Do you have unpaid property taxes in Charleston? If so, the consequences can be very difficult to deal with. In our latest post, we will help you learn more about what’s at risk and the solutions available to you!
Depending on which county you live in, the size and value of your home, property taxes can become a huge burden. Once you get behind, the penalties and fees will start compounding, making it even more difficult for you to get out of the hole you are in.
What Can Happen?
The worst case scenario? You could lose your home. You will likely incur penalties, fines and interest should someone buy the tax lien on your home. When you fail to pay your property taxes, the government will put a tax lien on your property until the balance has been paid off.
If the debt remains unpaid, the city will auction off the lien to the highest bidder. At this point, you must pay the bearer of the lien the back taxes, plus fees, plus penalties and plus any interest the tax lien bearer has decided to impose. If they are not paid within an agreed upon time, they have the ability to foreclose on your house and take ownership themselves. There are people that specialize in purchasing tax liens. It can be very scary if it comes to this and you have to worry about losing your home.
What Can You Do?
There are a few things you can do when you are faced with unpaid property taxes. You can pay them, have them lowered or work with a buyer who is willing to help you out of the hole you are in. Nobody wants to lose their home, especially to a complete stranger. Before your unpaid property taxes get out of hand, do everything you can to resolve the situation.
Pay Them Off
You can pay them back with the help of a loan. While this might seem like you are replacing one debt with another, having the peace of mind that you aren’t going to lose your home, sometimes makes it worth it. Keep in mind, you will also likely have fees and penalties that have been added on to your original debt. The entire amount must be paid off in order for the county to remove the lien on your property.
Try To Get Them Lowered
You can choose to reach out to the property appraiser to have your property reassessed. Examine your tax bill and the amount you have been assessed. If you feel that they have the information on your home incorrect or that the amount you are being assessed is too high in comparison to other homes in your neighborhood, you might be able to secure a lower assessed value. Getting them lowered isn’t always easy. Make sure you have accurate and up to date information about the homes that have recently sold in your area.
See if you Qualify for Tax Cuts
In Charleston County, there are a few different reasons residents can qualify for tax cuts. You may be eligible for lower taxes and not even know! Here’s just a few reasons you could be qualified for lower taxes:
- Primary Residence. If your property is your primary residence, you can pay lower tax rates. If your property qualifies, contact the Charleston County Assessor’s office to learn more.
- Disabled Veterans, Police Officers, Firefighters. If you are considered disabled as a result of a service-related cause, you may qualify for tax cuts.
- Homestead Exemption. If you are over 65 years old or are permanently disabled or blind, you could qualify for the homestead exemption program. With this program, the first $50,000 of your home’s market value is excluded from your property taxes.
Sell Your Home Directly
A great way to get away from the burdens and consequences of unpaid property taxes is to work with a buyer who will help you to resolve the lien. The team at D Gilpin Properties will help you evaluate your situation and the solutions available to you. Often times, we are able to help you take care of the lien when purchasing the home. This will allow you to sell the property and walk away unscathed. Property tax problems do not have to mean that you will lose your home. There is a way out!