Disabled and elderly homeowners (65 and older) may have more options for repayment of property taxes. Easier payment plans or even tax deferral may be available in some circumstances. This help is not automatic and you should contact the tax appraisal office and follow their procedures.
Installment payments permitted
A homeowner who qualifies for the age-65 or disabled exemption may be entitled to special property tax relief. Usually, the homeowner can pay property taxes in four installments with installments due February 1, April 1, June 1 and August 1 without penalty and interest.
Postponement or Deferral of Taxes Permitted
If you are 65 or older or disabled, taxes may be deferred as long as you own and live in your home. You are required to file a tax deferral affidavit with the appraisal district. You need to check with your appraisal district to be certain that all taxing entities in your tax district are required to defer. If you have been sued for tax foreclosure, you may file the affidavit with the Court which will abate the taxes.
Importantly, this does not mean that the taxes are cancelled. They still accrue interest. If you have a mortgage, the mortgage company can “call” the note for failure to pay property taxes. Once the qualified person no longer lives in the home, past taxes with interest become due. If you have a surviving spouse who is fifty-five or older, they may continue to receive the tax deferral for as long as they live in the home.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option for catching up on past due property taxes. Taxes can usually be caught up through a five year payment plan. Contacting a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible may help you avoid expensive fees, penalties and interest.