Tax Foreclosure Process

Tax Foreclosure Process

​​​The state law of Michigan has a very strict set of rules for the collection of delinquent property taxes, and puts the responsibility for collecting back taxes in the County Treasurer's hands.

The law involves a 3 year process that can result in you losing your property! Understanding the process is the best way to stop this from happening. Here's how it works:

  • Taxpayers pay their current year property taxes to their city, village or township.
  • "Delinquent" taxes are turned over to the Office of the County Treasurer, and a 4% fee is added with a 1% per month interest rate, 12% per year, in March of that year.
  • In the next year, the interest rate jumps to 1.5% retroactively, or 18% per year.
  • In the third and final year of the process, you lose your rights to the property and it is offered at auction to recover the taxes, penalties and interest that are owed.

Poverty exemptions, hardship extensions or payment plans may be available, but only if you contact the Oakland County Treasurer's Office immediately!

Delinquent Property Tax Timeline for Tax Year 2014:


January 1 - December 31

During this time, your property taxes are made payable to your local city, village or township government. Pay now to avoid nasty interest and penalties!

March 1

On March 1, your taxes officially become "delinquent" and due to the Oakland County Treasurer's Office. A 4% administration fee is added, along with 1% interest per month.
October 1
A $15 fee is added to your delinquency.

November 1
Your property is added to preliminary forfeiture list.​

February 1
Mortgage lenders and banks may be notified of the delinquency.
March 1
Minimum of $235​​​ in fees added to your delinquency. Your property is forfeited, not foreclosed, to the Treasurer. The interest rate increases from 1% to 1.5% or from 12% to 18% each year.
May 1
A foreclosure petition is filed in Circuit Court.
June 1 - Jan. 31, 2016:
All owners and lienholders are identified and contacted through title research, and personal visits are made to taxpayers.
Show cause hearings are held, giving taxpayers a chance to appeal foreclosure.
Circuit Court hearing is held, Foreclosure Order signed by the judge.​
March 31
Taxpayers lose all interest in their property.​
Tax foreclosed properties are offered at auction to recover back taxes, interest and penalties​.