Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If I don't pay my taxes, will I really lose my house and
Answer: 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 your taxes are delinquent for two years, that's it. You've lost the property.
Q. What is a delinquent tax?
Answer: A delinquent tax is a tax that has been forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was due. For example, taxes that are billed by your City or Township Treasurer in 2004 will be turned over delinquent to the County Treasurer on March 1, 2005.
Q. What happens after the property is forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection?
Answer: The County Treasurer adds a 4 percent administrative fee and interest of 1% per month. After one year, the property is forfeited to the County Treasurer. For example, the 2003 taxes that are still unpaid as of March 1, 2005 will be in forfeiture.
Q. What does it mean for my property to be in forfeiture? Does that mean I lose my property?
Answer: No. Forfeiture is not foreclosure. If your property is in forfeiture, you still have the right to redeem. However, the interest and fees will be higher. When a property is forfeited, the interest rate goes from 1% per month to 1.5% per month, back to the date that taxes became delinquent. A $175 fee is also added, along with other costs allowed by law.
Q. What happens after my property is foreclosed? How do I get it back?
Answer: 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.
Q. What if I can't come up with all the money right now?
Answer: Even if you can't pay your taxes all at once, you can still make partial payments. This must be paid with cash or cashier check, and must be paid in full before foreclosure.
Some Important Information for Property Owners
Public Act 123 of 1999 shortens the amount of time property owners have to pay their delinquent taxes before losing their property. Property owners with taxes that are two years delinquent will be foreclosed and the property will be sold at public auction.
With this new Tax Law, the amount of time to pay taxes has been reduced from approximately five years to approximately two years.
Property owners face a higher interest and fee for not paying their taxes. Taxes that are delinquent for more than one year will have a substantially higher interest rate (1.5% per month, as opposed to the current 1%). After one year, taxes will have a $175 forfeiture fee and additional administrative fees and costs allowed by law added to them.
If you have any other questions contact the Jackson County Treasurers Office at (517) 788-4418.