Late Property Tax Payment Haunts Homeowner

A year after moving into their new home, Caroline Heberling and her husband got a notice saying they were late on their property taxes.

The couple thought they’d resolved the issue with their mortgage company. But years later, they applied to a home improvement loan for impact windows and they got denied.

“We had no idea that was even an issue,” Heberling said.

The application was flagged due to a 2016 delinquent tax certificate that says Heberling and her husband paid their property taxes late.

Heberling says it’s not their fault.

“They (mortgage company) were always the ones responsible for paying our property taxes,” Heberling said.

When the couple closed on their mortgage, they agreed for a portion of their monthly payment to be collected in an escrow account and for the mortgage company to pay it to the county at tax-time.

Heberling says she was shocked when she received the notice and called the mortgage company, which she says agreed to resolve the issue. But years later, the tax notice showed the homeowners were the ones who made the late payment.

“That’s attached to his name and that reflects poorly on us. And now no one will take responsibility for this,” Heberling said.

After calling the Miami-Dade County Tax Collector’s office and the mortgage company for help, Heberling called NBC 6 Responds.

“That’s it, maybe Sasha Jones with NBC 6 Responds can help because I can’t get anywhere to escalate this,” Heberling said.

NBC 6 Responds called her mortgage company and reached out to Miami-Dade County’s Finance Department. The county found checks that show the late payment was made by a company, which services mortgage lenders and not by the homeowners.

“I just want someone to take responsibility, that’s it. Fix your mistake and then move on,” Heberling said.

After NBC 6 Responds reached out to the county’s Finance Department, a representative amended the tax notice.

If you want to find out if you are up to date with your property taxes, you can look on your county’s property appraiser’s website - where you can find proposed property taxes and records of paid taxes.

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