Thursday, November 28, 2013

TEXAS STATE LAW TO STOP FORECLOSURE OF YOUR HOMESTEAD: An individual is entitled to defer collection of a tax, abate a suit to collect a delinquent tax, or abate a sale to foreclose a tax lien if the individual: is 65 years of age or older or is disabled !


TAX DEFERRAL AFFIDAVIT TO FILE WITH CAMERON COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT



DEFERRED COLLECTION OF TAXES ON RESIDENCE HOMESTEAD OF ELDERLY OR DISABLED PERSON

Texas Property Tax Code, section 33.06

(a) An individual is entitled to defer collection of a tax, abate a suit to collect a delinquent tax, or abate a sale to foreclose a tax lien if the individual:


(1) is 65 years of age or older or is disabled as defined by Section 11.13(m); and

(2) the tax was imposed against property that the individual owns and occupies as a residence homestead.

(b) To obtain a deferral, an individual must file with the chief appraiser for the appraisal district in which the property is located an affidavit stating the facts required to be established by Subsection (a). The chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district of the filing. After an affidavit is filed under this subsection, a taxing unit may not file suit to collect delinquent taxes on the property and the property may not be sold at a sale to foreclose the tax lien until the 181st day after the date the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead.

(c) To obtain an abatement of a pending suit, the individual must file in the court in which suit is pending an affidavit stating the facts required to be established by Subsection (a). If no controverting affidavit is filed by the taxing unit filing suit or if, after a hearing, the court finds the individual is entitled to the deferral, the court shall abate the suit until the 181st day after the date the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead. The clerk of the court shall deliver a copy of the judgment abating the suit to the chief appraiser of each appraisal district that appraises the property.

(c-1) To obtain an abatement of a pending sale to foreclose the tax lien, the individual must deliver an affidavit stating the facts required to be established by Subsection (a) to the chief appraiser of each appraisal district that appraises the property, the collector for the taxing unit that requested the order of sale or the attorney representing that unit for the collection of delinquent taxes, and the officer charged with selling the property not later than the fifth day before the date of the sale. After an affidavit is delivered under this subsection, the property may not be sold at a tax sale until the 181st day after the date the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead. If property is sold in violation of this section, the property owner may file a motion to set aside the sale under the same cause number and in the same court as a judgment reference in the order of sale. The motion must be filed during the applicable redemption period as set forth in Section 34.21(a) or, if the property is bid off to a taxing entity, on or before the 180th day following the date the taxing unit's deed is filed of record, whichever is later. This right is not transferable to a third party.

(d) A tax lien remains on the property and interest continues to accrue during the period collection of taxes is deferred or abated under this section. The annual interest rate during the deferral or abatement period is eight percent instead of the rate provided by Section 33.01. Interest and penalties that accrued or that were incurred or imposed under Section 33.01 or 33.07 before the date the individual files the deferral affidavit under Subsection (b) or the date the judgment abating the suit is entered, as applicable, are preserved. A penalty under Section 33.01 is not incurred during a deferral or abatement period. The additional penalty under Section 33.07 may be imposed and collected only if the taxes for which collection is deferred or abated remain delinquent on or after the 181st day after the date the deferral or abatement period expires. A plea of limitation, laches, or want of prosecution does not apply against the taxing unit because of deferral or abatement of collection as provided by this section.

(e) Each year the chief appraiser for each appraisal district shall publicize in a manner reasonably designed to notify all residents of the district or county of the provisions of this section and, specifically, the method by which eligible persons may obtain a deferral or abatement.

(f) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, if an individual who qualifies for a deferral or abatement of collection of taxes on property as provided by this section dies, the deferral or abatement continues in effect until the 181st day after the date the surviving spouse of the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead if:

(1) the property was the residence homestead of the deceased spouse when the deceased spouse died;

(2) the surviving spouse was 55 years of age or older when the deceased spouse died; and

(3) the property was the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the deceased spouse died.


Sec. 33.065. Deferred Collection of Taxes on Appreciating Residence Homestead.

(a) An individual is entitled to defer or abate a suit to collect a delinquent tax imposed on the portion of the appraised value of property the individual owns and occupies as the individual's residence homestead that exceeds the sum of:


(1) 105 percent of the appraised value of the property for the preceding year; and

(2) the market value of all new improvements to the property.

(b) An individual may not obtain a deferral or abatement under this section, and any deferral or abatement previously received expires, if the taxes on the portion of the appraised value of the property that does not exceed the amount provided by Subsection (a) are delinquent.

(c) To obtain a deferral, an individual must file with the chief appraiser for the appraisal district in which the property is located an affidavit stating the facts required to be established by Subsection (a). The chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district of the filing. After an affidavit is filed under this subsection, a taxing unit may not file suit to collect delinquent taxes on the property for which collection is deferred until the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead.

(d) To obtain an abatement, the individual must file in the court in which the delinquent tax suit is pending an affidavit stating the facts required to be established by Subsection (a). If the taxing unit that filed the suit does not file a controverting affidavit or if, after a hearing, the court finds the individual is entitled to the deferral, the court shall abate the suit until the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as the individual's residence homestead. The clerk of the court shall deliver a copy of the judgment abating the suit to the chief appraiser of each appraisal district that appraises the property.

(e) A deferral or abatement under this section applies only to ad valorem taxes imposed beginning with the tax year following the first tax year the individual entitled to the deferral or abatement qualifies the property for an exemption under Section 11.13. For purposes of this subsection, the owner of a residence homestead that is qualified for an exemption under Section 11.13 on January 1, 1998, is considered to have qualified the property for the first time in the 1997 tax year.

(f) If the collection of delinquent taxes on the property was deferred in a prior tax year and the sum of the amounts described by Subsections (a)(1) and (2) exceeds the appraised value of the property for the current tax year, the amount of taxes the collection of which may be deferred is reduced by the amount calculated by multiplying the taxing unit's tax rate for the current year by the amount by which that sum exceeds the appraised value of the property.

(g) A tax lien remains on the property and interest continues to accrue during the period collection of delinquent taxes is deferred or abated under this section. The annual interest rate during the deferral or abatement period is eight percent instead of the rate provided by Section 33.01. Interest and penalties that accrued or that were incurred or imposed under Section 33.01 or 33.07 before the date the individual files the deferral affidavit under Subsection (c) or the date the judgment abating the suit is entered, as applicable, are preserved. A penalty is not incurred on the delinquent taxes for which collection is deferred or abated during a deferral or abatement period. The additional penalty under Section 33.07 may be imposed and collected only if the delinquent taxes for which collection is deferred or abated remain delinquent on or after the 91st day after the date the deferral or abatement period expires. A plea of limitation, laches, or want of prosecution does not apply against the taxing unit because of deferral or abatement of collection as provided by this section.

(h) Each year the chief appraiser for each appraisal district shall publicize in a manner reasonably designed to notify all residents of the county for which the appraisal district is established of the provisions of this section and, specifically, the method by which an eligible person may obtain a deferral.

(i) In this section:

(1) "New improvement" means an improvement to a residence homestead that is made after the appraisal of the property for the preceding year and that increases the market value of the property. The term does not include ordinary maintenance of an existing structure or the grounds or another feature of the property.

(2) "Residence homestead" has the meaning assigned that term by Section 11.13.




KNOW YOUR ENEMY! 

Linebarger Goggan Blair Sampson, LLP

Providing Post-Judgment Collection Remedies

While Linebarger Goggan makes every effort to work with delinquent taxpayers to avoid foreclosure, we will pursue all remedies available to our clients (CITIES, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, COUNTIES) in the event that the delinquency continues.

Delinquent tax sales are the last alternative to enforce collections. While selling someone's property is not desirable, it sometimes is necessary if collections are to be fairly and effectively enforced. Litigation often produces payment and maintains collection momentum as it sends an unmistakable message to the public about the need to resolve outstanding tax bills quickly.

For decades, Linebarger Goggan has developed and refined its processes related to the collection of judgments and the sale of real property. While our tax sales program is comprehensive in nature, we continually look for ways to improve upon the services we deliver and the results achieved for our clients.

When it comes to business personal property, a seizure is often the best way to secure payment of the taxes. The assets seized are auctioned and the proceeds are applied to the taxpayer's account. This approach may be carried out successive to or concurrently with other types of enforcement actions.

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