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  H.B. No. 3115
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the release of a judgment lien on homestead property.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 52.0012, Property Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (d), (e), and (f) and adding Subsections
  (b-1) and (g) to read as follows:
         (b)  A judgment debtor may[, at any time,] file [an
  affidavit] in the real property records of the county in which the
  judgment debtor's homestead is located:
               (1)  an affidavit that substantially complies with
  Subsection (f); and
               (2)  a certificate of mailing that substantially
  complies with Subsection (g).
         (b-1)  A judgment debtor who files an affidavit under
  Subsection (b) shall send a letter notifying the judgment creditor
  of the filing of the affidavit and a copy of the filed affidavit by
  registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to:
               (1)  the judgment creditor's last known address;
               (2)  the address appearing in the judgment creditor's
  pleadings in the action in which the judgment was rendered or
  another court record, if that address is different from the
  judgment creditor's last known address;
               (3)  the address of the judgment creditor's last known
  attorney as shown in those pleadings or another court record; and
               (4)  the address of the judgment creditor's last known
  attorney as shown in the records of the State Bar of Texas, if that
  address is different from the address of the attorney as shown in
  those pleadings or another court record.
         (d)  If a judgment debtor has filed a certificate of mailing
  under Subsection (b) and a contradicting affidavit is not filed
  under Subsection (e), a [A] bona fide purchaser or a mortgagee for
  value or a successor or assign of a bona fide purchaser or mortgagee
  for value may rely conclusively on an affidavit filed under
  Subsection (b) for the 90-day period that begins on the 31st day
  after the date the certificate of mailing was filed [if included
  with the affidavit is evidence that:
               [(1)  the judgment debtor sent a letter and a copy of
  the affidavit, without attachments and before execution of the
  affidavit, notifying the judgment creditor of the affidavit and the
  judgment debtor's intent to file the affidavit; and
               [(2)  the letter and the affidavit were sent by
  registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, 30 or more
  days before the affidavit was filed to:
                     [(A)  the judgment creditor's last known address;
                     [(B)  the address appearing in the judgment
  creditor's pleadings in the action in which the judgment was
  rendered or another court record, if that address is different from
  the judgment creditor's last known address;
                     [(C)  the address of the judgment creditor's last
  known attorney as shown in those pleadings or another court record;
  and
                     [(D)  the address of the judgment creditor's last
  known attorney as shown in the records of the State Bar of Texas, if
  that address is different from the address of the attorney as shown
  in those pleadings or another court record].
         (e)  An affidavit filed under Subsection (b) does not serve
  as release of record of a judgment lien established under this
  chapter with respect to a purchaser or mortgagee of real property
  that acquires the purchaser's or mortgagee's interest from the
  judgment debtor if, not later than the 30th day after the date a
  certificate of mailing was filed under Subsection (b), [after] the
  judgment creditor files a contradicting affidavit in the real
  property records of the county in which the real property is located
  asserting that:
               (1)  the affidavit or certificate of mailing filed by
  the judgment debtor under Subsection (b) is untrue; or
               (2)  another reason exists as to why the judgment lien
  attaches to the judgment debtor's property.
         (f)  An affidavit filed under Subsection (b) must be in
  substantially the following form:
  HOMESTEAD AFFIDAVIT AS RELEASE OF JUDGMENT LIEN
         Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally
  appeared __________ ("Affiant(s)") (insert name of one or more
  affiants) who, being first duly sworn, upon oath states:
               (1)  My/our name is/are __________ (insert name of
  Affiant(s)).  I/we own the following described land ("Land"):
  (describe the property claimed as homestead)
               (2)  This affidavit is made for the purpose of
  effecting a release of that judgment lien recorded in __________
  (refer to recording information of judgment lien) ("Judgment Lien")
  as to the Land.
               (3)  The Land includes as its purpose use for a home for
  Affiant(s) and is the homestead of Affiant(s), as homestead is
  defined in Section 41.002, Property Code.  The Land does not
  exceed:
                     (A)  10 acres of land, if used for the purposes of
  an urban home or as both an urban home and a place to exercise a
  calling or business; or
                     (B)  200 acres for a family or 100 acres for a
  single, adult person not otherwise entitled to a homestead, if used
  for the purposes of a rural home.
               (4)  [Attached to this affidavit is evidence that:
                     [(A)  Affiant(s) sent a letter and a copy of this
  affidavit, without attachments and before execution of the
  affidavit, notifying the judgment creditor in the Judgment Lien of
  this affidavit and the Affiant(s)' intent to file for record this
  affidavit; and
                     [(B)  the letter and this affidavit were sent by
  registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, 30 or more
  days before this affidavit was filed to:
                           [(i)  the judgment creditor's last known
  address;
                           [(ii)  the address appearing in the judgment
  creditor's pleadings in the action in which the judgment was
  rendered or another court record, if that address is different from
  the judgment creditor's last known address;
                           [(iii)  the address of the judgment
  creditor's last known attorney as shown in those pleadings or
  another court record; and
                           [(iv)  the address of the judgment
  creditor's last known attorney as shown in the records of the State
  Bar of Texas, if that address is different from the address of the
  attorney as shown in those pleadings or another court record.
               [(5)]  This affidavit serves as a release of the
  Judgment Lien as to the Land in accordance with Section 52.0012,
  Property Code.
         Signed on this _____ day of __________, _____.
         ____________________
         ____________________
         (Signature of Affiant(s))
         State of __________
         County of __________
  SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me on the _________ day of
  __________, 20___.
  My commission expires:
  ______________________
                                       _______________________________
                                       Notary Public, State of Texas
                                       Notary's printed name:
                                       ________________________________
         (g)  A certificate of mailing filed under Subsection (b) must
  be in substantially the following form:
  CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
  OF HOMESTEAD AFFIDAVIT AS RELEASE OF JUDGMENT LIEN
         Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally
  appeared __________ ("Affiant(s)") (insert name(s) of Affiant(s))
  who, being first duly sworn, upon oath state(s):
               (1)  My name is/Our names are __________ (insert
  name(s) of Affiant(s)).
               (2)  On the ____ day of __________, 20__, Affiant(s)
  caused a Homestead Affidavit as Release of Judgment Lien to be
  recorded in __________ (refer to affidavit recording information)
  ("Affidavit").
               (3)  On the ____ day of __________, 20__, Affiant(s)
  sent a letter and a copy of the Affidavit, notifying the judgment
  creditor of the Affiant's homestead claim and the filing of the
  Affidavit, by registered or certified mail, return receipt
  requested, to:
                     (A)  the judgment creditor's last known address;
                     (B)  the address appearing in the judgment
  creditor's pleadings in the action in which the judgment was
  rendered or another court record, if that address is different from
  the judgment creditor's last known address;
                     (C)  the address of the judgment creditor's last
  known attorney as shown in those pleadings or another court record;
  and
                     (D)  the address of the judgment creditor's last
  known attorney as shown in the records of the State Bar of Texas, if
  that address is different from the address of the attorney as shown
  in those pleadings or another court record.
               (4)  Attached to this certificate are:
                     (A)  a true and correct copy of the letter
  described by Subdivision (3) of this certificate; and
                     (B)  proof of mailing of the letter described by
  Subdivision (3) of this certificate. 
         Signed on the _____ day of __________, 20 _____.
         ____________________
         ____________________
         (Signature of Affiant(s))
         State of __________
         County of __________
  SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me on the _________ day of
  __________, 20___.
  My commission expires:
  ______________________
                                       _______________________________
                                       Notary Public, State of Texas
                                       Notary's printed name:
                                       ________________________________
         SECTION 2.  Section 157.3171(c), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  For purposes of Section 52.0012(d) [52.0012(d)(2)],
  Property Code, and the requirements of the certificate of mailing
  prescribed [associated text in the affidavit required] by Section
  52.0012(g) [52.0012(f)], Property Code, the obligor is required
  only to send the letter and affidavit described in Section
  52.0012(g) [those provisions] to the claimant under the child
  support lien at the claimant's last known address.
         SECTION 3.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an affidavit filed under Section 52.0012(b), Property Code, as
  amended by this Act, on or after the effective date of this Act. An
  affidavit filed under Section 52.0012(b), Property Code, as amended
  by this Act, before the effective date of this Act is governed by
  the law in effect immediately before that date, and that law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3115 was passed by the House on May
  11, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3115 was passed by the Senate on May
  27, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor