81R6367 UM-D
  By: Hernandez H.B. No. 3426
  relating to the notice required by certain mortgage servicers
  before foreclosing a contract lien on certain real property;
  providing civil penalties.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 51, Property Code, is amended by adding
  Section 51.0022 to read as follows:
  MORTGAGE SERVICERS. (a) This section applies to the foreclosure of
  a contract lien on residential real property occupied by an owner of
  the property if the mortgagee is a financial institution that
  requested and received funds from the federal government as
  provided by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Pub.
  L. No. 110-343).
         (b)  A mortgagee may not accelerate a repayment of a debt
  secured by a contract lien to which this section applies or post
  real property for a foreclosure sale under Section 51.002 unless
  the mortgage servicer, not earlier than the 90th day before the date
  on which the debt was accelerated or the property is posted for
  foreclosure or later than the 60th day before that date, sends a
  notice to the debtor, in the form prescribed under Subsection (h),
  by regular mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested,
  that states in 14-point or larger type that the debtor has the right
  to enter into mediation.
         (c)  A mortgage servicer that gives notice under Subsection
  (b) must prepare a written affirmation that indicates:
               (1)  the mortgage servicer provided the notice in
  accordance with Subsection (b); and
               (2)  whether:
                     (A)  the mortgage servicer mediated the dispute
  without resolution;
                     (B)  the mortgage servicer mediated the dispute
  and the debtor failed to comply with a substantive term of an
  agreement reached in the mediation; or
                     (C)  the debtor refused to engage in mediation
  after receiving notice of the right to mediate the dispute.
         (d)  A debtor is entitled to mediation under this section if
  the debtor or the debtor's authorized agent sends a written notice
  indicating the debtor's election to mediate on or before the 30th
  day after the postmark date on the notice sent by the mortgage
  servicer by certified mail under Subsection (b). A notice of the
  debtor's election to mediate may be delivered by hand, e-mailed,
  faxed, or mailed.
         (e)  If mediation is timely elected by the debtor, the
  mortgage servicer shall cease all collection activity on the debt
  until the earlier of:
               (1)  the date on which the mediation is completed; or
               (2)  the 60th day after the date on which the debtor
  notifies the mortgage servicer of the debtor's election to mediate.
         (f)  A debtor may receive assistance in conducting the
  mediation from a housing counselor approved by the United States
  Department of Housing and Urban Development. A formal, in-person
  mediation may be conducted with the consent of the debtor and the
  mortgage servicer. If the debtor or mortgage servicer does not
  consent to a formal mediation, an informal mediation may be
  conducted through multiple telephone conversations between the
  mortgage servicer and the debtor. Individuals engaged in a
  mediation under this section must have actual authority to
  negotiate the terms, conditions, fees, and other issues surrounding
  the foreclosure and the underlying debt.
         (g)  A mortgage servicer who violates this section is liable
  for a person's actual damages arising from the violation and for a
  civil penalty of not more than $2,000.  A person may file an action
  to seek injunctive relief for a violation of this section.
         (h)  The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  shall prescribe the form of the notice required by Subsection (b).
         SECTION 2.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  the acceleration of repayment for a debt secured by residential
  real property or the posting of real property for a foreclosure sale
  on or after the effective date of this Act.  The acceleration of
  repayment of a debt or the posting of real property for a
  foreclosure sale before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect immediately before the effective date of this
  Act, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.