By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

We Texans cherish our homestead rights more than anyone. And we’ve got the state constitution to prove it.

Cue the old west music and picture Ma with a baby on her hip and Pa with his rifle at the door of their simple home. That must be what the Texas founding fathers had in mind when they enacted our state’s constitution and property code to help protect our citizens.


Free house, anyone? Or how to save on real estate big time. You’ve got to read this story by my colleague Sheree Curry and chime in — hope I get it straight: a couple in Iowa made one payment on their $278,000 home and then went to see a bankruptcy attorney about letting the house go after just one payment. The guy lost his business and could no longer afford it. Matt and Jamie Rae Danielson were in a pickle, a big pickle. First of all, they had just lost a larger home and property, and I am not clear on how they managed to get this second, smaller home financed after that you-know-what show, but they did. And Jamie even worked for a mortgage broker, First Horizon. Well, that bankruptcy attorney they went to see ended up being their best friend ever. He found a loophole in the Iowa homestead laws. Seems their mortgage with CitiMortgage was invalid or void without the signature of both spouses, not merely void-able by the spouse who did not sign. In other words, both spouses must sign a mortgage in order for it to be valid. But Jamie never signed it. Matt met the mortgage broker at a Food Court and signed without her because he could not reach her. I guess no one caught it and — now they own a home.

I sent Sheree an email with some questions, but here’s my BIG question: could this happen here in Texas with our Homestead laws?

Let’s find out!