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Delinquent Tax Information

PA 123 of 1999 shortened the time frame for delinquent taxes. Taxes are due to your township or city treasurer by February 28th of each year. On March 1, if taxes are still not paid they become delinquent and are turned over to the County treasurer for collection. At that point a 4% Administration fee is added as well as 1% interest per month is added on the 1st day of each month.

If taxes remain unpaid on March 1st of the next year, the property enters a period known as “forfeiture”. This is the year of preparation for foreclosure. On March 1st of that 2nd year, a $175 forfeiture fee is added, $20 in recording fees are added and the interest rate increases to 1.5% each month back to the date of the original delinquency (6% added). In addition to those fees, fees for Personal Service, Publication, and Certified mail are added throughout the year as those services occur.

Beginning on January 1 during the forfeiture year, personal checks are no longer accepted for parcels in forfeiture. Payment must be made in cash or certified funds at that point.

Here’s a link to the link for the Van Buren County Municipality, where the residents of Columbia Township’s tax records are accessible. Van Buren County Tax Records –>

During January and February, two hearings are held. The first is a show-cause hearing, held by the County Treasurer, who meets with taxpayers to discuss why their property should not be foreclosed. Applications for hardship extensions are received at this meeting. The second hearing is held in the Circuit Court. The Judge will hear any taxpayer who feels that their property should not be foreclosed upon. The Judge will approve the Judgment of Foreclosure, which will be recorded after March 31st at the Register of Deeds Office.

If the parcel remains unpaid until March 31st (1 year and 1 month of forfeiture), the property is foreclosed and the owner loses all rights to the property. The property is then sold at auction to the highest bidder. The County holds two auctions between July and October of each year. All properties are listed in the first auction with a minimum bid, consisting of all taxes and fees owing. All parcels that do not sell in the first auction are offered at a second no-minimum bid sale. Any parcels that do not sell are then turned over to the Township/City/Village that they set in, or are retained by the County.

Links for Forms & Information

Information taken from the Van Buren County Website. Visit the Van Buren County Website Delinquent Tax Information Page ->

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