Can Someone Take Your Property By Paying the Taxes?


If you owe outstanding taxes on your Texas property, you may wonder, can someone take your property by paying the taxes? In Texas, the short answer is no - paying someone else’s property tax is not enough to claim ownership over that property. Texas has a tax-payor-led system, i.e. the payor has to consent to the transfer of a tax lien. The county cannot simply assign a tax lien to somebody else unilaterally, which means that nobody can simply take over your property by paying the taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

What Happens if Someone Pays Your Property Taxes in Texas?

In Texas, nobody can claim ownership over someone’s property simply by paying the taxes. The property belongs to the person with “clear title,” which means it is free of any claims or disputes of ownership, and nobody else has any legal claim over your home or land. Transferring a tax lien to another individual or organization, such as a property tax lender, does not amount to transferring ownership of your property.

Tax Deeds vs. Tax Lien Certificates

There is a very big difference between someone paying property taxes or taking on the property’s tax lien, and purchasing a tax deed. For example, when you apply for a property tax loan from American Finance and Investment Co., Inc. (AFIC), the tax lien is transferred to us, but, as explained above, we have no claim to the ownership of your property. On the other hand, when a property becomes delinquent on its tax debt, the county can sell a property to the highest bidder after obtaining a court order to do so. The sale proceeds are used to pay off a property owner’s unpaid taxes and penalties, with any extra going to the property owner. The highest bidder then holds the tax deed and thus owns the property. However, the delinquent taxpayer still has a “right of redemption” to buy back the property by agreeing to repay the tax deed holder within a few months of the tax sale. Once the property owner has paid off the foreclosure buyer, the buyer relinquishes any claim to the property.


What is a Clear Title?

Clear title is a term that refers to legal documentation or property ownership. When you have a property deed recorded in your county’s property records that indicates you are the owner of a piece of land and there are no other claims recorded against that property or you, you have a clear title over that land. There must be a new deed every time a property changes hands.

Get Help With Your Property Taxes

American Finance and Investment Co., Inc. (AFIC) is a financial institution based in Texas. We have been serving the financial needs of residents in Texas communities since 1946. With nearly eight decades of complaint-free consumer financing, we stand out as the first choice when it comes to manageable solutions for your tax debts.

We offer our clients an affordable, hassle-free way to ensure that your account with the local government tax office is paid in full and will work out a manageable repayment plan for you. AFIC can provide you with an instant quote by completing the form on our homepage. For qualifying properties, we can help you pay off your delinquent taxes and offer you the following benefits:

  • Quick and completely online process
  • No money down
  • No credit check
  • Free 30-day rate match
  • Match competitors and beat their rate by 1%
  • Avoid high penalties and foreclosure

Can someone take your property by paying the taxes? No, not directly, but losing your property to your local tax authorities, who might then sell it on to the highest bidder, is a genuine risk if you do not settle your property tax debt. Avoid this by securing a property tax loan from AFIC. We pride ourselves on finding solutions to suit the unique needs of our clients. If you would like to discuss our property tax loans, please contact our experienced team at AFIC today.

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