Delinquent Taxes

Property Tax Payment Law

The process of collecting delinquent property taxes is established by Public Act 123 of 1999.  Property with taxes that are over 2 years delinquent will be foreclosed and the property will be sold at public auction.  This is different from the collection process that was followed prior to 1998, where property owners had more time to pay their taxes before foreclosure.

When taxes are not paid at the township/city/village level by March 1st of each year, the County Treasurer pays the taxes on behalf of the taxpayer and then goes through a 2 year process of collections. 

Interest Rate & Other Fees

Property owners face high interest and fees for not paying their taxes on time at the local level.  In the first month the County takes over collection from the township/city a one-time 4% administration fee is added in addition to the monthly interest charge of 1%.  Interest continues to accrue at 1% per month for the next year.  In year 2 when the property is forfeited, forfeiture fees are added in the amount of $235.00 and monthly interest is increased to 1.5% per month which is retroactive to day 1 of the delinquency.  This equates to 12% in year 1 and 18% in year 2. 


During the 2 year period taxes are collected in the County Treasurer’s Office, there are 2 regular mail notices and 3 certified notices sent to the property owner.  A personal site visit is made, along with 2 postings in a local newspaper in an attempt to make sure a property owner is aware of the delinquency and pending foreclosure.  The owner has the right to question the validity of the taxes at both the Show Cause hearing in January and the Judicial hearing in February, in the year of foreclosure. 

As required by the General Property Tax Act 206 of 1893 Section 211.78i (5) "In addition to provision of notice in a notice publication, the foreclosing governmental unit may also post the notice under this subsection for not less than 14 days on a website, including, but not limited to, a website maintained by the foreclosing governmental unit." Notice schedules to be printed in the Traverse City Record Eagle December 2023 or January 2024. Publication in the Record Eagle(PDF)

Payment Period

Payments can be made and are encouraged if you are not able to pay the taxes in full.  Payments are accepted from March 1st the year the property becomes delinquent, until March 31st, 2 years later.

For example, people who fail to pay their 2018 property taxes will lose their property to foreclosure on March 31, 2021. 

Delinquent Tax Timeline(PDF)

Tax Foreclosure Sales Proceeds

Beginning with the 2021 foreclosures, in accordance with MCL 211.78t those who hold title or equity interest in property at the time of foreclosure, may file to claim leftover proceeds, if any are available, associated to those parcels which sell for more than the owing delinquency.  Claiming potential proceeds begins with filing the below form 5743 Notice of Intention to Claim Interest in Foreclosure Sales Proceeds with the Foreclosing Governmental Unit (FGU) by July 1 in the year of foreclosure. Those who wish to consult with an attorney about this notice and pending tax foreclosure may go to the State Bar of Michigan’s legal resource and referral information or may call (800)968-0738 for assistance in finding private legal counsel.  The FGU will respond by January 31 following the foreclosure auctions, with a form 5744 Notice to Claimant to File Motion with the Circuit Court.  Provided there actually are surplus proceeds remaining for the property, the claimant may then file a motion with the circuit court between February 1 and May 15, following the notice from the FGU.  The courts will then set a hearing date and time to determine claim payments.

Form 5743 Notice of Intention to Claim Interest in Foreclosure Sales Proceeds(PDF)

Balance Inquiries/Tax Look Up

We accept email requests at for delinquent tax balances.  If you are a third party (not the owner of the property) we do charge a fee of $1.00 per request, per parcel.  We bill for these charges on a monthly basis if your cumulative total for the month is over $5.00.  If it is the first time you are requesting information from our office, please make sure to provide a billing address;  If complete information is not provided your request will not be processed.  

Please note: For current year real property tax, special assessments, or personal property tax, please contact the local unit township/city/village directly. 

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Click the image for balance inquiries and to look up delinquent tax information


Please visit our Payment Center for information on payment options of delinquent taxes.