26. Delinquent Property Taxes in Florida

There are two things we can be sure of in life…Death and Taxes. And we might be able to escape death someday.

Seriously, there are all kinds of taxes…more than I care to count. This post is about property taxes.

If you own a home in Florida, every year your county collects property taxes based on the assessed value. If you have a mortgage, often (but not always) the mortgage company collects a portion of the yearly taxes via your monthly payment, and they pay the county when taxes are due. However, if your mortgage does not escrow for taxes, or you own your home free and clear, this responsibility lies on you.

Taxes are paid in arrears, so at the end of 2015 you will owe 2015 taxes. Some counties give a small discount if you pay early, and they charge interest if you pay late. If the yearly taxes go unpaid for a certain amount of time, the county will sell a “tax certificate” at auction to an outside buyer. This buyer pays the taxes you owe to the county, and in return he receives a “tax certificate” guaranteeing a certain amount of interest on their money until you pay the taxes.

After the tax certificate holder owns the certificate for two years, they can apply for a “tax deed”, forcing the sale of your home to the highest bidder.

IMPORTANT: This is nothing to play around with. Do not think this cannot happen to you, because it very well can.

If you want to keep your house, but cannot come up with the money to pay: Unfortunately, the county cannot help you. The holder of the tax certificate can force the sale of your home. Ask yourself, do you have any credit cards you can take an advance on to pay? Do you have a free and clear auto to get a title loan on? Can you borrow against your savings at work? Can you get a friend or family member to help?

If none of these things are possible, call our office. We buy houses in the Central Florida area, and we have helped hundreds of homeowners in your situation.

You can get a fresh start on life. You’ll get a lump sum of cash on your account, and no more worries about taxes, bills, etc.

We will need at least 21 days before your tax sale to get the deal done though. We had a homeowner last year wait until 7 calendar days before her sale. It almost did not happen, as there was an issue on title that we had to clear up before closing. I personally got the check to the tax office with only 2 hours to spare! If your sale date is coming up, call us today and let’s get started!

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