If you have unpaid property taxes, you may be at risk of losing your home — even if your mortgage is paid off. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the solution to saving your house and curing your debt problems.
The Chicago bankruptcy attorneys of Robert J. Adams & Associates can help you get into a Chapter 13 repayment plan to catch up on your delinquent real estate taxes in Cook County or Lake County, Illinois.
Take Action To Save Your House
Call us at 312-767-5136 to set up a free consultation with an experienced lawyer about resolving property tax debts in bankruptcy.
If You Haven't Been Paying Your Property Taxes ...
We see two common scenarios in which clients have not paid their local real estate tax assessments for two or more years:
- Some lenders leave it up to the property owner to pay their taxes, rather than rolling a tax escrow into the monthly house payment. If you didn't know this or didn't save for taxes, you could suddenly owe thousands of dollars to the county.
- Some clients own their homes free and clear, but have been unable to pay the property taxes because of job loss, health problems or other financial burdens.
At some point, the county sells the delinquent taxes to a third party. After 2 1/2 years without paying the arrears, the tax buyer can take possession of your home and kick you out.
Chapter 13 To The Rescue
A straight bankruptcy (Chapter 7) cannot discharge debts owed to a local government. However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can spread those debts out over three to five years, without interest or penalties. A bankruptcy trustee will determine a monthly amount you can afford to pay. At the completion of your plan, any remaining property tax arrears are forgiven — most filers pay only a fraction of the total debt.
The other benefit of Chapter 13 is a halt to foreclosure proceedings and collection efforts. The company holding your real estate tax lien cannot harass you, threaten you or contact you once the automatic stay of bankruptcy is invoked. If you still have a mortgage, bankruptcy buys you time to catch up on payments or explore alternatives to foreclosure.
We Are Ready To Help
Robert J. Adams & Associates can intervene if you are in danger of losing your home, or if you simply need financial relief from real estate tax debts. We offer a free consultation at our offices in Chicago or Waukegan.