Property taxes are just one of those things that you don’t enjoy paying. There are a few options you can take when property taxes become a problem. Depending on whether you’re late on your payment or not, you have a few different options to work through. Read on to learn more!
Many people set up a mortgage that includes an escrow account. The escrow account has you pay a portion of your property taxes in addition to your mortgage payment each month, and the payment is included in your monthly mortgage. Each month this money is set aside and when your property taxes come due your lender than pays your property taxes for you. But, escrow accounts do not work for everybody. Sometimes creating an escrow account is overlooked during the mortgage approval, sometimes people choose to go without to get a lower monthly payment, and in some cases, people who have paid off their mortgages are no longer eligible for escrow accounts. No matter the reason, if you do not have an escrow account set up, you are responsible for paying your property taxes every year. And sometimes things beyond our control happen and we are not able to pay our property taxes.
So, with that in mind let’s look at the question of “what happens if I can’t pay my real estate taxes”. The first thing that will happen is the county government will start charging you interest, which will most likely accrue on a monthly basis. What this means for you as a homeowner is that every month the amount you owe is going to grow larger. The county can even charge you penalties for not paying your real estate taxes on time. A notice of delinquency can even by published in the local newspaper, if things go on long.
After a long time of not paying your real estate taxes, the county will place a tax lien on your home. The lien will also be filed with the county recorder, which in turn informs everybody that you owe money. A tax lien takes priority over all other liens and anybody trying to buy your home cannot do so until the lien has been settled.
Now after placing a lien the county has one more option: a tax sale. If a tax sale happens you could lose your home, depending on how far behind you are. If you get a notice about a tax sale the first thing you should do is contact an attorney to figure out what options you have. Some counties will sell the tax lien rather than the house, which means you now owe the purchaser the money instead of owing the county. Other times your lender will purchase the lien to prevent the sale to a third party that way their mortgage isn’t wiped out in the course of a sale.
The important thing to remember is that if you haven’t paid your real estate taxes there are still options, and if you want to sell your house fast and stop dealing with these kind of problems, you can always call 800-BUY-KWIK for a free estimate!