Public Act 123 Questions and Answers
Q. If I don't pay my taxes, will I really lose my house and property?
A. YES. Property owners who had delinquent taxes under the old law could also lose their property, but they had more time to pay and more "second chances." Under the new law, if your taxes are delinquent for two years, that's it. You've lost the property.
Q. What is a delinquent tax?
A. A delinquent tax is a tax that has been forwarded to the county treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was due. For example, taxes that are billed by your city or township treasurer in 2018 were turned over as delinquent to the county treasurer on March 1, 2019.
Q. What happens after the property is forwarded to the county treasurer for collection?
A. The county treasurer adds a 4% administration fee and interest of 1% per month. After one year, the property is forfeited to the Chippewa County Treasurer. For example, the 2018 taxes that are still unpaid as of March 1, 2019 will be in forfeiture as of March 1, 2020.
Q. What does it mean for my property to be in forfeiture? Does that mean I lose my property?
A. NO. Forfeiture is not foreclosure. If your property is in forfeiture, you still have a year before it will be foreclosed. However, the interest and fees will be higher. When a property is forfeited, the interest rate goes from 1% per month to 1.5% per month, back to the date the taxes became delinquent. A $175 title search fee is added along with other notice fees.
Q. What happens after my property is in forfeiture?
A. After property has been in forfeiture for one year, it will be foreclosed. The 2018 property taxes will be foreclosed in March 31, 2021.
Q. What happens after my property is foreclosed? How do I get it back?
A. You CANNOT get your property back after it has been foreclosed. FORECLOSURE IS FINAL. Property that has been foreclosed will be SOLD at public auction.
Q. What if I can't come up with all the money right now?
A. Even if you can't pay your taxes all at once, you can still make partial payments. For a tax in forfeiture, the first payment must be a minimum of $350.00. All payments after that can be determined by the taxpayer, but must be paid in full before March 31st, or the property will go to foreclosure and sold for any unpaid balance. To ensure your payment is applied to your parcel, please write the parcel number on your payment with the year tax you intend to pay. Please make payable to and mail to: Chippewa County Treasurer, 319 Court Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.
Q. Will I receive any notification before my property is foreclosed?
A. YES. At least five (5) notifications will be made. Two (2) will be by First Class Mail, two (2) by Certified Mail and the last notification will be made by personal service. In addition to these notifications, names and addresses of delinquent property owners may be published in a newspaper of general circulation within your community.