The Genesee County Treasurer’s office has entered its busy season. Why? Because we collect delinquent property taxes. We also help people who have been faced with a hardship and need some assistance by extending a potential foreclosure for a year.
This year the Treasurer’s Office will foreclose on property in which the owner has not paid their 2016 and/or prior year taxes, interest, penalty and fees by April 1, 2019. The interest and fees can get very high, therefore if someone can pay their delinquent taxes quicker, the less they pay. For example, when the local units turn their taxes over to the County for collection, a 4% penalty is added, as well as, 1% interest per month (12% annually).
After the taxes have been at the county for a year, they enter “Forfeiture”. Once taxes enter forfeiture, there are additional fees added, as well as, the interest rate is recalculated at 1.5% (18% annually) from the preceding 12 months. The fees and interest are set by state law and the County Treasurer CANNOT change them.
However, I as the County Treasurer, can stop a foreclosure for a year if someone needs more time to pay their property taxes. Last year, we worked with over 1,000 people by giving them additional time and setting them up on a payment plan to help get them caught up.
Genesee County offers a hardship program for individuals that live in their home. So if you, or someone you know, needs our help, don’t wait until the last day, April 1, 2019, please call 810-257-3054 for more information on the qualification for this program.
In addition, if a person is having a hard time paying their current property taxes, they should check with their local city or township office to see if they have any available assistance programs, such as poverty exemptions, or even if they accept partial payment.
So while we are very busy in the office this time of year, none of us wants to foreclose on a person’s home if it can be avoided. So once again, if you know of someone who needs help, have him call our office at 810-257-3054 and we will provide any help we can.
Deb Cherry – Genesee County Treasurer