As a homeowner, you understand firsthand that the true cost of ownership far exceeds the mortgage payment. All these costs can create a strain and even cause you to file behind on important obligations, including your property tax payment. Failure to pay off this balance puts you at risk of losing your home through a public tax sale. Learn what you can do to protect your home.
Contact A Tax Expert
It's always a good idea to reach out to a tax expert when you find yourself in this type of situation. This is especially important if you have made payments towards the balance and the tax office is still showing a large balance that you owe. The initial role of the tax expert is to analyze the record and ensure you actually owe what is being demanded of you.
In some cases, an error in the record-keeping or incorrect property valuation can highlight an issue that results in a change in your balance due. Even if there isn't an issue discovered, you will have greater confidence that the balance is accurate.
Submit A Payment Plan Application
Local tax offices don't want to take away someone's home. They are generally more than willing to work with you to settle your debt; however, they can only assist you if you ask for help. As soon as you have verified the debt, submit a payment plan application.
Generally, you can initiate this process with a visit to your local tax office. Keep in mind that many municipalities have deadlines by which you must apply, such as three years after your first delinquency. If you don't adhere to these guidelines, you may not be able to establish a payment plan.
Prepare Your Finances
Once your application has been processed, you're generally required to make an initial good faith payment before it will be approved. What's required should be listed on the application. Typically, you will be required to pay off the current year's balance, a certain percentage of the defaulted balance and pay administrative processing costs.
Set this money aside so that you can pay it as soon as it's requested. In the meantime, it's wise to continue your conversation with the tax expert so that they can assist you with formulating a payment structure that will help you avoid default in the future.
If you have a delinquent property tax bill, you must act fast. Make an effort to be proactive. For more information, contact local professionals like Tax Assessment Xperts Inc.