I am very sorry to hear this;
Unfortunately the tax authorities do not have to accept partial payments or a payment plan; rather they can start the foreclosure process, which usually takes 2 years, once the delinquency becomes effective.
Per statute 74.57, the county treasurer issues the tax certificate, which includes all parcels that have unpaid taxes, to the county on September 1st of each year. The homeowner will be notified within 90 days;
There are several ways for the county to proceed to get ownership:
1. submitting an application to the county clerk for a tax deed after mailing the homeowner a notice. The county clerk will then issue a deed to the county, and the county will record the deed per statutes 75.12, 75.14. The county then files a petition with the court, along with a list of all tax-delinquent properties that the county is foreclosing. The owner will receive notice of the action, and may file an answer, if you choose to do so. The county must also publish notice in a newspaper as part of the process. If the county proves it case, the court will issue a judgment of foreclosure and the owner will lose ownership.
2. Standard foreclosure procedures per statute 75.19
The homeowner can redeem it even after the foreclosure, but that is generally at fair market value.
So many homeowners will attempt to get a loan from family/friends, or to get an unsecured loan from the bank, or a reverse mortgage in order to pay off the taxes and avoid default.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.