Thursday, March 3, 2011
Under an agreed judgment obtained by the State, O’Connor & Associates must implement multiple changes to its business practices. The State also required the firm to establish a $300,000 restitution fund for any clients that suffered financially from its improper conduct. The restitution fund is currently pending court approval. The State is working to ensure that eligible homeowners can seek their restitution payments by June.
The State also required that O’Connor allow customers to opt out on its services if they do not want the firm’s representation during the 2011 tax year. Property owners who decide to forgo O’Connor’s services should contact their local appraisal districts and inform district personnel of their decision.
A Texas homeowner who hires a property tax consultant firm should expect the firm to honor the contractual agreement it executes with the property owner. Importantly, when the agreement pledges that the firm’s representatives will appear at a formal appraisal hearing on the client’s behalf, the firm has a legal obligation to ensure their staff is present to represent the homeowner’s interests before the district. Property owners who believe they were misled by a property tax consultant should file a written complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.
For more details about the agreed judgment against O’Connor & Associates, click on the link above.