Session April 11, 2018
from the Chancery Court for Maury County No. 13-612 Robert L.
borrower filed a pro se petition against a mortgage company
and law firm seeking to enjoin a foreclosure sale. The trial
court issued the injunction but, upon motion of the mortgage
company and law firm, set aside the order granting injunctive
relief after finding the order void. The trial court also
found that the borrower's petition failed to state a
claim and dismissed the action. We vacate in part and affirm
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Vacated in Part and Affirmed in Part
Jo Goodman, Columbia, Tennessee, pro se.
Paxton Roberts and Jean Anne Tipps, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC.
D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Thomas R. Frierson, II, and W. Neal McBrayer, JJ., joined.
D. BENNETT, JUDGE.
Factual and Procedural Background
December 18, 2007, Betty Jo Goodman obtained a loan from
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. in the amount of
$73, 600. She secured the loan by executing a deed of trust
in favor of Statewide Title & Escrow of Tennessee, LLC,
as trustee for real property located at 113 Beech Street,
Columbia, Tennessee ("the property"). After Ms.
Goodman ceased making payments on the loan in June 2010,
foreclosure sales were scheduled in 2010 and 2011 but were
never completed. Thereafter, she filed two petitions for
Chapter 13 bankruptcy: one on April 20, 2012 and one on March
13, 2013. The bankruptcy court dismissed both petitions
because Ms. Goodman failed "to appear in the prosecution
of the case."
2013, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, ("Nationstar") was
the holder of indebtedness on the property. Nationstar
appointed Shapiro & Kirsch, LLP ("Shapiro") as
successor trustee under the deed of trust and scheduled a
foreclosure sale for November 7, 2013. To stop the scheduled
foreclosure, Ms. Goodman filed an emergency petition for a
restraining order and supporting memorandum in the chancery
court for Maury County on November 7, 2013, seeking to enjoin
the foreclosure. Her petition alleged, in pertinent part, as
4. Petitioner will suffer imminent and irreparable injury if
Respondent(s) are not enjoined from foreclosing on the
property owned by Petitioner. Ten[n]. R. Civ. P. 65.03.
5. There is no adequate remedy at law because once the
foreclosure sale has taken place, Petitioner will suffer
the complete loss of the property as Respondent(s) will sell
the property to a third party who will have a right to
possession without regard to the claims Petitioner has
6. There is a substantial likelihood that Petitioner will
prevail on the merits.
7. Petitioner will be able to show that:
8. The threatened harm to Petitioner outweigh[s] the harm
that an emergency temporary restraining order would inflict
9. Petitioner will suffer loss of the use of said property
and will lose opportunity to maintain same and Respondent(s)
will suffer loss by having to maintain an empty property that
cannot be insured.
10. Issuance of an emergency temporary restraining order
would not adversely affect the public interest and public
policy because there are already a great number of empty
houses with the current residential foreclosure mess.
11. Adding more will simply increase the burden on the local
[sic] as it will create opportunity for vandalism and further
other criminal activity.
12. The court should enter this emergency temporary
restraining order without notice to Respondent(s) because
Petitioner will suffer immediate and irreparable injury,
loss, or damage if the order is not granted before
Respondent(s) can be heard as Respondent(s)['] ...