Leaving late property taxes unpaid in Texas has consequences for the property owner and the community at large, as the funds are used by local governments to pay for schools, streets, roads, fire protection, police, and other services. How does it affect you as a residential or commercial property owner?
What happens if my property taxes are late? If this question keeps you awake at night, there is a good reason for it. Penalties and interest start accumulating fast starting February 1st. If you don’t pay your property taxes at all, you could ultimately lose your home or business property after a lengthy and expensive court case, and some counties can be very swift to file suit for tax collections. If you are lucky to live in a more relaxed county, you will unfortunately always have the lawsuit threat hanging over your head.
The consequences of property tax delinquency can be very costly to taxpayers. Did you know collection fees, penalties, and interest on unpaid property taxes can accrue to 48% of your original tax bill in just the first year?!
Stiff Penalties and Interest
What is the penalty for paying property taxes late? Here is a basic summary:
1% interest for each month the taxes are delinquent, ending only once paid.
6% penalty of the original tax bill for the first month applied on February 1st (around 3 months after the bill is mailed).
A total of 12% penalty incurred from 6% in February, plus 1% for every month thereafter until finally a 2% penalty in July.
Up to 20% collection charge for attorney fees (including on charged penalties and interest) if delinquent on July 1st.
When Collections Attorneys Get Involved
On July 1st, collections attorneys receive the delinquent property tax accounts list from local tax assessors. They start sending out notices and adding collection fees to your overdue account. The lawyers could even file a suit against you as the property owner.
If a suit is filed against you for delinquency and you fail to respond, it may result in a judgment against your property that includes all past-due property taxes and court costs. Do you have a mortgage on the property? Not paying your property taxes might force your mortgage company to pay them, and that may lead to a torrent of very bad consequences, including calling a default on your mortgage.
When you realize you missed the property tax deadline, don’t panic, there are steps you can take to resolve the matter. What are these steps?
It will help you to stay calm, knowing you are not alone. Many people pay their taxes late for financial, illness, or other reasons. What is your plan of action? What resources do you have available and what should your long term ownership strategy be? Can you get a property tax loan?
Maybe: Step 2: Identify Your Financial Resources Ok you are behind, you know you are behind, you know that in the first year, unpaid property taxes are some of the most expensive debt you can have, and you know that foreclosure is a risk. So while daunting, you need to focus on the solution and not the problem. How much money can you pay towards your tax debt today and what can you pay a month after that?
Even when you have delinquent taxes, you can contact your local taxing authority to find out if there are payment arrangements you can make. Every county has different options, but asking for help is another step to making your tax bill manageable.
Maybe: Step 3: Create an Ownership Plan Based upon your resources and the ongoing cost of property taxes and general property ownership, is your inability to pay property taxes a temporary “blip”, or a permanent issue to be resolved. In either case the taxes need to be paid, but if the issue is permanent, the property may need to be refinanced or sold. In that case you just need a little breathing room from your tax bill, while you workout that long term fix.
Did you know you can appeal your late property tax bill under certain circumstances? Are you eligible for a property tax exemption? If you are concerned about the appraised (market) value of your property or feel the value of your property is unequal compared to others, these might be grounds for appeal.
One of the quickest ways to prevent penalties, interest, and collection fees from being added to your property tax bill is by getting a property tax loan and settling the bill. A property tax loan works in either the temporary financial hardship “blip” or the permanent inability to carry the costs of a property. On the “blip” side, a property tax loan can provide that space necessary with small manageable payments. On the permanent side, AFIC has property tax loans without required payments for up to 24 months, providing the time you need to facilitate a sale or refinance for full market value without the worry of property tax collection issues. In any case, don’t ignore your property taxes! They won’t go away!
Tax-delinquent properties don’t have to be a liability. A property tax loan can help you pay the account quickly to cut down on penalties and interest. We offer our clients an affordable, hassle-free way to ensure that your account with the local government tax office is paid in full and will work out a manageable repayment plan for you. AFIC can provide you with an instant quote by completing the form on our homepage. For qualifying properties, we can help you pay off your delinquent taxes and offer you the following benefits:
We pride ourselves on finding solutions to suit the unique needs of our clients. If you would like to discuss our property tax loans, please contact our experienced team at AFIC today.
Rates as Low as 8.0% (8.51% APR*) $25,000 loan,
$750 in Closing Costs, 120 Monthly Payments of $303.32
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APR between 8.0% and 25.0% for loan terms between 12 and 120 months. For example 8.5% APR, $25,000 loan, $750 in Closing Costs, 120 Monthly Payments of $303.32.
YOUR TAX OFFICE MAY OFFER DELINQUENT TAX INSTALLMENT PLANS THAT MAY BE LESS COSTLY TO YOU. YOU CAN REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PLANS FROM THE TAX OFFICE.
If you are over 64 or disabled, don’t get a property tax loan, contact your tax office about a deferral.
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