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Ask Brent Blanchard Your Own Question
Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Thirteen years of experience in real estate matters, HOA disputes and drafting HOA documents
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HelloI refinanced my house in 2012 and did not escrow my

Customer Question

I refinanced my house in 2012 and did not escrow my taxes or insurance. The loan was created with full knowledge that my taxes were deferred here in Texas bc I am disabled. They are also greatly reduced due to the homestead exemption and the disability exemption - up to 80%.
My current and only loan service company took it upon themselves to pay my taxes current and try to escrow my loan for the money. I hired an attorney and they had to use their E&O insurance to cover this bc they had not even contacted me.
Now they are trying to do it again for 2015 taxes saying that if I do not pay they will escrow or put a lien against the property.
I have a notarized document from taxing agency in Dallas County that says my taxes are deferred unless I move out which I never plan on selling the house. These agencies have assured me that they are not seeking the money.
What can I do besides hire another atty which with the recent hail storms here I can't afford.
I plan on refaxing them the deferral documents but wanted to know if there was anything else I could protect myself with.
Thank you very much
Traci Roberts
Garland, Texas, Dallas County
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. Sorry that some people just don't listen.I am surprised that your name showed up. This is supposed to be an anonymous service--and being a public forum, there is no confidentiality here. That is consistent with no attorney-client relationship being formed by answering questions about the law. Usually names and phone numbers and e-mail addresses get automatically hashed out into something like xxx-xxx-xxxx.Unfortunately for this forum and format, your rights might be fully defined in your loan documents. Most of them I have seen are FULL of things the lender/loan servicer has sole discretion to choose to do or to not do, and the borrower has no right to challenge that.Most civil claims for a lawsuit require some list of "elements", which most of the time includes "damages". For example, to prove "unjust enrichment", the person suing must prove all of these (the exact language varies from state to state):1. A benefit conferred on the defendant;2. That benefit being at the plaintiff's expense;3. The defendant accepting and retaining that benefit;4. Circumstances making it unjust for the defendant to retain that benefit without paying the plaintiff for it; and5. Monetary damages quantifying that benefit. I'm not saying that yours is an unjust enrichment situation. That's the first that came to mind, since trespassing and fraud and such are too far removed from a financial intermeddler situation.There can be a problem if some expense is paid by one person for the "benefit" of another when that expense is deferred but would eventually become due. "Deferred" tells me that the taxes would someday need to be paid--your post intimates that they would be due on sale of the property.But what about on death? If the taxes would still be due upon transfer of the property on the death of the disabled person, THEN those taxes wind up getting paid out of the value of the real estate. So like the old Pennzoil commercial of "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later", there would be really no financial damages from setting up an escrow account to pay property taxes because that lowers a debt that the estate would otherwise have to pay.No real money damages = an "essential element" of a tort with financial damages will exist = no case.It would be quite different if "deferred" also = forgiven if the disabled person lived the remainder of his or her days on the property that otherwise would have been taxed.The paperwork in your file from the first time an attorney helped you should identify what legal claims you have under your circumstances. I suggest that you take that file to the local Legal Aid people and ask for their help in seeking relief from these same yahoos AGAIN. It can be difficult to sort of copy and update all that paperwork and do it yourself, but some people can pull it off. To do so, one MUST become quite familiar not only with the law, but also with the state and local rules of civil procedure. There are dozens of ways to get your case tossed for failure to do something required by those rules, OR by doing something that is not allowed (or not yet allowed on the timetable) by the rules.As far as protecting one's self when there are difficulties, it doesn't take a law degree to know that preserving evidence is quite valuable. Attorneys like to get everything in writing. And every phone call or face-to-face meeting gets followed up with a confirming letter thanking so-and-so for whatever was discussed and summarizing what everyone said. This is especially valuable to "memorialize" anything agreed to...and even to put in writing where disagreements were not resolved.Thank you.

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