Blogs

The Basics of What a Foreclosure Is and How it Works

Mortgage lenders on seller-financed properties sometimes ask questions like “If I start a foreclosure on this property, then when do I get my property back?” This question makes little sense because the lender may never get the property back. The person asking it may not understand what a foreclosure is, how a foreclosure works, or …

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A Basic Primer on Usury Law in Texas

Usury Definitions “‘Usurious interest’ means interest that exceeds the applicable maximum amount allowed by law.” Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 301.002(a)(17). “‘Interest’ means compensation for the use, forbearance, or detention of money. The term does not include time price differential, regardless of how it is denominated. The term does not include compensation or other amounts …

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Contracts for Deed and Lease Option Agreements on Residential Property in Texas

In traditional owner-finance, the seller deeds the property to the buyer and retains a vendor’s lien in the property to secure the repayment of the loan to the buyer. The buyer becomes the legal, deeded owner of the property. If the buyer fails to pay the loan, then the seller may foreclose on the loan. …

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What to Know About the Dodd-Frank Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Texas SAFE Act, TRID, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act When Seller Financing Residential Real Estate in Texas

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter “Dodd-Frank”)[1] was signed into law on July 21st, 2010 in response to the mortgage loan crisis. Dodd-Frank made sweeping changes to the Truth in Lending Act (hereinafter “TILA”). TILA was first codified in 1968, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank changes revolutionized the mortgage lending business. It …

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Texas Residential Construction Liability Act (RCLA) Notice, Settlement, and Litigation Procedures

Disputes regarding residential construction defects require the use of special procedures. Homeowners and developers must understand and utilize the procedures in the Texas Residential Construction Liability Act (“RCLA”) (Tex. Prop. Code §§ 27.001 to 27.007), particularly the pre-litigation notice and settlement offer procedures. The definition of a “construction defect” (found in Tex. Prop. Code § …

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Common Community Property Issues in Texas Real Estate Law

When buying and selling real property in Texas, a working knowledge of Texas marital property law can be helpful. Texas is one of nine of the United States using a community property system for marital property. The rest of the states have laws regarding equitable distribution. The equitable distribution laws govern how property is distributed …

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Overview of the Bankruptcy Process for Real Estate Lenders

The bankruptcy process is much more complex for lenders than it is for landlords. To understand bankruptcy essentials for lenders, it helps to understand some basic concepts. There are three main types of bankruptcies that can be filed: (1) Chapter 7, (2) Chapter 13, and (3) Chapter 11. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are liquidation bankruptcies. In …

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