What are the legal consequences of failing to pay property taxes?


What are the legal consequences of failing to pay property taxes?


Property taxes are supposed to be paid to the county where property owners have their homes or businesses. Typically, the payment schedules for property taxes are set by the county such payment due every January and June of each year. Property taxes can be included in property owners’ mortgage payments or they can pay them directly to the county. However, if the property taxes are not paid there are legal consequences for property owners.

First and foremost, the county can foreclose on the property. In other words, property owners can be current on their mortgages, but fall behind on their property taxes they can still have their property taken away from them. Before the county forecloses, another legal consequence occurs. The county can file a foreclosure lawsuit against property owners.  

Wage garnishment is another consequence. The county can go after property owners for the money they still owe if the sale of their homes or business isn’t the sum they owe. Wage garnishment is the way creditors such as the county legally take money out of people’s pay checks to settle their debts.

 Paying property taxes is serious with devastating legal consequences for property owners which can include the information being on their credit history. Thus, anyone behind in their back property taxes should seek legal advice. A lawyer can help property owners save their homes through filing bankruptcy or setting up payment arrangements with the county.


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