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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Alicia and Leland de la Garza entered into an agreement incident to divorce that provided for contractual alimony payments. On the first of each month, Leland was to pay Alicia $4,000 per month from April 1999 to December 2002. From January 2003 to Dec. 1, 2007, Leland was to pay $3,500 per month. Approximately two-thirds of the alimony payments were late. Alicia sent a demand letter to Leland in March 2003, at which time Leland paid enough to become current on the alimony payments. Also, Leland was to pay Alicia $30,000 as her separate property, to be paid in annual installments of $10,000 on the first day of 2000, 2001 and 2002. Leland did not make any of the separate installment payments on their due dates, though the entire amount was eventually paid by April 2002. Alicia sued on July 1, 2003, to enforce the alimony payment agreement. As damages, Alicia sought prejudgment interest on all of the late alimony payments and reimbursement for charges on funds she borrowed on her credit cards to make up for the missing alimony payments. After Leland filed for summary judgment, Alicia amended her complaint to add a claim for breach of the divorce agreement, for which she included as damages post-judgment interest on the money awarded in the agreement. The trial court granted Leland’s first motion, as well as his subsequent motion addressing the amended claim. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court first points out that the divorce agreement does not provide for prejudgment interest in the event alimony payments are untimely. The court, therefore, looks to various statutes and the common law to see if such a remedy is available. The court notes that at the time of this case, Finance Code �302.002 was in effect. That section provides that if a creditor has not agreed with an obligor to charge the obligor any interest, the creditor may charge and receive from the obligor legal interest at the rate of 6 percent a year on the principal amount of the credit extended by the creditor to the obligor beginning on the 30th day after the date on which the amount is due. The agreement here did not involve an extension of credit, Leland is not an obligor under the agreement, and Alicia is not a creditor. Consequently, this section does not apply. Nor does Finance Code �304.103 apply, because that statute applies only to wrongful death, personal injury and property damage cases. The court finds that prejudgment can be awarded under the common law only when it conforms with the statutory accrual and compounding formulas applicable to suits for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage. That formula, taken from Finance Code �304.104, prejudgment interest begins to accrue “on the earlier of the 180th day after the date the defendant receives written notice of a claim or the date the suit is filed.” The court observes that Leland never made an alimony payment that was more than 180 days late. The court rejects Alicia’s notion that the separate property installment was made more than 180 days late. This fact is irrelevant, the court says, to Alicia’s claim for prejudgment interest on untimely alimony payments. Consequently, even under common law, prejudgment interest did not accrue. Noting that parties cannot recover interest on attorneys’ fees, the court then holds that it sees no difference between recovering prejudgment interest on the attorneys’ fees and recovering interest on money borrowed on credit cards to pay attorneys’ fees. The court adds that it is undisputed that on each of the three dates Alicia got cash advances, Leland was current on all of his payments. As for Alicia’s argument that she was entitled to post-judgment interest on the amount Leland paid laid on the installment payments, the court concludes that the three $10,000 installments were not the equivalent of a $30,000 money judgment on which post-judgment interest accrued. Once Leland failed to make the payments as ordered, Alicia had the right to seek to have that portion of the decree reduced to a money judgment, but she did not. Finally, the court finds that Alicia was not entitled to attorneys’ fees. OPINION:O’Neill, J.; O’Neill, FitzGerald and Lang, JJ.

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