Tax Lien Lender Questions


Representative
Burt R. Solomons asked the Texas Attorney General questions about the
respective roles of the tax assessor-collector (the "Collector") and
the governing body of a taxing unit in relation to the transfer of a tax lien
to a third party who pays a property owner's property taxes. The Attorney
General answered the questions as follows: (1) The Collector, acting alone,
must carry out the ministerial duties related to the transfer. Neither the
Collector nor the governing body of the taxing unit is empowered to deny the
transfer of a tax lien if the conditions of section 32.06 of the Tax Code are
otherwise met.  (2) A court could conclude that closing costs and lien
recordation fees charged by a property tax lien transferee under section 32.06
of the Tax Code are secured by the transferred tax lien.

With regard
to the second answer, the Opinion recognized that the statute does not
specifically address charges or fees with respect to the recording of the lien.
 It concludes from this absence that it could be argued that lien
recording fees are not among the charges, fees or expenses expressly authorized.
 However, the Attorney General also found support in the Tax Code that any
charges and fees included in the contract between the property owner and the
transferee are secured by the transferred lien. Therefore, the Opinion
concluded that a court could conclude that closing costs and lien recording
fees are secured by the transferred lien.