from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes Files Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Bill 472, the Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act, to extend the time for homeowners facing foreclosure to resolve a mortgage default and provide more time to vacate a property after foreclosure.

"This bill is not a bailout for delinquent homeowners or excessive lenders. It is a timeout to allow two parties in a difficult economy to find a way to responsibly meet their obligations as lenders and borrowers," said Estes.

Under current law, homeowners receiving a foreclosure notice are allowed just 20 days to resolve their mortgage default before losing their home. The Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act extends this notice period to 45 days, and provides at least 30 days for a homeowner to vacate a foreclosed property.

"The most recent figures made available by the Mortgage Bankers Association reveal that at least one in ten Texas homeowners is at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure," said Estes. "Texas homeowners need more time to try and reach an accommodation with their lender in an effort to stay in their homes while meeting their financial obligations."

Senate Bill 472 also adds protections for renters of foreclosure property by requiring the property owner to notify within seven days their tenants of a pending foreclosure.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act was first proposed by Attorney General Greg Abbott during a recent crackdown on foreclosure rescue scams. Estes and Abbott are working together on a package of bills to help protect homeowners facing foreclosure.

"I am very proud to be working with the Attorney General on these issues that can strike so very close to home," said Estes.