The tax lien is placed on any property with an overdue balance. The process can begin any time after the final payment for the year is due (December 1), but must be completed prior to September 30 in order to protect the Town's ability to collect all taxes due. It is a very time-consuming process for the tax collector's office and ultimately very costly to the taxpayer. Following is a brief outline of the lien process.
A Notice of Delinquency is forwarded to the owner(s) of each delinquent tax account. If the account remains unpaid, a Notice of Impending Lien is mailed to all records owner(s), by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 30 days prior to the lien date. The letter will include the amount of taxes owed, interest, and the cost of preparing and mailing the Notice, as well as the last date and time payment will be accepted. If the account is not paid by the deadline, a lien is placed on the property and recorded at the Carroll County Registry of Deeds. Once the lien is placed, interest increases to 14% per annum.
Within 45 days of the execution of the lien, the tax collector must search the records at the Registry of Deeds to identify any mortgage holders on the properties that have been liened. A Notice is then forwarded to any mortgage holders, including, but not limited to, banks, mortgage companies, or individual persons. The notification is vital to insure the municipality's lien takes precedence over the mortgage. The cost of this procedure is calculated and added to the amount due on each account.
Partial payments may be made at any time. Whenever a taxpayer or a person with a legal interest in a property pays the taxes, interest and costs in full, the Tax Collector must forward a Notice of Redemption to the Register of Deeds within 30 days of the payment date.