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What to Do If You Owe Delinquent Property Taxes


If you have delinquent property taxes, you may be in a bit of a panic. But, don’t despair; property taxes are often some of our largest tax bills, and they can be difficult to pay for anyone. Here are some steps you can take to resolve your issues for delinquent property taxes.

First, contact your tax collector. Hiding and avoiding their calls and letters will get you nowhere. Your local tax collector will likely be able to work out a payment plan for you if you communicate with him. However, if he gets no response to letters or phone calls, he will assume that you don’t intend to pay the delinquent property taxes and he will continue to pursue additional methods of collection. When you discuss your situation with the tax collector, be certain to find out about the penalties and interest you’re accruing. In many cases, you’d be wise to take out a loan to pay the taxes off, if the interest rate the collector is charging you is higher than the interest rate on a loan.

Secondly, talk to your mortgage company. If you have a mortgage on your home, you can likely begin making your property tax payments for the years to come monthly along with your mortgage. The mortgage company will put the property tax portion of your payment into an escrow account and then they will pay next year’s tax bill for you out of this escrow account. This method won’t help you pay the delinquent property taxes you owe right now, but it will keep you from having this same problem again next year.

Pay them something – Don’t avoid paying at all simply because you can’t pay the balance in full. Making a payment as small as $20 each time you get a paycheck tells the tax collector that you’re trying to pay the bill. In many cases, this will prevent him from putting a lien on your property.
If your taxes are not paid, and no arrangement is made, eventually your taxes will be sold to the highest bidder at a Delinquent Tax Lien Sale. This is a sale of the lien for delinquent taxes not the sale of your property. After a certain period of time, if you have still not paid the taxes, the holder of your delinquent tax lien can foreclose on the lien and acquire your property.
Owing delinquent property taxes can be scary for anyone. But the situation can be resolved if you take the time to work with the tax collector and make whatever payments you can afford. Then, take the proper steps to ensure that you don’t wind up in this uncomfortable situation again.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of Online Taxes. Her website Taxes Exposed provides a wealth of information on everything you will need to know about Property Taxes. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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