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Surviving Spouse and Abandoned Property Bills Heard in Texas House Committee
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 6:45 AM

HB 831by Rep. Helen Giddings (D-Dallas) and HB 1454 by Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan) were heard by the Texas House Investments and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon. 

HB 831 would require mortgage lenders, lending under Chapter 343 of the Finance Code, to disclose home mortgage information to a surviving spouse of the borrower when presented a copy of the death certificate and an affidavit that they are the spouse of the deceased borrower.

Rep. Giddings noted that the bill does not determine who has a legal right to the property but relates to access to payment information only. Rep. Giddings told the committee she is working on a committee substitute to address issues raised by the lenders, including the Texas Credit Union Association. The committee took no action and the bill is pending.

HB 1454 by Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan) amends the Property Code to require financial institutions that hold accounts and safe deposit boxes to request that owners of these assets appoint a designated representative to receive notices of inactivity on abandoned property.  As originally filed, the financial institution would be required to request the information, but the owner would not be required to provide a representative. 

However, a committee substitute the author is preparing removes the requirement for the financial institution to proactively ask the member to name a representative, and instead allows the member to designate a representative. Notices of abandonment would be sent to the property owner as well as the representative. The committee left the bill pending.

For more information contact Jeff Huffman, president, Texas Credit Union Association, at 469-385-6488 or