s lien, not evidence of mutual mistake. The exhibits offered by Chase do not establish mutual mistake as a matter of law. Finally, the court reviews whether the trial court should have held that the retention-of-benefits rule applied. There is an enforceable obligation for the amount loaned in the absence of a judgment against Stephanie. Gilbert signed the Irwin Mortgage note, and the note is enforceable against his estate. Thus, a judgment is not needed to create an enforceable debt. “Additionally, [Stephanie] was not a party to the note. Equity does not require [Stephanie] to pay off a note that she did not sign and on which she is not individually liable. Finally, Chase should not be permitted to use the retention-of-benefits rule in a manner that would deny [Stephanie] her constitutionally protected homestead rights.” OPINION:McCall, J.; Arnot, C.J., Wright and McCall, JJ.

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