Tax liens are placed upon properties when the owners have failed to pay certain taxes for a certain period of time and have failed to respond to the government’s attempts to retrieve that payment. By placing tax liens on these homes the government ensures that the owner can’t really make a move without first making a payment.
First you should be aware that having tax liens on your property limits your financial possibilities. You most likely will not be able to pay off your tax lines with a loan because tax liens are reported to the credit bureaus. Another reason it is hard to get financing is because properties that have tax liens on them cannot be offered up as collateral. Finally you cannot even transfer the title of the property without paying off the tax lines.
The most well known way to pay of tax liens is through the use of an escrow account. Mortgage companies will pay off the taxes and then require repayment through the use of the escrow account. To avoid tax liens it is a good idea to have one of these accounts to begin with or to create a savings account with a monthly budgeted amount that goes in to help pay off real property taxes each year.
For those owners who are not interested in dealing with an escrow account or don’t even have a mortgage on the property there is another option. If they simply are interested in getting rid of the property they can sell it. Transferring the title cannot be done without the payment of the tax liens, but these costs can be included in the closing costs of the buyer’s mortgage.
If you fail to pay off your taxes then the government will seize your property. They will either sell it at tax deed auction or to investors at as tax lien certificate. Tax liens can be highly profitable properties for investors, so they are constantly on the lookout for the best deals.
Your options are wide open. Let your mortgage lender handle your tax liens and you can pay them off over time, try to strike a deal for yourself through selling the property and including the tax liens in the closing costs, or simply let the government take the property off of your hands and deal with the situation themselves. Either way it will all come to an end and take the tax liens out of your hands.