He had 12 houses sold on contract of sale and/or contract for deed at 8-12% interest. I heard Texas changed the law prohibiting that, but that he was grandfathered in.
I don't know what "change of law you might have heard about, but 8.5% interest is lawful in TX. So are contracts of sale (of land). What you might have heard about is a change in law regarding foreclosure.
Can I refinance these existing contracts at a lower rate?
Yes, you may do so. Since you can't increase the rate above the existing 8.5% you don't need to be concerned about any maximum rate. There actually is none.
Do they have to be filed in a court?
No. They are private agreements. Since you inherited existing deals, it might be advisable to have a local real estate lawyer review the contracts and advise you where you stand legally. Any contract revisions regarding interest rates or other provisions should be handled by a lawyer.
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