Many people associate the risk of foreclosure with late mortgage payments, but in Charlotte, problems with your property taxes can also put your home at risk.
Mecklenburg County requires landowners to pay property tax annually on their land and “everything connected with it”. This includes homes, and those who don’t pay may have their property seized by the county and even auctioned off.
But there are steps residents can take during the process to rectify the situation and get their property back.
Here’s what to know about how to stay on top of the property tax process in Mecklenburg County and avoid foreclosure:
Property taxes in the county of Mecklenburg
Property taxes in Mecklenburg County are assessed based on the value of your property on January 1 depending on the county. Your real estate assets include land that you own as well as houses, barns, garages and mobile homes attached to a foundation.
Taxes are generally due and payable on September 1, although property taxes for 2021 were “payable without interest until January 5, 2022,” the Office of the Collector of Taxes says.
You have several options to pay your property taxesincluding:
Online payment on billpay.forte.net/mecklenburgconctax
Pay by phone by calling 1-800-994-1026
Pay in person at the Valerie C. Woodard Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 3000, Charlotte, NC 28208
Pay by mail by sending your payment to Mecklenburg County Tax Collector, PO Box 31457, Charlotte, NC 28231-1457 if you do not have your tax bill stub or Mecklenburg County Tax Collector, PO Box 71063, Charlotte, NC 28272-1063 If you do.
After the due date has passed, the county will charge interest each month until the property tax bill is paid. The county also sends “overdue notices” to taxpayers who are overdue and advertises “delinquent taxpayers” in The Charlotte Observer.
What to do if you’re behind on your property taxes in Charlotte
If you are having trouble paying your property taxes or if you think there is a problem with your property tax bill, you should contact the county tax collector‘s office.
When you are in Mecklenburg County, you can get in touch by calling 311. If you are outside the county, you should call 704-336-7600. And you can also email taxmeck@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov with questions or concerns.
How to know if you are at risk of foreclosure
“Properties with overdue property taxes are subject to tax foreclosure”, says the Office of Tax Collectors.
If you are behind on your taxes, you will receive a notice from the county. The county will also run an announcement in the Observer.
When the county decides to seize, by the tax office, the case will be assigned to an attorney, and that attorney will contact “all owners, mortgage holders, judgment and lien holders, and other parties with an interest in the property.” The designated attorney “will provide a timeline for resolving the tax delinquency.”
If the tax issues are not resolved within this time, the lawyer will file a complaint with the Mecklenburg County Courts and you will receive a summons notifying you of the complaint. You will then have 30 days to file a response.
What are your rights in the face of a seizure?
If you have been notified that the county is trying to foreclose on your home, there are things you can do to stop the foreclosure.
“State law provides that any property owner, mortgage holder, or defendant in a filed tax foreclosure proceeding may stop the foreclosure process at any time by redeeming the property,” advises the county.
To redeem the property, you must pay “taxes, interest, legal fees, and costs of foreclosure proceedings up to the date of redemption.”
If the case has already been assigned to a lawyer, you must contact the lawyer to determine the gain.
Additionally, according to the county, “a bankruptcy proceeding filed by the owner under federal law may also terminate tax foreclosure actions.” “All taxes, interest, fees and costs up to the date of the bankruptcy filing must be paid first or as security in the bankruptcy proceedings,” says the Office of the Collector of Taxes.
If you believe your tax problem is the result of “illegal tax or imposed by clerical error for an unlawful purpose”, then you must file a response explaining this to the court within the 30-day period after being notified by the county . file a complaint with the court.