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.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at

Risk Management Provider Expands In Texas

Informative Research, a provider of data-driven risk management solutions for lenders and mortgage servicers for almost 70 years, has opened a new operations center near Dallas’ DFW International Airport.  The new state of the art facility is designed to heighten service levels for customers throughout the region and provide completely secure, redundant data and voice systems for Informative Research clients nationwide.

Informative Research is a tier one credit reporting agency (CRA) that provides proprietary tri-merge credit reports along with a broad variety of other risk management solutions for lenders and servicers, including pre-qualification, fraud detection, and credit score management tools.  The new operations center brings a full staff to the Dallas area to enhance service to the company’s clients and to provide superior disaster recovery capabilities.

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“In today’s changing compliance world, vendor managers are required to take a deeper dive into their vendor oversight models,” said Stan Baldwin, Informative Research chief operating officer.  “Many lenders and servicers are looking to reduce the numbers of vendors they have to monitor, particularly the ones with aging systems that can cause failures and outages.  A 100 percent redundant capability like ours is critical now, with switchovers from one system to the other virtually unnoticeable and transparent to clients,” he explained.  “And it is not only for our data and voice systems, but also for our customer support.  The new Dallas area facility is a completely staffed location, which means that expert people are available when our customers need to speak to a real person, regardless of a crisis situation,” he said.

The location chosen for the new operations center was close to DFW International Airport for a reason, Baldwin added.  “We always hope for the best, but we’re prepared for the worst.  If we have to bring people in from the West Coast to deal with a long-term disaster situation, we have our site furnished and prepared to accept the additional staff,” he noted.  “That’s why we are minutes away from this major airport.  We can have boots on the ground quickly when we need them, in addition to the advantage of having team members in multiple time zones for our day-to-day business operations.  This is a substantial benefit when dealing with the IRS for 4506-T services, for example, or the many other agencies with which we frequently interact on a personal level,” he said.

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The new facility is up and running as an operations center now, and in August becomes a complete backup facility.  “We deal with data, analytics and essential lending information on a daily basis, but many don’t realize that people are the factor that make the difference,” said Baldwin.  “Automation and technology are true wonders of the age, but when you need assistance and answers to make a transaction go smoothly, you want to speak to a knowledgeable person,” he said.  “Expert people have been our greatest asset since our founding in 1946.”

Lender Expands To Texas

Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage bank and one of the Country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, has opened its first retail branch office in Austin, Texas after receiving its Texas Mortgage Banker License from the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.

Mortgage Master is now able to originate residential mortgage loans in the State of Texas. The new office is located at 11614 Bee Caves Rd, Suite 270, Austin, Texas, and will offer high quality mortgage lending services to borrowers in Austin and surrounding communities.

In conjunction with the opening of the new Austin retail branch, Mortgage Master has hired Larry Weisinger as Branch Manager. Mr. Weisinger, who has over 15 years of mortgage industry experience, is being charged in his new role with attracting high quality loan originators and expanding production volumes and market share in the Austin marketplace, while providing some of the lowest pricing and best-in-class service to borrowers.

“After 25 years of responsible mortgage lending, Mortgage Master is excited about doing business in the great State of Texas, and helping borrowers find the right mortgage solution when purchasing or refinancing a home,” commented Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “As we continue to expand, Mortgage Master is attracting experienced leaders, like Larry, as well as high quality loan originators throughout the U.S. because of our supportive and sustainable business model, which provides borrowers with some of the best pricing available and enables loan officers to increase their production and income.”

Joining Mr. Weisinger in the Austin retail branch are two loan originators Christian Pfluger III and Christina Cadenhead. Additional loan originators hires are pending.