Sample Letter to Newspaper to Verify Eligibility for Chapter 59 Foreclosure Ads

Purpose of the Form
This form is a sample of a letter to the newspaper in which you would like to print your foreclosure sale advertisements, asking for confirmation that the newspaper is a “newspaper of general circulation in the county.” Advertising in a newspaper of general circulation is a legal requirement for Chapter 59 foreclosure sales.

When to Use
Use this form when you are in doubt as to whether the newspaper qualifies under Chapter 59 as a “newspaper of general circulation” in the county where your facility is located. Send the form to the newspaper, and wait until you receive confirmation back from the newspaper that it is indeed a “newspaper of general circulation in the county” before using that newspaper to advertise your Chapter 59 foreclosure sales.

Chapter 59 requires that your newspaper advertisements for the sale be published “once in each of two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the self-service storage facility is located.” (See Section 59.044 of the Texas Property Code.) The statute says that if there is not a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the lessor may instead post a copy of the notice at the self-storage facility and at least five other conspicuous locations near the facility. Virtually all counties in Texas, however, have a newspaper of general circulation.

Tips for Use
The “newspaper of general circulation in the county” requirement basically means it is a “real” newspaper and not a “Greensheet” type tabloid. It needs to be a genuine newspaper containing real news with a general circulation throughout the entire county—not, for example, a newspaper specific to only a certain region or neighborhood of a county.
If in doubt as to whether a newspaper is a newspaper of general circulation, send this to the newspaper and do not advertise in that newspaper unless 1) in good faith you believe that the newspaper contains real news and has a general circulation throughout the entire county, and 2) you receive confirmation of this back from the newspaper itself in the form of a return letter stating that the newspaper does meet the qualifications of Chapter 59.

Don’t forget that the newspaper ad must be published once in each of two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in your facility’s county. If, for example, you or the newspaper forget to publish the second ad, and it is too late to publish another one and meet the requirement of ads being published once in each of two consecutive weeks, in my opinion you need to start over and re-run both ads (with a revised sale date most likely). If a new sale date is necessary, don’t forget to send a new courtesy Notice of Public Sale to the tenant with the new sale date.

If there are errors in one or more of your advertisements, and the errors have the potential to cast a cloud over the sale (for example, the time or date was listed wrong, or other errors of this nature) I would recommend that you not rely on the incorrect ads, but rather re-publish correct ads, making sure to publish two correct ads in two consecutive weeks. It is simply not wise to leave room for argument that you did not meet the requirements of the statute because, for example, your ads contained the wrong time or other mistakes.