Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Property Tax Arrears

Because most mortgages contain real estate tax escrow provisions, there are not as many Chapter 13 debtors who have unpaid real estate taxes due when they file their Chapter 13 plans as there are debtors who have mortgage arrearages.  However, Chapter 13 debtors frequently do have significant unpaid real estate taxes due on their residences, and in many cases,  the need to pay these unpaid real estate taxes over time in order to save their homes is one of the primary purposes of the Chapter 13 filing.

If you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you have real property tax arrears, a typical plan will provide for a payment of such arrears in full over the life of the plan.  Local municipalities, to whom such taxes are owed, will be treated as secured creditors under the plan and will receive full payment of taxes owed.  In addition, any such municipality will be entitled to interest on the money owed.

Here in Rochester, local municipalities usually receive 18% interest rate on the real property tax arrears.  Once the bankruptcy is filed, any such arrears will be subject to the New York State judgment interest rate of 9%.  Judge Ninfo has previously addressed this issue in In re Clark, holding that the statutory rate is an appropriate post-confirmation interest rate under Section 1325(a)(5)(B)(ii) to be paid.

In view of the above, a bankruptcy lawyer must make sure that the proposed plan allows for full repayment of property tax arrears, together with appropriate interest, and that the debtor is able to afford payments under the plan.

If you are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.

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