Homeowners must pay property taxes each year based on the value of their property. Most homeowners put money into an escrow account throughout the year to pay property taxes. However, some homeowners make arrangements with friends or relatives to get help with their property taxes. The homeowner is legally responsible for property taxes regardless of who pays the tax bill.
Paying property tax is always the homeowner's responsibility, regardless of who pays the taxes. Thus, if someone promises to pay your property taxes, follow up with the property tax office to ensure that the taxes were paid on time and get a hold of the person who was supposed to pay them if they weren't paid. You will have to pay penalties and interest if the taxes are late.
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Some mortgage companies pay property taxes to protect their interest in the homeowner's property. If your mortgage company agrees to pay the taxes, forward your tax bill to the company and check with the property tax office to ensure that taxes were received. You will have to repay the mortgage company for any taxes paid. The mortgage company usually adds the taxes onto your next bill.
No Transfer of Ownership
The ownership of the property doesn't transfer when someone else pays the taxes on it, even if the taxes were delinquent before the payment was received. For example, if a person doesn't pay her property taxes and her parents pay them, the parents aren't considered owners of the home. The woman is still the homeowner of record. Thus, paying someone else's property taxes is helpful to the homeowner but doesn't have any other benefit to the person paying the taxes.
If a homeowner doesn't pay his property taxes, the state can seize his home and resell it at public auction to recover the taxes. State laws vary as to how long the homeowner has to pay the taxes plus penalties and interest before losing his home. It doesn't matter to the state who settles the tax bill as long as it's settled. Similarly, the state won't stop foreclosure proceedings because someone else was supposed to pay the tax bill for the homeowner and didn't.