FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Danny Frank, 713-581-4702
Danny Frank, of Keller Williams Realty, VISITS TEXAS CAPITOL TO ADVOCATE FOR HOMEOWNERS
Home-equity-lending, private transfer fees, eminent domain key issues for discussions with lawmakers
AUSTIN, Texas – April 15, 2011 – Danny Frank of Keller Williams in Pearland was among more than 2,000 Texas REALTORS® participating in the 2011 Legislative Hill Visits at the Texas Capitol on April 12. Involving hundreds of meetings between Texas REALTORS® and legislators, this session’s efforts are focused on supporting a wide range of consumer-protection legislation and protecting the rights of homeowners.
“Texas has withstood the real estate bubble that ravaged the rest of the country largely because state leaders made protection of private property rights a priority in recent sessions,” said Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “We are focused on maintaining that strength and continue the tradition of keeping homeownership affordable in Texas during this session.”
One key factor that contributed to Texas’ avoidance of the drastic foreclosure increases experienced by other states is its strict policy on home-equity lending. The Texas Association of REALTORS® played a fundamental part in getting these consumer protections passed in 1997 when the Texas Legislature was considering home-equity lending legislation. Texas REALTORS® lobbied for and won several consumer lending protections for homeowners. The most important of these protections is that homeowners can only borrow a maximum of 80 percent of their appraised home value.
“This kind of protection doesn’t exist in other states and many homeowners have found themselves upside down on their loans as a result,” said Chairman Hale. “This is one of the most important consumer-protection statutes Texans have and we vigorously oppose efforts to change this law.”
Danny Frank and the group from Pearland met with State Rep, Randy Weber and State Senator Mike Jackson.
In addition, the Texas Legislature has addressed issues related to eliminating private transfer fees several times before, yet concerns remain. These fees require the buyer of a property to remit a payment to a private entity each time the property is sold.
According to Chairman Hale, “These fees are scams that decrease affordability and serve no public purpose. Texas REALTORS® support legislation currently moving through both chambers of the Texas Legislature that would prohibit most private transfer fees on real estate.”
A third important issue is eliminating the abuses of eminent domain and ensuring property owners’ rights are fully protected.
“While necessary, eminent-domain powers are sometimes abused and private property rights are threatened whenever an eminent-domain taking is contemplated by the government,” said Chairman Hale. “Texas REALTORS® support legislation friendly to property owners that limits the possibilities for eminent domain abuse.”
In light of the recent budget shortfall, new taxes on real estate transactions and services are also sometimes seen as quick fixes to raise revenue. But taxes of this type increase housing costs and burden buyers and sellers, which hurts the real estate market and the Texas economy. Texas REALTORS® oppose proposals that make it more difficult for Texans to buy or sell a home.
Finally, Texas REALTORS® also follow legislation that deals with water rights, transportation, sustainable energy production and more. This wide legislative agenda aims to protect real estate and homeowners’ rights of all varieties.
Chairman Hale concluded, “As decisions are made during this legislative session, it’s important for lawmakers to continue to support public policies that have kept Texas strong during the recent economic downturn and will keep Texas leading the nation during the economic recovery.”
About the Texas Association of REALTORS®
With more than 80,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest professional membership associations in the state and represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. Texas REALTORS® have championed a number of legislative issues enhancing the lives of Texans, including playing a role in the passage of meaningful property tax appraisal reform, ensuring consumer protection in home equity lending laws, and advocating for billions in property tax reductions.
Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about home-ownership in general, I encourage you to check out a couple of great online resources: http://www.texasrealestate.com/ or http://www.har.com/. And for all of your Pearland, TX and Northern Brazoria and Galveston County real estate needs, please visit my site at: http://www.danfrankrealty.com. All of these sites offer tons of useful, real estate-related information geared specifically for Texans.
Remember, Danny Frank is a local Pearland, TX Real Estate expert! You can see my entire blog at: http://www.pearlandrealtyblog.com