K-Sue Park

  • Hosted by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location El Paso, Texas
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Consumer Rights, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

K-Sue fought predatory property tax lending on the Texas border by providing legal representation and organizing an educational media campaign in collaboration with local governments and community organizations.

The property tax lending industry is a predatory genre ripe for reform in Texas, where a unique statutory loophole allows taxing authorities to transfer liens on homes to private companies that give homeowners a loan to pay their taxes. These companies, who charge exorbitant fees and interest, make a 100% risk-free investment, because their lien takes priority over mortgages and state and local government liens at foreclosure. Mortgage companies often come in to buy the liens to gain priority status at foreclosure, benefiting from this system. The property tax lending industry has fed off of the foreclosure crisis at the expense of vulnerable homeowners, and has grown by more than 600% since 2005.

Fellowship Highlights

During K-Sue’s Fellowship, K-Sue:

  • Identified individual and organizational clients for direct representation
  • Worked with local tax authorities to gain access to lien transfer records
  • Attended local community organization meetings, work with community leaders and create hotline for victims of predatory property tax lending
  • Represented victims of property tax lenders

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