For homeowners throughout Maryland, tax sale foreclosure is a very real and very scary thing. In Baltimore City, as little as $250 owed in property taxes is sufficient for the homeowner to lose their property to a tax sale. Even if the homeowner owns the property outright, something as little as a few hundred dollars unpaid on a water bill can result in loss of that property. This type of sale is different from a regular foreclosure because it does not require that the homeowner receive compensation for any equity he or she may have in the home.
A homeowner facing a tax sale can be confused and not know where to turn when it comes to how to defend his or her self from this type of foreclosure. Many may find it unnecessary to consult an attorney, leaving them to fend for themselves, and often that results in them losing their property. Maryland is trying to change that by implementing the Tax Sale Prevention Project, a partnership between the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. This joint venture focuses on volunteer attorneys providing advice and even full representation to homeowners facing a tax sale foreclosure. These volunteers inform the homeowners of their rights and offer ways to protect themselves against creditors and other tax lien certificate purchasers.
There are many reasons a homeowner might owe money on the property, including but not limited to never receiving a water bill or receiving an incorrect water or property tax bill. These types of things are definitely important defenses to raise when dealing with a tax sale foreclosure. Obtaining legal advice through this project provides homeowners with a more comprehensive understanding that they could become current on their outstanding payments by either paying it or by qualifying for a tax credit or exemption. There are many different ways to avoid a tax sale foreclosure, but most homeowners are not aware of them.
This project provides help to not only save the home, but also helps homeowners who cannot keep up with overdue payments to determine what course of action would be best. Losing your house to a tax sale foreclosure can come with an interest rate of 18% per annum, auction costs and fees, taxes, attorney’s fees of up to $1,300, the cost of service of process, publication, postage, and the filing with the court. With the implementation of this program, 55% of those homeowners who came to received help and advice were able to save on average $1,546 with a property tax credit while 46% avoided the tax lien certificate sale.
For help with property foreclosures or any other legal matter in regards to your property, contact the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons. With years of dedication and experience, Mr. Siddons has the expertise you need. Call today for a free consultation at (610) 255-7500.