Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner this week launched a pilot program to protect the County’s most vulnerable homeowners from going to tax sale.
The Third-Party Notification Program allows a homeowner who is 65 or older, or an individual with a disability, to designate a third party to receive copies of their real estate tax bills. The designated third party is not responsible for paying the taxes or delinquencies but agrees to check on the property owner to ensure that the tax notices have been received and encourage prompt payment.
State law requires counties and Baltimore City to collect delinquent real property taxes and other unpaid charges, all of which are liens against real property. In addition, the law requires that tax sales occur no later than two years from the date the tax is in arrears.
“The Third-Party Notification Program provides a safeguard for homeowners,” County Executive Gardner said. “A family member or trusted adult can provide reminders so a person does not forget to pay a bill. Taking action now can provide peace of mind for years to come.”
MACo supported legislation to divert homeowners from the private tax lien process into an alternative program to minimize tax collection costs, assist with the payment of overdue taxes, and allow homeowners to remain in their homes.
According to a Frederick County press release:
Participation in the Third-Party Notification Program is voluntary. There is no cost to sign up a designee. The third-party can reside in any state; they do not have to live in Frederick County. Copies of tax bills and delinquency notices can be mailed or emailed to the third party.
Seniors can apply for the Third-Party Notification Program by visiting the County’s website at FrederickCountyMD.gov/Treasury, or by calling the Frederick County Treasury Department at 301-600-1111 to request an application. Completed applications can be submitted to the County through mail or by email. For more information, visit FrederickCountyMD.gov/Treasury or call the Treasury Office at 301-600-1111.