Irving Weekly Blog:  
What the property tax lending industry is doing to consumers
Tue. May 12, 2015 09:28 AM
By Eric Sandberg, President & CEO, Texas Bankers Association
Imagine, it's tax time and a family is faced with losing their home because they can’t pay their property taxes.
They receive what they think is a godsend from a property tax lender — a letter with a promise: "We will quickly get your taxes paid so you'll no longer incur the large penalties, interest and attorney collection fees charged by your county. It’s simple. We pay the taxes. You pay us back over time."
Unfortunately, for many families across the state, the process is anything but simple. One such victim is Pastor Josue Lopez of Pharr. Desperate to pay his delinquent taxes, he obtained a $19,000 loan from a property tax lender. The interest rate: 18 percent. At the end of the 10-year note, Lopez will owe a total of $45,000. Of that amount, $25,000 is interest. Lopez told state lawmakers he was shocked to learn he would be paying that much and had no idea what he’d gotten himself into.
Lopez is not alone. In testimony before the House Business and Industry Committee last year, Texas Consumer Credit Commissioner Leslie Pettijohn reported the number of property tax loans steadily increased from 12,078 in 2008 to 15,738 in 2013.
There were $201 million in property tax loans written in Texas in 2013, up from $119 million in 2008. More than 8,100 loans totaling nearly $81.5 million were at least 90 days delinquent.
The reason for the almost 70 percent increase in property tax loans written is a no-brainer. The property tax lien lenders have nothing to lose—and quite a lot to gain. The property tax lender has lien priority, so if the property goes into foreclosure, the property tax lender is paid first, regardless of whether there is an existing mortgage on the house.
Pastor Lopez told his story at a February press conference held by Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) when he introduced HB 1936, which would require property owners to notify their mortgage lender 10 days before entering into a property tax loan. The bill has now passed the House and was referred to the Senate Business & Commerce Committee last week.
The bill would go a long way toward curbing the abuses of the property tax lending industry by requiring homeowners to notify their mortgage lender 10 days before entering into a property tax loan. This “cooling off” period helps the property owner in a couple of ways:
  • First, it gives property owners time to fully consider their options. Entities, such as county tax assessors and banks, can offer to lend the money needed to pay the delinquent taxes at much lower interest rates and minus the exorbitant fees. Currently, lenders do not have the ability to pay off a property tax lender until the property tax note is delinquent for 120 days or the borrower is 90 days delinquent on the underlying mortgage loan.
  • Second, the notice alerts lenders to possible violations of the mortgage agreement. Property owners may not realize they are breaching their agreements with their lenders when they take out property tax loans using the financed property as collateral.
The bill doesn’t prevent property owners from getting the needed funds from the property tax lenders—even at the higher interest rates and tacked on fees—if they still want to move forward. What it does do, however, is give property owners the opportunity to investigate better and less costly alternatives.
The concept is similar to that of home equity loans, which in Texas require a 12-day cooling-off period after an application is made. During that time, the borrower can research other alternatives and either move forward with the loan or pull out.
Does HB 1936 go far enough to curb the abuses of these predatory lenders? Probably not, but it at least gives property owners an opportunity to look at options. For Pastor Lopez, that cooling off period could have steered him away from a product he calls "deceptive and predatory."
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New TollTag Store Opens in Irving
Thu. Apr 04, 2013 12:53 PM

The NTTA opened a new TollTag Store in Irving, giving Metroplex drivers another quick, convenient option and personal service.

The new location offers full service options for TollTag and ZipCash customers. Services include opening new TollTag accounts, making account changes, replenishing prepaid cash accounts, and paying ZipCash invoices.

The Irving TollTag store is located on President George Bush Turnpike near Belt Line Road in Irving.


  • From southbound Bush Turnpike:  Take the Belt Line Road exit then stay on the service road for a quarter mile. The TollTag Store will be on your left.
  • From the northbound Bush Turnpike: Take the SH 114/Royal Lane exit and make a U-turn at SH 114. Stay on the service road for 1.5 miles. The TollTag Store will be on your left.

Hours of operation:

  • Sunday-Monday:       Closed
  • Tuesday-Friday:        10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday:                  9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Source: NTTA eNewsletter.

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Students Can Learn to Prepare Taxes with No Obligation
Fri. Sep 14, 2012 09:36 AM

The average American worker may hold at least 5-7different career jobs during their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  With unemployment still about 9%, many job seekers have even more interest in diversifying their skill sets and exploring instruction and higher education options.  Liberty Tax invites the public to learn tax preparation with no obligation in fall tax classes at convenient locations across the country. The company’s eight-week tax school can help students learn personal tax-savings advantages and strategies as well as a new skill that may lead to certification and employment.  Students can overcome one of life’s most highly ranked fears, taxes, while working in a business with a “Made in America” product.

Learning the skill of tax preparation can be a personal financial and employment advantage during this economic downturn.   Liberty Tax is planning to staff up at its 2331 W. Shady Grove Rd, Ste. 101 location by tax season with plans to fill 10 Tax Preparer positions.  No previous tax preparation is required. 

“Anyone and everyone can take our classes. The main requirement is the willingness to learn individual tax preparation and apply the tax code to many situations.  It’s a great refresher for the latest changes and life changes affecting our students,” commented Jesus Martinez, Owner of Liberty Tax Service in Shady Grove Rd in Irving.

Class schedules are flexible with day or evening classes available twice a week for ten weeks. There’s a minimal charge for books and supplies.

Liberty Tax Service is actively recruiting bilingual tax school students.  For registration and other details, call Liberty Tax Service at 972-259-1099.


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Save money by shopping for the best electricity rates
Thu. Dec 29, 2011 11:07 PM

Texas Electric Companies have been deregulated since 2007.   I am constantly surprised how many people have had TXU as an electric provider in North Texas without comparing prices.  Although electric companies brag that they are looking out for their customers, my experience has been the opposite.  I had a 12 month plan with Reliant at a low rate, but when the contract ran out they decided to automatically switch me to a month-to-month plan.   I was paying .18¢ per kWh without knowing it, trusting that Reliant would have notified me.  By the time, I noticed I had been paying the higher price for four months.  That's when I started searching for lower electric rates.   I found companies like and which provided me with an easy tool for comparing various electric rates at once.    I suggest you visit sites as the once I've mentioned and start saving significant money each and every month.

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Lane closures on Loop 12 for October 29, 2011
Fri. Oct 28, 2011 09:04 AM

Weather permitting, The Texas Department of Transportation will close all eastbound SH 114 mainlanes, and one lane westbound, between Tom Braniff to just east of the Loop 12 overpass between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Should weather delay the construction scheduled, the highway closure may occur Sunday at those times instead. 

These closures are necessary to install underpass lighting on the Loop 12 bridges over SH 114. 

These closures are necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public and workers during these construction operations. Police officers will be located at the SH 114/Loop 12 frontage road intersection to direct traffic during the closures. Portable message boards were placed in advance to inform the traveling public of the closure. 

This is part of the $224 million project to reconstruct the Loop 12/SH 114 interchange. The project began in February 2009 and is expected to be complete in March 2013. 

For additional transportation related information please visit the TxDOT Web site

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Living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Search for a Good Night’s Sleep
Mon. Sep 12, 2011 01:13 PM

More than 18 million Americans are significantly impaired by the consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – it is more prevalent than diabetes and asthma. Patients with OSA often stop breathing during the night while they sleep, often for 30 seconds or longer. This condition can cause daytime sleepiness, depression and weight gain. This causes more problems for patients including an increase in industrial accidents and a diminished quality of life. Furthermore, people with sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing hypertension, heart disease and stroke. All these factors highlight a growing need for new treatment options for patients suffering from OSA.

Current treatment options for OSA today include today’s current standard of care, CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and surgical treatments. CPAP requires patients to wear a ventilation mask when they sleep. While it can be very effective, several studies have demonstrated roughly half of all patients that start on CPAP eventually become non-compliant and don’t wear the mask regularly. While surgery can also be effective, most surgical options involve removing tissue and/or permanently altering patient anatomy which can cause post-operative pain and long recovery times.

SleepMedicine Associates of Texas, specializing in caring for patients with sleep disorders, has been selected to be part of an exciting new clinical trial.  This investigational, minimally invasive implantable therapy uses neurostimulation to offer patients a way to permanently address OSA without altering the anatomy. Called Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy, it works with the body’s physiology to prevent airway obstruction during sleep. 

Here’s how it works: Many people suffering from OSA experience decreased muscle tone in their airway during sleep. When this occurs, the tongue and other soft tissues can relax, obstruct the airway, and cause apnea events. Inspire therapy is designed to deliver mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve on each breathing cycle while the OSA patient sleeps. This stimulation helps to stabilize the airway during sleep. Patients control when the therapy is turned on and off via a handheld programmer. While Inspire therapy does require a surgical procedure, in contrast to other surgical options to treat sleep apnea, Inspire therapy does not require removing or permanently altering an OSA patient’s facial or airway anatomy. As such, the procedure is less invasive and may result in a shorter recovery time.

Sleep Medicine Associates is currently looking for patients who have sleep apnea to participate in the trial. To be eligible for screening and inclusion in the STAR trial, patients must:

  • Have been unable to receive consistent benefit from CPAP therapy
  • Have moderate to severe sleep apnea
  • Have a body mass index of less than 32

Patients living with the effects of OSA who are interested in Inspire therapy may visit or call1-888-846-8352.

About the Author
Dr. Jamieson is Chairman of the Board and founding partner of Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas. Since 1988, he has been the Clinical Director for The Sleep Medicine Institute at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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Let Irving Weekly help you market your business
Tue. Feb 15, 2011 09:01 AM

Advertise with Irving Weekly

Are you looking for a place to help you market or advertise your business in Irving, TX? Irving Weekly can help you do just that. We have a team of SEO professionals that target the website towards Irving residents. We come up in hundreds of relevant Irving keywords in the major search engines. If you advertise with us you can get more local leads that can turn into sales.

As a starting news website, we are offering a great package to help you market your business in Irving. If you sign up now, we are offering a start of price of 50% off. We know how expensive advertising can be so we are offering this great package to help you with your advertising needs. The value of online advertising is big, and you can be sure that with Irving Weekly you will get the exposure you are looking for.

We offer 4 great options of advertising. Our top banner is only $50 dollars a month to start off. Right banners are $37.50 and bottom banners are $25. All per month. If this doesn't meet your needs we can always make a custom ad that will fit your budget or send out the message you are trying to portray. Our starting price is good for a max of 12 months at sign up. If you decide to continue we will renew at a lower price than the regular price at the time of renewal.

Let Irving Weekly market your business and you will see the benefits of online advertising. We are professionals at what we do and our site is growing everyday! Lock in your low rates NOW!

Contact us today:



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Looking to rent an apartment in Irving, TX?
Fri. Feb 11, 2011 09:09 AM

Browse Irving Apartment listings.


Here at Irving Weekly we have made it easy for anyone that is looking to rent an apartment in Irving, TX to find just that. We know the hassle of going around apartment searching. But we also know the importance of just not settling for any apartment. The dirty work has to be done in order to find that apartment that will make us happy.

Driving around looking for apartments in Irving and Las Colinas area can be time consuming, waste of gas, and just tiring. Wouldn't it be better if you coud just browse Irving/ Las Colinas apartments listings from the comfort of your own home and read all about it with reviews and business description?

We have created a brand new section where you can browse through apartment listings in Irving. Our directory is made to make it easier for the  residents of Irving to find that dream apartment there are looking for. Or also if you are planning to move to the Irving/ Las Colinas area, browse through our apartment listings to help you find that perfect fit for you.

If you are the manager of any apartment complex in Irving, do yourself a favor and help potential new clients find you by adding your listing to our business directory. We are quickly growing and becoming one of the centralized places to help potential new clients find what they are looking for. So add your business to our directory today to gain more exposure through our news website.

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Irving Weekly News launches redesign
Tue. Jan 04, 2011 08:32 AM

We are excited about this year and about what we can provide to the Irving community. We are striving to bring you more news and more public information for the community to benefit from.

That's why we have launched a redesign of our website. Give us your opinion on the look and feel of the website.

We are currently working on a lot more projects to add to the website. Stay tune as this year we will be rolling out new sections to the site.

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Irving City Council schedule set for 2011
Thu. Dec 30, 2010 04:10 PM

The City Council has scheduled its meetings for 2011. All meetings begin at 7 p.m.

Following are the dates when the council plans to meet:


  •          Jan. 13
  •          Feb. 3 and 17
  •          March 3 and 24
  •          April 7 and 21
  •          May 5 and 19
  •          June 9 and 23
  •          July 7 and 21
  •          Aug. 4
  •          Sept. 1 and 22
  •          Oct. 6 and 27
  •          Nov. 17
  •          Dec. 8


Residents can attend the meetings at City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd., or view them live on Irving Community Television Network (ICTN Channel 95 – Time Warner or ICTN Channel 31 – Verizon). Webcasts are at or


Website visitors can view recorded meetings 24/7 via video on demand. Viewers can select a specific agenda item of interest without having to watch or fast-forward through the entire video.


Work session meetings begin at 11 a.m. the Wednesday prior to the Thursday council meetings. They also are open for public attendance and air live on ICTN and the city website. The meetings also are available via video on demand.


Meeting times are subject to change. Call the City Secretary’s Office at (972) 721-2493 to confirm a meeting date or visit

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