Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Property Tax - FAQ's

If I don't pay my taxes, will I really lose my property?

Yes. Property owners who had delinquent taxes under the old law could also lose their property, but they had more time to pay and more "second chances." Under the new law, if taxes are delinquent for 2 years, that's it. The property will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction.

What is a delinquent tax?

A delinquent tax is a tax that has been forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection on March 1 succeeding the year it was due. For example, taxes that are billed by your city or township treasurer in 2010 will be returned delinquent to the County Treasurer on March 1, 2011.

What happens after the property is forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection?

The County Treasurer adds a 4% administration fee plus interest of 1% per month. After one year, the property is forfeited to the County Treasurer. For example the 2010 taxes that are still unpaid as of March 1, 2012, will be forfeiture.

What does it mean to be in forfeiture? Does that mean I lose the property?

No. Forfeiture is not foreclosure. If your property is in forfeiture, you still have a year before it will be foreclosed. However, the interest and fees will be higher. When a property is forfeited, the interest rate changes from 1% per month to 1.5% per month, retroactive to the date taxes became delinquent on March 1, 2011. A $175 forfeiture fee plus additional administrative fees added on March 1, 2012.

What happens after my property is in forfeiture?

After a property has been in forfeiture for one year, it will be foreclosed. 2010 property taxes will be foreclosed in March 2013.

What happens after my property is foreclosed? How do I get it back?

You cannot get your property back after it has been foreclosed. Foreclosure is final. Property that has been foreclosed will be sold at public auction. You will not receive any money from this sale.

What if I can't come up with all the money right now?

Even if you can't pay your taxes all at once, you can still make partial payments. Make your checks payable to the Isabella County Treasurer. The mailing address is 200 N. Main, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858. To ensure your payment is applied to your parcel, please write your parcel number on your check or money order. If you can't pay all of your taxes before foreclosure, contact the Department of Human Services at (989) 772-8400 for possible financial assistance.

Will I receive any notification before my property is foreclosed?

Yes. Five notifications will be made. Two will be by first-class mail, two by certified mail and the last notification will be made by personal service. In addition to these notification, names and addresses of delinquent property owners may be published in the newspaper.

I guess I really don't have to worry about losing my property until 2013. Why not wait and pay my taxes then?

DON'T WAIT! You may have to pay as many as 2 years taxes at once to keep your property. Foreclosure is final!

My elderly relatives sometimes neglect to pay their taxes on time. They appreciate my assistance and I'm concerned they won't understand this new procedure and they might end up losing their property.

For an annual statutory fee of $5.00, you can subscribe at the Isabella County Treasurer's Office to receive a tax notice for the property of your choice.

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