Unpaid Property Tax and Foreclosure

Don’t pay your taxes or pay your taxes and the art of silence.

When families struggle and don’t pay their property tax over a 3-year period, all states have rules in place to foreclose on that property. A property tax sale takes place. The town then gets paid the back taxes.

What happens to the rest of the money on a paid off home? For instance, a house that is worth $200,000 that a family has been struggling to maintain, pay property taxes on but due to health reasons, employment issues or some other desperate home issues can’t pay property taxes. That home finally goes into foreclosure with a tax sale for $20,000 in back taxes. Their credit is shot. They can’t borrow the money.

Unpaid Property Tax and Foreclosure Example: The home sells for $180,000 on tax sale. What happens to the remaining $160,000 after the town gets back the $20,000 back taxes?

In 3 states, New York, Colorado and Michigan, the state legally steals that surplus money from the tax sale ($160,000 cited in the example) outright!

 Other states under a legal clause called “escheat law” (sound like it is doesn’t it: to cheat one out of tax foreclosure money that belongs rightfully to the property owner) to legally steal that money at a later date. All states require financial institutions, to report when personal property has been abandoned or unclaimed after a period of time specified by state law — often five years. Then that money is theirs.

Consider this, the family that worked all their life, saved, paid their bills, worked in the system to build likely their only financial asset of high value. Hard times come to that family and it is preyed upon; every state in the union is in on the act!  NO EFFORT IS MADE to repatriate the excess funds from the state government tax sale to their rightful owners. These forfeited funds total in the billions. When the state owes you money, silence!

States have no conscious when it comes to helping these victims of hard times getting repatriated with what is rightfully theirs.

Is pathological financial behavior by state governments contagious? Judging by their over-spending, in house perks and financial manipulations, one would expect oversight by democratically elected officials … or are there zombies on the job?

I don’t know what system they follow. They don’t treat their neighbor as themselves.

Do you think, with that mentality, that the county and state you live in will go out of their way to address the 40% to 60% national over-assessment of property taxes? Unless there is a property tax appeal, nothing will happen. When they overcharge, they are silent!

Similar to someone reclaiming excess money owed to them from a property tax sale, if one doesn’t speak up or have someone speak up for them, nothing will happen.

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