State issues

We endorse Texas Attorney General Abbott’s call for mortgage deferment legislation to help struggling homeowners

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

The Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS) applauds and endorses Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s proposal today for a legislative initiative aimed at improving the state’s foreclosure process and helping Texas homeowners stay in their homes.

The attorney general asked the Texas Legislature to enact the Texas Foreclosure Deferment Act. Under the proposed Act, a mortgage loan servicer would be required to provide a homeowner with a certified letter stating that the debtor has 45 days to cure a loan default before a notice of sale. Current state law only provides homeowners a 20-day window to cure a default.

If the attorney general’s proposal were approved, lenders also would be required to contact the borrower by telephone or in person – or prove they made a legitimate attempt to do so – before filing for foreclosure. Additionally, homeowners would have 30 days after the foreclosure date to vacate the property.

In addition to the protections for home owners proposed by the attorney general, TxLIHIS has called for a Texas Renter’s Foreclosure Protection Act that would require leases entered into prior to a foreclosure be honored.  Thousands of Texas renters are being forced to move, often on very short notice and during the middle of the school year, through no fault of their own because their property owner is foreclosed on.  These families should be protected and allowed to continue to live in their homes until their leases expire.

I started my commitment to housing justice for people and communities with low incomes in 1975 in Austin's Clarksville community. These years of working side-by-side with dedicated community leaders to find solutions to housing and community development challenges have taught me some things and I’m learning new things every day.

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