Questions on Property Tax Financing

Frequent Questions On Property Tax Loans in Texas

Am I really getting a “loan” from Rio Tax?
Although “property tax loan” is a phrase commonly used, you are not technically taking out a loan. A loan involves taking on additional debt that you have to repay. By using Rio Tax, you are not incurring any additional debt that is not already in place.

Your county places a tax lien on your property when property tax bills are sent every October. The property tax lien is released once you pay your property taxes. When using Rio Tax, we agree to pay your property taxes, which are followed by a transfer of the tax lien from the county to Rio Tax. The tax lien is released once you repay Rio Tax.

If I am approved, how soon can we close on the payment plan and have our taxes paid?
Rio Tax can close your plan within 1 or 2 days of your initial call. We are legally required to wait 3 days from your closing to pay your taxes. We can pay your taxes in as little as 4 days after your initial call.

What upfront costs do I pay for on a Rio Tax payment plan?
None. We designed our plans to minimize monthly payments and to eliminate any out-of-pocket, upfront costs to our borrowers. Therefore, we can finance all costs (such as recording fees, title search expenses, origination fees) so that our borrowers pay nothing at closing.

How much are the closing fees?
We have very low fees. In fact, if you find another licensed property tax company with the same interest rate and lower fees, we guarantee that Rio Tax will beat that competitor’s fee by $100. This guarantee helps you save money.

All fees will vary based on a variety of factors and the complexity of underwriting.

Is there an application fee?
No. Our borrowers pay no application fee or any other upfront, out-of-pocket expenses.

What interest rate does Rio Tax charge?
Our interest rate varies depending on your situation; however, it stays much lower than you would pay the county. Plus, your interest rate will be fixed for the life of the plan, even when national interest rates rise. We also guarantee that we will match any competitor’s interest rate and fees.

Can I determine the length of my property tax plan?
Yes, to between two and 10 years. Our plans are unique because we work with our borrowers to find the plan that best fits their budget and needs.

May I prepay my loan?
Of course. There are no prepayment penalties on residential plans. In fact, Rio Tax encourages our borrowers to prepay. It saves them money in interest charges.

How do I make my monthly payments?
You can make your monthly payment in several ways. The best way is to have Rio Tax automatically debit your checking account each month. You also can make your monthly payment by personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or at our online bill pay site.

Can I get a property tax payment plan if I have a mortgage or an existing loan on my property?
Absolutely. Many of our borrowers have existing loans on their properties.

What if I change my mind after closing?
If your property is a homestead property, Texas law gives you a three-day right of rescission to cancel your documents.

Will Rio Tax foreclose on my property if I miss a payment?
At Rio Tax, we have the same goal as our customers: avoiding foreclosure. Rio Tax views foreclosure as the last possible resort. However, Texas law does allow Rio Tax to begin the foreclosure process after a loan is delinquent and we provide a notice of default and opportunity to cure.

Does my taxing authority provide any exemptions for property taxes?
Possibly. Rio Tax encourages you to consult with your local taxing authority to inquire whether you are eligible for any exemptions. Exemptions may be issued for members of the armed forces, disabled persons, persons over 65 years old, and homestead property holders. In fact, Rio Tax typically does NOT offer a loan to persons eligible for exemptions that might entitle them to interest rates lower than the rates we can offer.

What is the total amount of interest, penalties, and fees that a taxing authority will charge if I am delinquent on my property taxes?
As soon as your taxes are delinquent (February 1st), the taxing authority will charge 7% in interest and penalties. In most counties, that rate increases 2% per month until July 1st, when the taxing authority charges a collection fee of 20%. Therefore, property taxes delinquent on July 1st have incurred 38% in interest, penalties, and fees—and the rate increases each month, culminating at 44% just in the first year of delinquency!

See the County Tax Chart

Will a new lien be placed on my property?
No. If your taxes are delinquent, then your property already has a lien placed on it by your local taxing authorities. This lien automatically attaches to all property on February 1 of each year in order to ensure payment of that current year’s taxes. This lien is simply transferred from the county to Rio Tax when Rio Tax pays your taxes.

Can my taxing authority foreclose on my property if my property taxes are delinquent?
Yes. Your taxing authority can file a delinquent tax suit in court after your taxes become delinquent. Because the taxing authority automatically imposes a tax lien on your property each year, the court has the power to foreclose on your property to pay the tax lien. The longer your taxes go unpaid, the more likely you are to be sued.

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Although it is a commonly used phrase, the term "property tax loan" does not technically refer to taking out a loan. Please refer to our FAQ page for a detailed explanation. Your tax office may offer delinquent tax installment plans that may be less costly to you. You can request information about the availability of these plans from the tax office.