No one wants to get behind on their bills--you work hard and you try to keep up with everything so you can keep your credit clean and avoid potential problems like extra fees or repossession of property. However, sometimes things happen – job loss, injury, or unforeseen expenses – that may prevent you from making your property tax payment on time.
The important thing to understand is that as with missing a mortgage payment, the sooner you act the better. Each county is different, but it’s fairly typical for localities to delay taking action, such as putting your home up for tax sale, until you’ve missed at least two payments, and sometimes as many as five. If you suspect you may have trouble paying your property taxes, contact the county as soon as possible and see if they will work something out with you.
The other thing of which you need to be aware is that if you have a mortgage on property, your lender will usually pay the delinquent taxes for you. They will either dock escrow for the amount, or simply pay it if you’re non-escrowed, and increase your mortgage payment to make up the difference. You can contact your lender as well and request that they spread these payments out over a few years to minimize the monthly burden.
If you’re stuck in a situation with your property taxes and have exhausted all other options, contact us to see if we can help.