Dale Buss, Forbes
The housing meltdown over the last several years claimed many victims. But in Texas, it keeps creating new ones: the thousands of homeowners who fall prey to property-tax lenders that help them pay overdue property taxes. So now there’s an effort in the new 83rd session of the Texas legislature to prevent property-tax loans from financially disabling still more Texans.
It turns out that thousands of homeowners not only have ponied up nearly usurious rates to property-tax lenders to get themselves out of a big financial squeeze but also that this specialized group of lenders legally jumps to the front of the line — even ahead of primary mortgage holders, and state and local governments with non-property-tax liens – when it comes to disposition of assets from subsequent foreclosure or sale of the house.
And property-tax lenders can use “expedited foreclosure,” which has limited judicial involvement and doesn’t allow for scrutiny over certain fees and costs claimed by the lender.