A proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas that would loosen restrictions on home equity borrowing comes to a vote on Tuesday, November 7. Known as Proposition 2, this amendment should hold serious interest for homeowners. Below, I outline the history of home equity loans in Texas and analyze this new proposition.
Home Equity Loan and Line of Credit
In the early 1990s, Texans amended the state constitution to allow home equity lines of credit. Prior to the amendment, Texans could only borrow on the equity in their home to finance home improvements. A home equity loan/LOC includes any indebtedness that is secured by a home if the proceeds were not used to purchase, construct, or substantially improve a home. Under the tax law rules, a taxpayer can deduct interest on up to $100,000 of home equity indebtedness that is secured by the taxpayer’s main home or one other home. The proceeds of the loan may be used for any purpose, including the payment of a child’s college expenses, paying off credit cards, or paying for a new car.
On November 7, 2017, voters will again have the chance to amend the Texas constitution regarding home equity loans. I have included the ballot wording and some explanatory comments.
The proposition reads as follows:
“The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”
After talking to my mortgage banker (www.capitalabcfunding.com), I can tell you that this amendment will help reduce your borrowing costs by removing some of the many fees that you pay when you borrow on your home and limiting some of the fees that lenders charge for credit checks, loan applications, and others, as well as making it easier to get a home equity loan. It will also expand the types of agricultural properties that can borrow on their equity.
This amendment will be effective on January 1, 2018, if it is approved by the voters. It takes a 2/3 majority of the Texas House and Senate to get a proposition on the ballot. Then, it is submitted for approval to the qualified voters of the state. A proposed amendment becomes a part of the constitution if a majority of the votes cast in an election on the proposition are cast in its favor.
Now, it is up to you.