Property tax foreclosure generally happens to those who own their homes outright and no longer have a mortgage for the property. For this reason, it can be quite scary to hear you’re your home is in danger of being taken, and sold off at a “tax sale”. If you are at risk of property tax foreclosure, here are some possible ways to stop it.
What is Property Tax Foreclosure?
A property tax foreclosure occurs when a property owner fails to pay their yearly property taxes, and the county seizes the home or land.
How to Stop Property Tax Foreclosure
If you’ve received a foreclosure notification, all hope is not lost. You still have several options to stop property tax foreclosure. Here are the top three:
1. Contest the Tax Assessment
While contesting the assessment won’t get rid of all the taxes you owe, it can make it easier to repay them. County and state laws always provide the homeowner with a way to challenge the taxes and reduce the amount owed.
There are two main grounds that can be used in a contest. First, you can claim the assessment exceeds the property’s real taxable value because of an inaccurate calculation. Second, you can claim the property was disproportionately assessed when compared to other properties in the area. In other words, you’re saying the taxable value is lower than what has been officially recorded.
In the event that you win, the assessment will be lowered, thus making it easier for you to pay.
2. Take Advantage of Deferrals and Tax Exemptions
Each state offers abatements and other tax exemptions that can significantly lower the total taxes owed. Look for tax liabilities that will reduce the amount due to disabilities, age, income level, etc. For this option, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to see which ones apply to your unique situation.
Depending on what state your property is in, some will lower the total amount of back taxes owed if you can prove you have a financial hardship. If they won’t lower the amount, some will suspend (defer) the taxes for a set amount of time. The sooner you check into the details the better. If the taxes are already delinquent, this option may be off the table.
At the very least, it doesn’t hurt to speak with your local taxing authority. Sometimes they will go ahead and negotiate a deal that works for both of you. Again, it may be worth investing in an attorney to help with this process.
3. Sell Your House Fast
If there’s no way for you to negotiate a deal or pay the taxes, you may be best off looking for companies that buy houses for cash. Such companies deal with all kinds of situations and are willing to pay cash for houses in an “as-is” condition. In most cases, the transaction can occur in less than one week. You can receive a quick purchase offer with no obligation to accept.
Don’t Put It Off
The key to stopping a property tax foreclosure is to act quickly. Ignoring it, or putting it off will only make matters worse. Sit down as soon as you can with a notepad and start making phone calls. Regardless if you decide to take a loan to pay the taxes, hire an attorney to negotiate a lower amount, or find companies that buy houses for cash – Act now!
Tropic Coast Homes hopes you are able to negotiate your way out of property tax foreclosure. But if you can’t, we may be able to provide another solution. We buy houses for cash in Southwest Florida in as little as 5 days. We’d be happy to present you with a no-obligation purchase offer so you know all of your options.