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The Treasurer's Office understands how much hardship and stress that filing for bankruptcy can create. We are willing to work with all taxpayers in bankruptcy who make a good faith effort to remain current with taxes they have incurred since filing for bankruptcy. Understanding your property tax liability is vital to succeeding in your bankruptcy case.If you are involved in an active bankruptcy case, the Franklin County Treasurer wants you to know the following:
You are responsible for all taxes not included in your bankruptcy case. In most cases, this means that you are responsible for all taxes you have incurred since the date you filed for bankruptcy. For example, if you filed for bankruptcy in July 2007, you will be responsible for all tax periods that come due beginning January 2008. The only exception is if you filed a Chapter 7 no asset bankruptcy case and intend to surrender your property as part of your bankruptcy case. In Chapter 7 no asset cases like this, the Treasurer does not file a proof of claim for delinquent taxes because the debtor has no compelling reason to pay the taxes, as he or she will surrender the property whether or not taxes are delinquent. The next owner of the property eventually pays the delinquent taxes through the purchase of the property.
Unlike many other debts, taxes covered in a bankruptcy case do in fact continue to accrue late penalties and interest. If the Treasurer's office has filed a proof of claim for delinquent taxes in your bankruptcy case, you are responsible for paying off any late penalties or interest that accrue on the taxes included in your case. Call the bankruptcy coordinator at (614) 525-3432 sometime after the collection period of each year to inquire about whether or not you owe any interest on the taxes covered in your case.
If you owe delinquent property taxes which will be paid through a bankruptcy case, you cannot enter into a delinquent tax payment plan with the Treasurer until the tax covered in your bankruptcy case has been paid in full, or until your bankruptcy case is closed-whichever comes first.
It is illegal for anyone to pursue legal action (including tax liens and foreclosures) against any property included in an active bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy stay prevents this. If you are in an active bankruptcy case and receive a notice regarding impending tax lien sale, please immediately notify the bankruptcy coordinator at (614) 525-3432 or call delinquent tax at (614) 525-3431 and ask to speak with the tax lien department.
Always inform your attorney of any changes to the status of your taxes. You pay your attorney a lot of money to help ensure your financial stability. As such, you should keep your attorney aware of all developments regarding your taxes so that he or she can assist you to his or her maximum capacity.
If you have surrendered your property as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you will continue to receive all tax bills and statements in your name, until a new owner assumes legal ownership of your former property. This is because Ohio law requires the Treasurer to mail twice-annual tax bills to the owner of record for all 400,000-plus parcels located within Franklin County, and until someone else assumes legal ownership of the property, your name continues as the owner name of record.
If the Treasurer has filed a proof of claim for delinquent taxes in your bankruptcy case and you have remained current with all taxes you have incurred since filing for bankruptcy, you can call the bankruptcy coordinator at (614) 525-3432 and ask to set-up a bankruptcy pre-payment plan to pay your upcoming current taxes by monthly escrow payments. Doing so will enable you to make a monthly payment for your current taxes, rather than having to pay the large lump sum twice a year. For example, if your property taxes are $1,000 per half and $2,000 per year, your first half monthly payment would equal $142.86 per month (payments for each of the months from July through January), and your second half monthly payment would equal $200.00 per month (payments for each month from February through June). So long as you remain current with your payments on a bankruptcy pre-payment plan, you will receive a new set of monthly payment coupons shortly after each normal tax due date (January 20 for the first half and June 20 for the second half) has passed.
If you have any questions at all regarding your bankruptcy case and your property taxes, please call the bankruptcy coordinator at (614) 525-3432 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.