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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In April 2001, Patsy Fowler obtained a $44,000 home-equity loan from First Union National Bank of Delaware, which later became Wachovia Bank of Delaware. As required by Texas Constitution Art. XVI, �50, Fowler had no personal liability on the loan; it was secured solely by her home in Waxahachie. In August 2003, Fowler filed suit to declare the lien on her home void, because her daughter, Marjorie Gilliam, owned a 25 percent undivided interest in the home but had not signed the loan documents. The suit sought to enjoin foreclosure proceedings by Wachovia Bank of Delaware NA. The plaintiffs’ petition sought personal or substituted service in general terms, without alleging any specific statute or procedural rule. The petition stated: “Wachovia . . . is a nonresident engaged in business in Texas and does not maintain a regular place of business or have a designated agent for service in Texas, and may be served with a citation directed to said Defendant at the following address by serving any officer of the bank: 920 King Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801. Service of said Defendant as described above can be effected by personal delivery or by service via the Texas Secretary of State.” The constable’s return shows service upon an agent for the Texas Secretary of State. The file contains a certificate from the Secretary indicating his office forwarded process to Wachovia at 920 King Street and received a return receipt “bearing the Signature of Addressee’s Agent.” On this record, the trial court granted a default judgment. Wachovia filed a restricted appeal challenging service on several grounds. Wachovia filed the restricted appeal within six months, so the only legal question for the 10th Court of Appeals to decide was whether error was apparent on the face of the record. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �17.045(a), the Texas long-arm statute, requires the secretary of state to forward substituted service to a nonresident’s “home or home office.” The 10th Court of Appeals held that the default here could not be affirmed under the long-arm statute, because nothing in the petition, citation or return alleged that 920 King Street was Wachovia’s home or home office. Nevertheless, the 10th Court affirmed the default judgment on the ground that substituted service was proper under the Texas Business Corporation Act. HOLDING:The court reversed the 10th Court’s judgment, vacated the default judgment and remanded the matter for further proceedings. The Texas Supreme Court held that the 10th Court erred when it upheld the substituted service under the Texas Business Corporation Act was proper, because Texas Business Corporation Act Art. 8.10(B) requires the Texas secretary of state to forward service to a foreign corporation’s “principal office.” Nothing in the record, the court stated, shows 920 King Street was Wachovia’s principal office. Here, the court stated, the petition, citation, return and the certificate from the Texas Secretary of State all listed Wachovia’s address as 920 King Street, Wilmington, Del.; none of those documents alleged this 920 King Street was Wachovia’s home office, principal office or anything else. The loan documents attached to the petition contained only North Carolina addresses for First Union, Wachovia’s alleged predecessor. As nothing in the record, the court stated, showed that the Texas Secretary of State forwarded process to Wachovia’s home office or principal office as required by the statutes on which the plaintiffs relied, the court held that error was apparent on the face of the record. OPINION:Per curiam.

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