Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

3 cheapest ways to pay your property taxes

Published by Research Editor on September 13th, 2015 - in Loans

1. Pay the taxes on time

Obviously, paying property taxes on time will cost the least–you’ll be charged for nothing but your property taxes. However, if that is not an option, there are two others that may work for you.

2. Payment plan with taxing unit

The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner created a report that examined four ways to pay overdue property taxes. The cheapest way to pay overdue tax bills is by creating a payment plan with your taxing unit.

3. Property tax loan

However, many people do not qualify for a payment plan, which requires:

  • property is your residence
  • you had no installment agreements in the past 2 years

If you are overdue on property taxes for commercial property, rental property, or any other property you don’t live in, a payment plan isn’t an option.

However, the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner found that the next cheapest option is to get a property tax loan. It costs less than putting the money on a credit card and is far, far cheaper than remaining delinquent.

Are Property Tax Lenders Financial Vampires?

Published by Research Editor on March 13th, 2015 - in Loans

Are property tax lenders (PTL) out to suck the last money from cash-strapped citizens? Are they trying to scam people and steal their houses? Or are they misunderstood?

Like vampires, werewolves, or other mythical creatures, property tax lenders are often accused of vile acts: stealing your property, attacking you with vicious fees, throttling you in the night by high interest rates, and using force. Let’s look at each of these to separate fact from fiction.

Stealing property?

Is a property tax lender secretly trying to get you to commit to a loan you can’t pay, so they can foreclose on (“steal”) your property and make money off it?

In fact, it is so unprofitable that the PTL is unlikely to foreclose at all. In 2013, out of 40,636 loans receivable by PTLs, only 103 properties were foreclosed on.

Attacking by fees and costs?

If PTLs were vampires, trying to suck all they could out of a dying victim, common sense would expect fees and costs to rise every year as PTLs tried to take more and more.

However, the reality is far different: closing costs dropped 44% from 2008 to 2014. And because of recent legislation, 12% of fees are no longer available for PTLs to charge. It is cheaper today to get a property tax loan than it was a few years ago.

Throttling with interest rates?

Well, that may be all well and good, but surely they’ve hiked up the interest rate to compensate for lower fees and closing costs, right? That’s what a vampire would do.

Put away your garlic and wooden stakes: interest rates have gone down. Recent data shows residential and commercial interest rates at 14.28%, compared to 15.46% in 2008.

That’s not all. The maximum allowed interest rate is 18%. If a PTL were sucking its victims dry, it would be charging the most it possibly could. But it’s not.

Using force?

While a vampire may try to break into your house, nobody forces a PTL on consumers. People choose property tax lenders among their many options for paying property tax loans.

In a report for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Kathleen Hunker suggests that property tax lenders exist because they fill a need in the marketplace, a need that the government cannot fulfill with its payment options.

Misunderstood?

Low foreclosure rates; lowering fees, costs, and interest rates; and voluntary loans suggest that property tax lenders are not blood-sucking vampires, but instead are legitimate businesses seeking to work in ways that are mutually beneficial.

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Final installment due on July 31 for Disabled or Senior Citizens

Published by Research Editor on July 24th, 2013 - in Taxes

Are you paying your property taxes in installments? Your final payment is due next week! Hurry and send in 1/4 of your property tax bill for 2012.

Remember, you can always pay extra, but don’t get behind! Failing to pay the full 1/4 of your taxes will earn you interest and a 6% penalty on the unpaid amount.

If you are having difficulty paying your installments, consider a property tax loan among your options.

Options for Delinquency

Published by Research Editor on June 3rd, 2013 - in Tax Penalties, Taxes

A new law requires property tax lenders to include this line in their ads:

“YOUR TAX OFFICE MAY OFFER DELINQUENT TAX INSTALLMENT PLANS THAT MAY BE LESS COSTLY TO YOU. YOU CAN REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PLANS FROM THE TAX OFFICE.”

While the all-caps and bold font may seem a little excessive, it is good to remember that property tax loans are only one option among many for dealing with delinquent property taxes:

Property tax loan

Advantages: your taxes are paid, which means you avoid delinquency status, penalties, lawsuit, and foreclosure. Disadvantage: a property tax loan is a superior loan, meaning the lender can foreclose on your house if you don’t pay back your loan.

Delinquent tax installment plans

Split your payments into four smaller payments. However, this plan is not always available in every county to every citizen.

Split payments

Pay your taxes in two smaller payments instead of one giant payment. Disadvantage: the first half is paid a month early: November 30 Instead of January 1.

Tax deferral

You don’t have to pay your property taxes right now. However, this is limited to senior citizens. Your taxes accrue 8% interest each year–and you do have to pay the taxes eventually.

Borrow money from family or your savings

This could be a great option–or a horrendous option–depending on your situation. Be wise.

Refinance your mortgage to include the taxes

Establish an escrow account

Ignore it

Worst idea ever. You’ll suffer penalties, lawsuit, and foreclosure. Don’t just ignore your delinquent taxes.

 

Whatever option you choose, be wise and make an informed decision.

Third installment due on May 31 for Disabled or Senior Citizens

Published by Research Editor on May 24th, 2013 - in Taxes

Are you paying your property taxes in installments? Your third payment is due next week! Hurry and send in 1/4 of your 2012 property tax bill.

Remember, you can always pay extra, but don’t get behind! Failing to pay the full 1/4 of your taxes will earn you interest and a 6% penalty on the unpaid amount.

If you are having difficulty paying your installments, consider a property tax loan among your options.

Property Taxes in El Paso County

Published by Research Editor on March 29th, 2013 - in El Paso

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El Paso County is one of the most transparent counties I’ve seen so far, regarding property tax loans. They have lots of information clearly stated and easily accessible. Information like:

Overall, I am quite impressed with El Paso County’s service to its citizens by making information clear, accessible, and transparent.

 

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How a tax lien transfer works

Published by Research Editor on March 22nd, 2013 - in Loans, Taxes, The Basics

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Every year, a tax lien is placed on your property by the government. When you get a property tax loan, you transfer your tax lien to your lending company. Here’s how it works:

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This graphic comes to you courtesy of Protect My Texas Property, an alliance working hard so you can keep your right to get a property tax loan if you choose.

Texas Needs You.

Published by Research Editor on March 19th, 2013 - in Loans

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Texas needs you.

As a property owner, you know first-hand that home and business owners sometimes need a little extra help or a little extra time to pay their property taxes. When that happens, Tax Lien Transfers are a flexible, affordable option.

But all of that may change, unless you help right now.

Powerful collection law firms and certain banks are trying to pass legislation in Texas that would kill the Tax Lien Transfer business and take away this affordable option for you.

This is bad news for the 15,000 Texans helped by Tax Lien Transfers each year. And it’s bad news for our communities, which rely on property tax payments to provide essential services such as schools, hospitals and first responders.

Join our coalition to help Texans fight for property rights!

A group of concerned business owners, property owners and Tax Lien Transfer employees across the state have joined together to protect our rights and our property – and we need your support.

Visit www.protectmytexasproperty.org and sign up for the coalition. It takes just 30 seconds. We’ll list you as a member on the website and notify you of ways you can engage with your elected officials, if you want. The only way to fight these powerful special interests is to ban together to stop them from destroying an industry that helps people stay in their homes, keep their land and stay in business.

Thank you for helping.

Sincerely,
FYP, LLC

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Second installment due on March 31 for Disabled or Senior Citizens

Published by Research Editor on March 16th, 2013 - in Taxes

Are you paying your property taxes in installments? Your second payment is due next week! Hurry and send in 1/4 of your property tax bill for 2012.

Remember, you can always pay extra. If you get behind, though, you will earn interest and a 6% penalty on the unpaid amount.

If you are having difficulty paying your installments, consider a property tax loan among your options.

The Senior Citizen’s Guide to Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on February 23rd, 2013 - in Tax loopholes and exceptions, Taxes, The Basics

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Senior citizen by allspice1, on Flickr
While American culture at large does not seem to respect or revere its mature citizens the way other cultures do, laws are written to benefit senior citizens more than just about anyone else.

As a senior aged 65 or older, you are entitled to extra exemptions, a tax ceiling, payment in installments, and tax deferral.

Exemptions

As a homeowner, you get a $15,000 homestead exemption. As someone 65 or older, you also get a $10,000 exemption on top of that. Be sure to apply for both!

Tax Ceiling

When you apply for the $10,000 Senior exemption, the school taxes on your property are limited. Even if the market explodes and your $100,000 house is suddenly worth a million dollars, some of your property taxes will be based on that $100,000 value. See our article on tax ceilings for more details.

Installments

As a mature citizen, you have the option to pay your property taxes in installments. Instead of paying your entire property tax bill by January 31, you have the option to make four payments, ending in July. Click here to see our guide for more details.

Deferral

Your final option is to defer your taxes. This means you can postpone paying your taxes as long as you live in your home. You won’t be foreclosed on.

Deferral doesn’t mean that the taxes are gone–you must pay them eventually. They also accrue 8% interest each year while they are deferred. But deferral is an option for those times you just aren’t able to pay.

Your Options

Senior Citizens have more options than most when it comes to property taxes. The law is written to be more lenient toward seniors than anyone else. It is your right to use as many exemptions and benefits that you qualify for.

© 2013 FYP, LLC.