What to Do During a Property Tax Lawsuit in Texas

When property taxes in the state of Texas go unpaid after the due date on January 1st each year, homeowners may be subject to a lawsuit from the taxing authority. In most cases, homeowners with delinquent property tax bills will have several months to pay their bills and get back on track. However, if property taxes remain delinquent, a lawsuit and/or home foreclosure can be a real concern. In this blog, we’ll go through what to expect and what you should do in the case of a lawsuit related to delinquent property taxes in Taxes. 

1. Act Right Away 

The first thing you’ll see if your tax collector files a lawsuit to collect your delinquent property taxes is a letter form a lawyer. This is likely not an actual letter informing you of a lawsuit that’s been filed. Instead, it is usually a notice that there may be a lawsuit filed in the near future. At this point, there is probably still time to find a solution to pay delinquent property tax debt before the cost of legal action is added into the mix.

It can be easy to shut down when you receive a lawsuit notice letter. Most of us don’t receive legal letters every day, and it can be very overwhelming. If you don’t respond to the letter, you may actually speed up the legal process and increase the risk of home foreclosure. If you want to avoid foreclosure, you need to get to work addressing the lawsuit and taking steps to address the issue quickly. 

2. Respond to the Lawsuit Right Away

If you do not pay your property taxes before a lawsuit is filed, you need to respond to the suit as soon as legal action is filed. By responding as soon as the lawsuit begins, you’ll be able to slow the legal action and possibly have more time to settle your delinquent property taxes and stave off foreclosure proceedings. Remember, at this point, the appraised value of your home and amount of property taxes owed are not up for debate at this point. If you do disagree with the appraised value of your home or amount of your property tax bill, you can retroactively dispute it, but you still need to pay your home tax bill to avoid continued legal action and potential home foreclosure. 

3. Understand How Property Tax Lawsuits Are Different

In traditional lawsuits, both parties are often able to come to an agreement and settle any outstanding debt in a way that benefits both parties. Property tax lawsuits, however, are not eligible to be settled for less than the outstanding amount. Unless you pay the debt, your home is at risk of foreclosure. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about property tax lawsuits, and the easiest way to get informed is to hire a lawyer. An attorney can ensure you fully understand all of your options and avoid any negative ramifications.

4. Pay Your Property Tax Debt as Soon as Possible

At the end of the day, your best bet is to pay your tax debt as soon as possible. The longer you wait to settle the delinquent bill, the more it will cost. Attorney and court fees, on top of your back taxes, can add up. The sooner you take steps to settle the debt, the better.

5. Let the Home Tax Solutions Team Help

If you need help breaking free from the cycle of property tax debt, the Home Tax Solutions team is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to find out more. One of our team members will be happy to talk through your options and help you find a solution that works for you.