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Tax Foreclosures, HOA Fee Foreclosures, & Bank Foreclosures

Your home or property in Texas may be foreclosed on by the county due to unpaid taxes owed to the county, the independent school district, or the municipality in which the property is located. In addition, your property may also be foreclosed on by the Home Owner Association (HOA) if your property is subject to one. Texas Property Code authorizes the establishment and management of homeowner associations whose board members are elected by the homeowners. The association may institute and enforce covenants and deed restrictions on its members, as well as the issue and collect HOA fees for the enforcement of those covenants. The failure to pay said fees may be a reason, among others, for the association to foreclose on your property. Finally, your property may be foreclosed on by third-party financing companies (mortgage companies), including any junior lender, or by Sellers if the property was seller-financed.

The Houston Texas Foreclosure Attorneys and the Harris County Texas Foreclosure Lawyers will work with the foreclosing authorities to resolve your matter or litigate the matter if the need exists. As a property owner, you are entitled to certain rights prior to the foreclosure. Our experienced Houston Texas Real Estate Litigation Attorneys and our Northwest Houston Real Estate Lawyers ensure that your rights are not violated, protecting your property and interests. Please contact our office for more information.

Tax foreclosures in Texas are often instituted by the county or by the independent school district in which the property lies for failure to pay taxes for at least three years. Chapter 33 and 34 of the Texas Tax Code authorizes the taxing authority to foreclose on a real property in which the owner failed to pay county taxes. Specifically, “at any time after its tax on property becomes delinquent, a taxing unit may file suit to foreclose the lien securing payment of the tax.” Chapter 33, Texas Tax Code. In addition, the taxing authority may impose personal liability to the owner for the tax. Because the foreclosing procedure in Texas is relatively short, often as quick as 60 days, it is important that you contact the Houston Real Estate Attorneys as quickly as possible, and preferably prior to receiving a foreclosure notice. Our Houston Foreclosure Lawyers and the West Houston Real Estate Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham will assist you to refinance, to obtain a home equity line-of-credit (HELOC), and/or to negotiate with the taxing authorities to reduce your payments and/or pay in installments. These efforts will prevent your house from being foreclosed on. It is important to note that the Texas Property Code and the Texas Tax Code do not authorize the taxing units to reduce tax rates. However, our North Houston Foreclosure Attorneys can negotiate to help reduce the attorney fees and costs incurred by the county; though every case is different and there is no guarantee as to the outcome of each case.

Over the years, Home Owner Associations in Texas, through lobbying, have obtained tremendous power not present in other states. In Texas, Home Owner Associations are nonprofit organizations in which the Board members are elected yearly by the residents. The HOA can set covenants to which all homes under the HOA must comply. Noncompliance with the covenants may result in fines and responsibility for attorney’s fees and court costs. More importantly, the HOA can set annual fees for maintenance of the community. In some HOA communities, that fee can be as high as $800 or more per year depending on the community. Failure to pay HOA fees may result in the organization putting a lien on your property and judicially foreclosing on your property. In addition, Texas has enacted the Uniform Condominium Act in 1994 through which the Association may judicially or nonjudicially foreclose on a condominium property that failed to pay Homeowner Association fees.

As stated above, the Texas Property Code authorizes the establishment of Home Owner Associations and the collection of fees from its members. However, the Texas Residential Property Protection Act, Chapter 209 of the Texas Property Code, an HOA does not have the right to foreclose solely on the basis of HOA assessment fees and attorney’s fees related to same. If you own a condominium unit instead of a single family residential property, a similar provision also exist under the Uniform Condominium Act, Section 82.113(e); stating that HOAs have the right to foreclose of a condominium units for unpaid dues. However, such foreclosure cannot be solely based on assessment of fees. Nevertheless, the Act does not state that the association cannot foreclose the property based on unpaid dues plus attorney’s fees. Therefore, if the association requires the assistance of an attorney to collect amounts due and incurs attorney’s fees and costs, the association may foreclose on the property based on the outstanding balances. There lies the difference between the Texas residential Property Protection Act and the Uniform Condominium Act.

A bank and/or a mortgage lender may foreclose on a property under the power of sale provision in the lending instrument. At the time of closing, the owner must sign a deed of trust, which then creates a lien encumbering the property. Irrespective of whether there is an HOA or a Tax lien on the property, the sale of the property based on an HOA or tax foreclosure does not eliminate the mortgage lien. A mortgage lien follows the property. The buyer of a foreclosed property purchases the property “As Is,” with the exception of title. The title insurance company and trustee share the responsibilities in disclosing any encumbrances on the title at a foreclosure sale.

To avoid a foreclosure of your property, our West Houston Real Estate Attorneys work with the authorities to resolve the issues prior to the sale. In some instances, we will raise issues of facts and law whereby the lender/mortgagor may be precluded from any right to foreclose on the property, such as failure to properly record the lien and other security instruments and/or failure to provide reasonable notice prior to the foreclosure. If you owe taxes or facing foreclosures, please feel free to contact us online or via our Houston Real Estate Foreclosure Law Firm and Law Office at 713-517-6645.


The information above is NOT intended to replace a personal consultation with our Houston Real Estate Transaction Lawyers and our Spring Houston Real Estate Litigation Attorneys. Readers should not construe the information as a consultation. There may be other legal issues based on the specific fact of each case. Every case is unique and our Houston Real Estate Transaction Attorneys and our North Houston Real Estate Litigation Lawyers need to review the facts and circumstances of each individual case in order to provide a meaningful personal consultation. Please feel free to give us a call at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.