Last day to protest taxes: April 30

Published by Research Editor on April 15th, 2015 - in Protest, Taxes

Last Day to Protest Property Taxes

 

Have a single-family residence? April 30 is the last day to protest your property taxes. If your taxes are too high, you have a constitutional right to protest.

To get your protest started, review our protest series, which will take you through the four steps of protest:

  1. Filing notice
  2. Preparing for your hearing
  3. The hearing
  4. Dissatisfied? Next steps.

If your property taxes are fair, but you’re not in a position to pay them, consider a property tax loan.

Are Property Tax Lenders Financial Vampires?

Published by Research Editor on March 13th, 2015 - in Loans

Are property tax lenders (PTL) out to suck the last money from cash-strapped citizens? Are they trying to scam people and steal their houses? Or are they misunderstood?

Like vampires, werewolves, or other mythical creatures, property tax lenders are often accused of vile acts: stealing your property, attacking you with vicious fees, throttling you in the night by high interest rates, and using force. Let’s look at each of these to separate fact from fiction.

Stealing property?

Is a property tax lender secretly trying to get you to commit to a loan you can’t pay, so they can foreclose on (“steal”) your property and make money off it?

In fact, it is so unprofitable that the PTL is unlikely to foreclose at all. In 2013, out of 40,636 loans receivable by PTLs, only 103 properties were foreclosed on.

Attacking by fees and costs?

If PTLs were vampires, trying to suck all they could out of a dying victim, common sense would expect fees and costs to rise every year as PTLs tried to take more and more.

However, the reality is far different: closing costs dropped 44% from 2008 to 2014. And because of recent legislation, 12% of fees are no longer available for PTLs to charge. It is cheaper today to get a property tax loan than it was a few years ago.

Throttling with interest rates?

Well, that may be all well and good, but surely they’ve hiked up the interest rate to compensate for lower fees and closing costs, right? That’s what a vampire would do.

Put away your garlic and wooden stakes: interest rates have gone down. Recent data shows residential and commercial interest rates at 14.28%, compared to 15.46% in 2008.

That’s not all. The maximum allowed interest rate is 18%. If a PTL were sucking its victims dry, it would be charging the most it possibly could. But it’s not.

Using force?

While a vampire may try to break into your house, nobody forces a PTL on consumers. People choose property tax lenders among their many options for paying property tax loans.

In a report for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Kathleen Hunker suggests that property tax lenders exist because they fill a need in the marketplace, a need that the government cannot fulfill with its payment options.

Misunderstood?

Low foreclosure rates; lowering fees, costs, and interest rates; and voluntary loans suggest that property tax lenders are not blood-sucking vampires, but instead are legitimate businesses seeking to work in ways that are mutually beneficial.

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Benefits of Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on August 12th, 2013 - in Taxes

Property taxes are high, especially in Texas, where we have the 14th highest property tax rate in America.

But when you factor in your entire tax burden, including sales, property, and income taxes, Texas ranks 6th lowest in the nation.

You already know that property taxes bring revenue to the government, which pays for all sorts of benefits. But what other benefits are there to property taxes? Charles Gilliland, David Adame, and Michael Oberrender answered our question in an excellent article entitled “In Defense of the Property Tax.”

Stable Revenue

In the article, the authors state, “Because property values change slowly, the property tax base is more stable than income and sales taxes.” A stable revenue means a stable government, which is beneficial all around.

To compare, a study found that sales taxes varied by more than 40% between 2000 and 2011. It would be hard for a government to function well on such wildly varying revenue.

Lower Taxes

Even though property taxes are high, our overall tax burden is nearly the lowest in America. How can this be? The article quotes a report that suggests that, if sales tax were to completely replace property tax, the sales tax would have to be 25% just to maintain current revenue.

A lower sales tax–of 11%–would be possible, but only if the tax base was expanded by taxing everything not currently taxed, including food, medicine, and real estate.

Either way, a skyrocketing sales tax would offset any savings from eliminating a property tax.

Economic Growth

Furthermore, the “In Defense of the Property Tax” article examines a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on 21 countries, which suggests that higher sales taxes would not benefit the economy. “Property taxes, and particularly recurrent taxes on immovable property, seem to be the most growth friendly,” the study concludes.

Beneficial for All

Even though property taxes are high, they benefit Texas by providing a stable revenue, keeping taxes lower, and sparking economic growth.

Texas Property Tax Lienholders Association: encouraging honest lenders

Published by Research Editor on August 5th, 2013 - in Loans

Sometimes it feels like businesses exist to rip you off. Everything’s a scam and nobody speaks honestly anymore.

When it comes to finding a property tax loan lender, unethical behavior is unacceptable. If you’re going to trust your money to a lender, they must have integrity.

One way to encourage ethical business practices is to only work with those who have pledged to be honest. The Texas Property Tax Lienholders Association (TPTLA) requires its members to promise to conduct business honestly, honorably, and with integrity.

They also promise to keep non-public information confidential, respect your rights, and treat you fairly.

The TPTLA is a great place to look for a property tax loan lender. There are lots of predatory lenders out there; the TPTLA sort of acts as a regulatory body amongst the honest lenders.

(UPDATE: As of 8/5 the TPTLA site is down for updates, but we anticipate it coming back up soon)

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Final installment due on July 31 for Disabled or Senior Citizens

Published by Research Editor on July 24th, 2013 - in Taxes

Are you paying your property taxes in installments? Your final payment is due next week! Hurry and send in 1/4 of your property tax bill for 2012.

Remember, you can always pay extra, but don’t get behind! Failing to pay the full 1/4 of your taxes will earn you interest and a 6% penalty on the unpaid amount.

If you are having difficulty paying your installments, consider a property tax loan among your options.

Why are there so many Property Tax Lenders?

Published by Tech Team on June 24th, 2013 - in Loans, Taxes

Over the past decade we’ve seen an explosion of new property tax lenders.  If you are delinquent on your property taxes, you have probably already received a dozen offers from tax lenders.

What is known about Property Tax Lenders

The CPPP published an article back in 2007 about property tax lending. The article explains how tax lenders operate and that there are alternatives.

Summary

In general, a tax loan in Texas is a super superior lien. This means that even if you have a mortgage on your house, the tax lender can foreclose and your mortgage lender has to either pay off the tax lien to retain the property or forfeit their lien on the property.

With all the financial stress in the country right now, many small groups of investors have moved to tax lending as a secure and very low risk way to invest their money.

Need a Property Tax Loan?

If you’ve tried the options that local counties provide and still find yourself needing a loan, our team at Texas Property Tax Loans is very knowledgeable and can help you get a loan for your specific needs.

See how easily you can get financial relief

Published by Research Editor on June 17th, 2013 - in Loans

73% of Americans say that money is the top factor that affects their stress level. The stress and pain that comes with financial burdens can be overwhelming and debilitating.

 

Taking control over your financial situation will give you relief and help you move forward. One of the easiest ways to get financial relief is through a property tax loan, which lets you:

  • Stay in your house
  • Pay off the loan on your terms, not the government’s terms
  • Stop worrying about huge penalties for late property tax payments
  • Avoid serious lawsuits
  • Prevent foreclosure

Coming up: deadline to pay second half of split payments

Published by Research Editor on June 15th, 2013 - in Taxes

Did you split your 2013 property tax bill into two payments? If so, the second payment is due on or before June 30.

For more information on splitting your property tax payments, see our post, Split Payments: Is it for You?
For more on property tax loans, see Texas Property Tax Loans.

8 things to look for in a property tax lender

Published by Research Editor on June 10th, 2013 - in Loans, Taxes

There are many property tax loan lenders in Texas. How do you pick the one that’s right for you? Here are 8 things to look for:

1. Quick turnaround

Usually when you need a loan, you need one as quickly as possible–the sooner you get the loan, the less interest and fees get piled up. Find a lender that promises a quick approval process.

2. No Upfront Costs and Fees

One of the benefits of a property tax loan is avoiding fees. Don’t accept a lender who will saddle you with more fees than the government would.

3. Convenient Closing

Do you have to travel across the state to sign closing papers? Or will the lender come to your home or office?

4. Online Account Information

Can you access your account information online? Is it convenient? And secure?

5. No Prepayment Penalties

If you choose to pay off your loan early, will your lender penalize you with extra fees?

6. Protecting You from Third Parties

Will your lender sell or give your private information to third parties?

7. How Foreclosure Is Handled

Foreclosure is a difficult prospect. After all, one of the reasons you want a proprety tax loan is to avoid foreclosure, isn’t it?

The problem is, if a lender promises they never foreclose, there’s a problem: if you become delinquent, the lender who never forecloses is going to sell your loan to someone else, who will foreclose on you, instead of helping you.

8. Outsourcing

Most loans you get will never be touched again by your lender. If they don’t immediately sell the loan, many hire another company to service the loans. And whoever services the loan is the company you’ll spend the most time dealing with.

So if the lender’s bedside manner or courtesy is important to you, make sure they’re not going to outsource their servicing.

 

We think we can provide you with the best property tax loan experience, but whether you choose us or someone else for your needs, choose wisely.

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Options for Delinquency

Published by Research Editor on June 3rd, 2013 - in Tax Penalties, Taxes

A new law requires property tax lenders to include this line in their ads:

“YOUR TAX OFFICE MAY OFFER DELINQUENT TAX INSTALLMENT PLANS THAT MAY BE LESS COSTLY TO YOU. YOU CAN REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PLANS FROM THE TAX OFFICE.”

While the all-caps and bold font may seem a little excessive, it is good to remember that property tax loans are only one option among many for dealing with delinquent property taxes:

Property tax loan

Advantages: your taxes are paid, which means you avoid delinquency status, penalties, lawsuit, and foreclosure. Disadvantage: a property tax loan is a superior loan, meaning the lender can foreclose on your house if you don’t pay back your loan.

Delinquent tax installment plans

Split your payments into four smaller payments. However, this plan is not always available in every county to every citizen.

Split payments

Pay your taxes in two smaller payments instead of one giant payment. Disadvantage: the first half is paid a month early: November 30 Instead of January 1.

Tax deferral

You don’t have to pay your property taxes right now. However, this is limited to senior citizens. Your taxes accrue 8% interest each year–and you do have to pay the taxes eventually.

Borrow money from family or your savings

This could be a great option–or a horrendous option–depending on your situation. Be wise.

Refinance your mortgage to include the taxes

Establish an escrow account

Ignore it

Worst idea ever. You’ll suffer penalties, lawsuit, and foreclosure. Don’t just ignore your delinquent taxes.

 

Whatever option you choose, be wise and make an informed decision.

© 2013 FYP, LLC.