Is there a statute of limitations for deliquent property taxes in Texas?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Houston, TX

Hello my brother got a letter that he owes 5 years of property taxes, is there a statute of limitation? Do they need to sue him to collect this debt? What can happen can he be arrested?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Peter Walter Weston

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . For your situation, there is no limitation for back property taxes, because the tax authority can seek collection at any time, to get everything paid currently to date, including interest.
    The tax authority may seek this, by filing a lawsuit to collect taxes, which are then collected by selling the real property at a tax sale, on foreclosure day, to raise funds to pay the judgment that results from a lawsuit.
    The usual remedy without a foreclosure, is to have an installment agreement to pay off taxes, or possibly file a chapter 13 bankruptcy, if appropriate to make the installment payments, if you want to keep the property.

    Land owners are not subject to arrest, for this type of debt.

    General legal advice is offered for educational purposes only. A consultation with a qualified attorney is... more
  2. Warren Vincent Norred

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . We don't jail people for owing money in this country. (Though money owed for child support can be close.)

    The taxing authority will need to sue him, so this won't happen all at once. As others have said, a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will help, IF your brother has steady income.

    I'm not your attorney; my answer to your question includes assumptions. If you want me to be your attorney, I'm... more
  3. Sarah Ann Duckers

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . The statute of limitations for collecting delinquent property taxes on real estate is 20 years. Yes, the taxing authorities will have to file a lawsuit to enforce collection. It is not wise to let it get to that point, because it can add substantial additional court costs on top of the tax debt. If your brother wants to avoid his real property being sold for taxes, he should contact the taxing authorities ASAP to work out a pay-out plan. And no, they won't agree to take less than what is owed. Ever.

    Providing this answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  4. Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Given that the state or county can take title to property for which taxes are owed, any limitation period on taxes would have a concomitant ability to simply foreclose on the property and take it for re-sale.

    At least with lingering cumulative taxes, you can consider it economically as a rising option to buy it back, at least giving the taxpayer a choice.



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    Curt Harrington
    Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
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    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal... more

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