Bay City, MI asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Michigan

Q: How can I pay delinquent taxes and take ownership of a home?

My childhood home has two years of unpaid taxes and if they aren’t paid by March 31st, 2022 the county takes the home. It’s abandoned and no one lives there. I’m not the owner and I cannot reach the owner (I’ve been trying). I was told if I pay the delinquent taxes and get a tax certificate proving I paid them the owner has to pay me back or I can take ownership of the home. Is this true? How can I do this? How long does the owner have to repay me? Would I need to get a court order? Any info would help! <3 In bay county, MI if it makes a difference!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You can’t just pay the taxes and expect to be reimbursed.

That procedure works if you purchase the property at a tax sale, which is the official sale once the taxes have reached the level of delinquency that you mention.

The procedures for bidding at a tax sale or complicated and you would do well to receive some local advice as to how to proceed from someone familiar with the process.

In short you can do what you want to do, however the process is extremely specific and complicated. Good luck!

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