Texas Home Equity Loan Changes for 2018

Texas Home Equity Loan Changes for 2018

Hi. Mortgage Mack here. And today, I thought we would talk about home equity loans.

Texas Home Equity Loan — Once Unconstitutional in Texas

You know, I’ve been in the mortgage business for 25 years. For a small part of that time-frame, home equity loans were not even allowed in the State of Texas. I think legislation was passed in 1998 (legislation passed on Nov. 1997 ballot 60% to 40%) and took effect on January 1, 1999 and allowed homeowners in Texas to take equity out of their primary residence.  Prior to that, it was unconstitutional.

Homestead Rules within the Texas Constitution Protected Settlers from Creditors Abroad

And the constitution (homestead protections in the Texas Constitution) was written to protect the homestead for a multitude of different reasons and one of those reasons was to protect the homestead of early settlers of the Republic of Texas from creditors.

Texas Home Equity Loan – 20% Equity Must Remain at Closing

And one of the most important aspects of the original amendment to the constitution to allow home equity loans is that it doesn’t allow you to borrow more than 80% of the value. And so, basically, what that means is if your home is valued $100,000 and you owe $80,000 already, well, you can’t borrow the remaining $20,000.

But let’s say the home is valued at 100,000 and you owe $60,00, you can have access to $20,000 for a total of 80% loan to value with 20% equity remaining in that scenario, which would meet the ceiling of 80% of the value.

Texas Home Equity Loan Changes for 2018
Texas State Capitol

Texas Home Equity Loan Changes for 2018

So, one of the recent changes that took effect were specific to closing costs. And previously, we had a limitation of closing costs to 3% of the loan amount. Well, that’s been changed to reduce to 2% of the loan amount. However, what’s happened is the legislators excluded some of the type of charges specific to that calculation, which I’ll include a link below. And I also am including a link here of conversation that I had with a local attorney. It was a conversation specific to the law that you might find helpful as well.

So, what they’ve done is they’ve reduced the limitation of fees to 2% of the loan amount rather than 3% and excluded some type of charges such as the appraisal and survey along with title insurance and title examination.

Proposition 2 also allows home equity loans to be refinanced as a rate and term. Now, the reason that’s important is because previously once you did a first lien home equity loan, your loan always remained a home equity loan and we developed the cliché that “once a home equity always a home equity”.   Well, that’s no longer the case. So, if you’ve had a home equity loan in the past, you can refinance at 80% of the value less what you owe with no cash out and have the lien renewed and extended as a rate and term refinance.

Texas Home Equity Loan and Agricultural Exemptions

So, they also repealed the prohibition on origination of home equity loans that were secured by a homestead with an agricultural exemption. So, this really impacts folks in the rural areas because in the past we couldn’t do a home equity loan for say a couple that owned a home in a rural area where they may have owned 20, 30, 40 acres on which there was an agriculture exemption on the property. The to take equity out of a borrower residence in those days we had to survey out 1 acres of land around the residence.  Have it re-surveyed to exclude the portion of the property on which the agricultural exemption remained. and appraise the property just on that 1 acre and the residents which didn’t allow them to fully utilize the full equity on the property.

Now, there were a couple of other changes that don’t directly impact me and not necessarily the products that I offer. I don’t do the home equity lines of credit. However, I would gladly refer you to organizations that do locally that I’ve had previous experience with. And the legislature also expanded— I think it’s the list of lenders or lenders that are authorized to offer home equities. I don’t know much details about that, but I will include some links here and hope you find this helpful.

If you have any comments, please leave your comments at the bottom. Or if you have any questions, please let me know. And I’ll get with our in-house attorney and find an answer for you. Have a great day.


Proposition 2 – Home Equity Amendment 2017

Homestead Law – Texas State Historical Association

Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836)

Proposition 8 – Types of Homestead Liens (1997)

Definition of Voluntary Liens

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