Texas Proposition 8 (2007)

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This article is about a 2007 ballot measure in Texas. For other measures with a similar title, see Proposition 8.

Texas Proposition 8 appeared on the November 6, 2007 in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Proposition 8 would clarify certain provisions relating to the making of a home equity loan and use of home equity loans.

Proposition 8 appeared on the statewide November 2007 ballot in Texas along with fifteen other statewide propositions; all of them passed. All sixteen ballot measures were legislative referrals voted onto the ballot by the Texas State Legislature.

Election results

Texas Proposition 8 (2007)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 823,189 77.6%
No238,13622.4%

Overview

Proposition 8 would be making changes to the Texas Constitution, Art. 16, Sec. 50, the 1997 Proposition 8, and Proposition 16 that was passed in 2003.

These changes include:

  • Specifying that the determination if the homestead property will be used for agricultural use at the close of a loan
  • Preprinted checks may not be used for solicitation
  • The borrower must receive a printed copy of the loan
  • The borrower could waive the current waiting period and secure a loan against the equity in the borrower's home less than 1 year after obtaining the same type of loan in the event of a state of emergency declared by the Governor or President of the US.
  • The 12 day waiting period for closing a home equity loan would begin when the borrower received the loan notice instead of when the written application is submitted.

Statement of Support

Supporters of the amendment believe that Proposition 8 would reduce predatory lending practices and provide more safeguards against mortgage fraud. This would be done by:

  • Required a printed copy of the loan would reduce miscommunication between written and oral agreements.
  • Allow homeowners to recover quicker in the event of emergencies like Hurricane Katrina
  • Stopping preprinted check would reduce identity theft
  • Reduce paperwork required by mortgage companies while retaining the safety net for borrowers
  • Stop borrowers from declaring their land as agricultural to avoid foreclosure

Newspapers

Dallas Morning News

  • " This amendment would further clarify the rules for consumers when they seek a second mortgage. We recommend a yes vote."[1]

The Austin Chronicle

  • "This is just a necessary cleanup of home-equity loan procedures, and it's a damn shame it has to be done through the Constitution, but it would protect some borrowers otherwise at risk."[2]

Statement of Opposition

Opponents believe that Proposition 8 fails to address the purpose of calculating fees associated with home equity loans. This dispute is currently being settled in ACORN, et al. v. Finance Commission of Texas, et al. about if fees should be calculated at interest as a 3 percent cap on the loan, but the opposition believe it should be addressed in the legislature currently.

Another point made was that if the legislature wanted to reduce mortgage fraud then oral agreement should be ruled be disallowed.

Text of measure

The short ballot summary voters saw on their ballot read: "The constitutional amendment to clarify certain provisions relating to the making of a home equity loan and use of home equity loan proceeds."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.==See also==

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