Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Texas Senate Passes Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act

Austin — The Texas Senate passed SB 472, the Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act, by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), 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 14 days for a homeowner to vacate a foreclosed property.

"Recent headlines tell the story that more Texans are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure," said Estes. "This bill will give Texas homeowners more time to work with their lender to try and reach an accommodation to stay in their homes while meeting their financial obligations."

Senate Bill 472 requires a notice of rights to be included with the default notice, and requires the lender to provide the contact information for a person authorized to assist the debtor on the delinquent loan. Also, adds protections for renters of foreclosure property by requiring the property owner to notify within five days their tenants of a pending foreclosure.

"While most homeowners may never feel the threat of home foreclosure, it is an issue that can impact all of us when it strikes our neighbors, friends, and family." said Estes.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Deferment Act was first proposed by Attorney General Greg Abbott during a crackdown on foreclosure rescue scams.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.