State school and property taxes left as VA after death

by Robert
(Harris County, Texas)

sister moved in mom and dads house after there death , home probated to 4 siblings, taxes were VA reduced then and that was all sister paid for 10 years, now state says we wernt qualified for VA taxes and going back and charging corrected amounts and late charges, House is paid for, what will state do ? Take house into foreclosure? We owe 20-28 K in back taxes

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May 18, 2012
State school and property taxes left as VA after death
by: Debt Collection Answers

First, you should know that the longer your tax debt goes unpaid, the more it will increase because you will be charged interest and penalties on the debt.

Different taxing authorities have different policies, but the taxing authority in the county where the house is located may allow you to set up a payment plan to pay off the tax debt. You would get up to 36 months to pay it off. Meanwhile, during those months you will be expected to stay current on all upcoming property tax payments.

I don't know if a payment plan is something you and your siblings can afford, but if it is, you should contact the county taxing authority to find out if offers installment plans.

If you cannot pay off the debt through an installment plan and the taxes continue to go unpaid, the tax collector is likely to file a lawsuit against you eventually. If it wins the lawsuit, it will put a lien on the home. Once there is a lien, the house may be foreclosed on and seized or if you sell the home to pay off the tax debt, the new owner will not be able to get clear title to the home until the taxes are paid. This will probably make it more difficult to sell the home.

To get a clear understanding of your situation and your options, I strongly recommend meeting with a real estate attorney in the county where the home is located.

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