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What Happens If Someone Pays Your Property Taxes in Texas?

As it gets closer to Texas property tax payment deadlines, the question often arises: can someone else pay my property taxes? The answer is yes.

If you are unable to pay your Texas property tax bill, one option may be to ask a trusted friend or family member to help pay the balance for you. That way, you can avoid late fees and penalties and even losing your home. Keep reading to learn what happens if someone pays your property taxes on your behalf in the state of Texas.

If Someone Pays for my Property Taxes in Texas, Do I Lose Ownership?

In Texas, paying someone else’s property taxes doesn’t lead to ownership of a property. According to Texas law, the property belongs to the person with the “clear title,” which means it is free of any claims or disputes of ownership, and no one else can make a legal claim. As long as your taxes are paid off before a foreclosure lawsuit, you will keep ownership over your property.

What Happens If Property Taxes are Paid on a Deceased Loved One’s Home?

In the case of paying property taxes on a deceased loved one’s home, simply paying the property taxes will not result in ownership of the home. Except in the rare case when the loved one had a “Transfer on Death” deed, it is generally necessary to either go through a court process called probate to determine who should take ownership or to get legal documents called Affidavits of Heirship signed by people who know your family and can say that there are no other family members who might legally own part of the property (such as siblings). We strongly suggest talking to an attorney in this situation.

What Happens If Someone Pays for a Tax Deed on your Property in a Foreclosure Sale? 

An investor purchasing your property’s tax deed is quite different from someone paying your property taxes as a favor. When property owners are not paying their taxes and become delinquent, counties in Texas are not receiving the amount of money they need. To make up for the loss of income, they have a right to sell the property to the highest bidder after going in front of a judge and requesting the sale. The sale proceeds are used to pay off a property owner’s unpaid taxes and penalties, with any extra going to the property owner. At this point, the person who owns the tax deed owns the property.  

However, the delinquent taxpayer still has the right to exercise redemption. This entails the taxpayer paying off the investor with the original payment of taxes with an interest rate tacked on within a given amount of time (typically 6-24 months, depending on the property type). This allows the investor to make back their investment plus the interest rate penalty charge. If the original owner does not successfully fulfill the payments to the redemption, the investor will be entitled to the property.

A Property Tax Loan Could Help

While it may be an option to ask friends or family for help paying your property taxes, missing payments or trouble paying them back can lead to fights or lost friendships. If you’re looking for an option to extend your payments at an affordable amount, a property tax loan could be a great fit for your needs. Our property tax loans are customized to fit your unique situation and can be flexible to adapt to nearly any loan requirement. Don’t lose your property to unpaid taxes. Contact us today.