Texas Homeowners Held Hostage By Lobbyists

Aaron Anderson, CEO of Accumatch, a provider of property tax tracking services for non-escrowed loans, tax reporting and payment services for escrowed loans, and redemption services for delinquent portfolios, issued a statement today in favor of HB 2832, a bill currently working its way through the Texas legislature. The bill, if signed into law, would require that mortgage servicers be notified before their borrower enters into a contract with a property tax lender.

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“A predatory industry has developed around the fact that borrowers in Texas sometimes fall behind on their taxes,” Anderson said. “Instead of offering these buyers a helping hand and helping them get back on track, these companie put them further behind. Now that a law has been proposed that will allow a servicer or tax collector to come to the borrower’s rescue, a powerful lobby is working to see that the law is never passed.”

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HB 2832 would amend the state’s tax code such that property owners that intend to enter into a contract with a property tax lender would provide notice to the mortgage servicer not later than the 10th day before the property owner executes a contract with a transferee. Further, the new law would allow a property owner to authorize another person to pay the taxes imposed by a taxing unit on the owner’s real property by filing paperwork with the collector for the taxing unit. This would give the mortgage servicer the flexibility to help the borrower work out a solution. It would also grant disabled persons relief.

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Accumatch has spent that last few years working with County Clerk’s throughout the state of Texas to develop a database that tracks tax lien transfers across the state. The database the company developed along with all of the records it has accumulated is made available to its banking and servicing clients across the state at no charge. The tool allows servicers to identify tax lien transfers even if they have not been previously notified.

“The majority of tax collectors already provide a payment plan for borrowers that need help paying their taxes,” Anderson said. “Mortgage servicers would rather modify a mortgage and pay the property taxes on behalf of the homeowner than lose their lien position to a predatory third party. The number of homeowners that are trapped into a second or even third tax lien transfer once they have entered into the first should cause elected officials of our state to take pause and evaluate what is truly in the best interest of their constituents.”

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