1-281-DIVORCE (348-6723)


1-281-DIVORCE (348-6723)

Rising Houston Property Values Affect Bankruptcy Cases

values affect bankruptcy

Rising Houston Property Values Affect Bankruptcy Cases

As many have heard, over 70% of homeowners in Harris County are facing higher tax bills because the value of their houses are rising. This affects bankruptcy cases because a higher value may mean the inability to use Federal exemptions or strip off second mortgages and HOA liens. It may also mean Chapter 7 Trustees now viewing how a debtor arrived at the value with a more skeptical eye.

Appraisal or Market Value?

From a practical perspective, our office already has one creditor protesting about our value in the case. If you look at the new Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) numbers, you will see TWO values. You will see the market value (which on one case, I noticed had gone up over 40% in one year!) and the appraisal value. The appraisal value is lower and likely the one used for determining taxes. I am guessing, that going forward, market value now will be the indicator everyone looks at.

Rising Houston Property Values Affect Bankruptcy Cases and

Affects Family Law and Divorce cases too!

In Family Law, this can be an issue when arguing over property settlements and disputes over equity to be paid or equity owed. Values are going up now. A lot. It could affect your arguments. A house with no equity may very well have equity now.

Appraisal District values are an opinion. They can be wrong

We may very well be facing more value disputes in the near future, so we need to be ready for it. We may also have to look at the need to employ certified appraisers too. If the issue is right and the case calls for it, that may be the best option.

 Now of course, HCAD is just an opinion as to value. But the taxing authorities valuation carries weight. Especially in Houston where housing prices are risingagain.


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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.