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How Long Can You Avoid Paying Property Taxes Before Foreclosure?

So, you are delinquent on paying your Texas property taxes. Now what? Like many Texas homeowners, you may wonder how long you can go without paying your overdue property taxes before you risk foreclosure. Unfortunately, there is no one way to answer this question. Every person’s situation is different, making it difficult to gauge when a property tax foreclosure may occur. In this blog, we’ll talk about what happens when you become delinquent and how you can avoid getting to the point of foreclosure.

What Happens to My Home Once I Am Considered Delinquent?

As a Texas property owner, you are required by law to pay property taxes. If you fail to pay these taxes by the January 31st deadline, the overdue amount automatically becomes a lien on your property. A property lien is a notice attached to a real piece of property by a creditor when money is owed to them by the homeowner.

The purpose of the lien is to act as collateral to assure the payment of debt. More specifically, it gives the local tax units the right to sell your home to pay off those unpaid taxes. However, each state provides a procedure that allows the property owner to pay the taxes and extra costs to get their property back before or after the “tax sale.”

Can I Wait to Pay Off My Property Taxes?

Waiting to pay your overdue property taxes is not ideal because interest and penalties begin applying to your bill once it becomes delinquent. You’ll want to pay them off as quickly as possible to avoid the consequences of delinquent taxes. The longer you wait, the higher your interest and penalties accrue and the more likely you are to have a foreclosure.

There is no telling when the foreclosure process will start. If your taxes remain unpaid at the end of June of the year they become delinquent, the taxing authority has the right to start a foreclosure lawsuit. If the local tax units file a foreclosure lawsuit, property owners risk the court entering a judgment allowing foreclosure of the subject property. This judgment allows the local tax units to proceed with a foreclosure sale if the property tax lien remains unpaid.

Can I Avoid a “Tax Sale” On My Property?

Luckily, you will not be blindsided in the event of a tax sale. In Texas, it is required by law that you have written notice of the tax sale before it takes place. By paying your judgment, you relieve the delinquency and tax lien, stopping the foreclosure process. Read our blog “How Do I Stop Property Tax Foreclosure” to learn more.

What If I Can’t Afford to Pay My Texas Property Taxes? 

It’s not worth losing a home over unpaid property taxes. Instead, ask for help. There are various ways to pay delinquent property taxes and save your home. For instance, you can ask friends or family members for help, check out the payment plans through your county, or use a property tax lender. By doing this, you avoid the additional interest, penalties, and fees that accrue over time and the possibility of going through a property tax foreclosure on your home.

At Johnson & Starr, we take pride in being a trusted tax lender that can save your home or business. Call us today at 877-301-3032, and one of our helpful team members will walk you through any questions.