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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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Ralph E. Carter Jr. 05/06/2015***** Houston, TX

Customer Question

Ralph E. Carter Jr. 05/06/2015*****
Houston, TX 77009I am 81 years of age and in a wheel chair because the cartilage went out of my right hip leaving bone on bone contact. I am on social security and receive $ 630.00 a month social security check. I gross about $ 10,000.00 and net from $ 5,000.00 to $7,000.00 during the months from January 1, though April, 30 doing income tax returns. The real estate taxes without the homestead exemption are so high I am unable to pay them I am being denied my homestead exemption because I did not have the electricity turned on at my home located at***** Houston, Texas.
I received papers from a constable to appear in the District Court 157 on May 11, 2015 about real estate taxes on my property at*****, Houston, Harris County, Texas. Harris County says that I owe real estate taxes for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, For the City of Houston and Harris County. I had a homestead exemption for the years 2012 and 2013 and everything was paid up to date.
In the year 2014 the post office notified Harris County that I had a change of address. They denied my homestead exemption for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, causing me to owe additional real-estate taxes for these years. I had entered a change of address In the year 2005 with the post office for my business because there was a fire at***** Houston, TX and the house had to be torn down to the floor and be rebuilt. I had relocated my home business of doing income tax and bookkeeping service to*****, Houston, TX 77009 in the year 2005 I considered***** my homestead and kept my home address at***** Houston, TX 77009. I still consider my home to be at***** Houston, TX 77009. My driver license has my 801 Enid address on it.
I passed the electrical inspection and received a green tag dated for July 20, 2011. I attempted to get the electricity turned on in July, 2011 but was denied because the light company said that the City of Houston said no. The Harris County Appraisal District contacted me in the year 2014 stating that they had received a notice from the post office that I had entered a change of address. The change of address I had entered was for my business in 2005. My mother was in poor health and I had to be at***** to take care of her. She passed away at 101 years of age on October 25, 2014.
I appealed to the Harris County Appraisal District and I was told that they would grant me the homestead exemption if I had electricity at***** I told them I was using a gas generator for electricity at***** They said that they would not accept a gas generator for electrical power.
In March, 2015 my electrician came to replace the copper wiring that had been stolen, while waiting to get the electricity turned on, that would allow for Center Point Energy to connect to the city of Houston electrical pole and put in an electrical meter.
He installed the wiring and looked in my records posted on the house. He discovered a green tag dated 07/20/2011 showing final inspection approving the electrical wiring for 801 Enid. The City of Houston Code Enforcement green tag showed that the final electrical inspection was approved by inspector ID number 125 Initial T3 Date 07/20/2011. He told me to contact the city and tell them about the green tag.
The City of Houston checked their records and confirmed that 801 Enid, Houston, TX did receive the final electrical inspection on 07/20/2011. They then approved the final inspection and closed me out with the City.
I called the City of Houston Permit Office the next day and asked them to give approval to Center Point Energy to turn on the electricity. They checked their records but the records showed that everything was approved and closed out with the City of Houston. They could not find any record of my permits. They told me I had to retake the electrical inspection because they could not find my records because they had closed me out of their records and they wanted to be sure that I was still able to pass the electrical inspection. I retook the electrical inspection and passed it on March 30, 2015, Inspector ID 136 Inspector Initials JP. Dated 03/30/2015.
I would have been allowed to get the electricity turned on in July, 2011 if they had up dated their records with the electrical green tag dated 07/20/2011 by inspector number 125 initial T3.
I sent copies of the green tags to the Harris County Appraisal District along with a letter explaining what happened. They had sent me an application for residence homestead exemption with the year 2014 filed out, Form 11.13. I sent a form 11.43, affidavit as proof of eligibility for residence homestead exemption for the year 2015 along with the form 11.13. I sent it registered mail and received a post card showing where they had received it on April 14, 2015. The papers I received from Clerk of the District C
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You do understand we are forbidden by Texas law from representing anyone from this site and all we can do is provide information to customers to help direct them?
You also understand that you are going to need to be represented by a local attorney in this matter at this point and there is no real way around it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't have money to pay an attorney
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You need to go to legal aid, the local senior citizen's center and the local disability center, all of those can provide low cost or free legal representation to elderly disabled persons. Also, call the Texas bar as well for the pro bono attorneys in your area for assistance.
Additionally, in the meantime you need to gather all of the official original documents you mention above because you are going to have to have your attorney introduce them in court as evidence proving the circumstances surrounding your matter to get the court to dismiss the claims.