When You Need Property Tax Help
Too often, we receive inquiries from potential clients in need of property tax help focused solely on cost while neglecting the most critical aspect of selecting a lender, which is choosing a trusted lender. I love to hear the question, why should we use your company for a property tax loan? This allows me to speak about the relationship, trust, and history we have with our borrowers. Starting in 2008, and with over 10,000 property tax loans closed, we've built a trusted reputation with countless property owners throughout the state.
Risks and Bad Lender Behavior
So, what are some of the risks associated with picking a property tax lender based solely on cost? Some of the behaviors of bad lenders include hidden or non-disclosed fees on the front-end, extremely high late fees and escalating interest rates should a payment be late, and even foreclosure on your property for falling only slightly behind on payments. While it is legitimate to charge late fees and, even in the most unfortunate circumstances, foreclose on a property, what sets a trusted property tax lender apart from a lousy lender is up-front communication and the willingness to help their clients meet their obligations. Foreclosure should only be used in rare circumstances when a borrower flat refuses to pay their debt and is unwilling to work with a lender who wants to help them get caught up. Unfortunately, the horror stories of lenders foreclosing quickly without attempting to work with their borrowers are too often true, so take the time to get to know a lender when seeking help with a property tax loan.
How to find a Trusted Property Tax Lender
Finding a trusted lender for your property tax loan needn't be a daunting or even difficult task. To begin with, don't fall for offers that promise something for free. Common sense should tell you nothing is free. Also, take the time to ask pointed questions such as:
- Does your quote include all fees and costs associated with structuring my property tax loan?
- What kind of fees do you charge for late payments?
- How do you help clients get caught up who fall behind on payments?
Asking these questions should give you a sense of a lender's ethics and operating practices and whether they maintain a healthy relationship with their borrowers.
Perhaps the best method to find a trusted property tax lender is to look to third parties to validate their business practices. For one, verify that the lender is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and is in good standing with an A+ rating. Second, is the lender a member of the Texas Property Tax Lienholders Association (TPTLA)? The TPTLA is a well-established industry association that sets ethical practices for those who offer property tax loans. Lenders who are members of TPTLA will be vetted by its members and proven to be reputable lenders. And finally, you can check with the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC) to see if a property tax lender has any complaints and follows sound lending practices. The OCCC is tasked with regulating the credit industry in Texas to produce a fair, legal, and healthy credit environment.
In closing - there is no reason you can't find a fair deal from an ethical property tax lender, so take a little extra time on the front end and make sure you are working with someone you trust who truly wants to help you and not exploit you through a property tax loan.