Property Tax Cycle

In October 1999, the Legislature enacted, and signed into law, significant changes to the State’s tax-reversion process.  Public Act 123 establishes a new tax-reversion process in which annual tax lien sales were eliminated in favor of an annual forfeiture and judicial foreclosure process.

Your County Treasurer is responsible for the foreclosure and sale of tax-reverted property.  By having your Treasurer handle the process, the County of Emmet has local control over the entire tax-reversion process from beginning to end, from forfeiture to sale. The ENTIRE PROCESS will takes place locally. The County of Emmet – NOT LANSING – has the flexibility to fashion creative solutions to meet particular taxpayer needs.


DELINQUENCY… Taxes that are billed by your city, village or township treasurer and not paid by the taxpayer will be returned delinquent to the County Treasurer on March 1st as required by Michigan law.  A 4% Administration fee and interest of 1% per month will be added beginning March 1st and a $15.00 mailing fee October 1st.  The following March 1st the property will be placed in

FORFEITURE… Interest and fees will become higher.  When a property is forfeited, the law requires that the interest rate go from 1% per month to 1.5% per month retroactive to the date the taxes became delinquent.  IN ADDITION,  FEES (a minimum of $248.00) MUST BE ADDED.  On December 1st a $50.00 publication fee must be added.  After a property has been in forfeiture for ONE YEAR, on April 1st  it will be placed in

FORECLOSURE.. At this point, title work will have taken place.  Mailing and publishing of notices will have also taken place, as well as Administrative Show Cause Hearings and Judicial Foreclosure Hearings.  Click Here to see the hearings notice.  Once the above process has been completed, the Circuit Court enters a judgment of foreclosure quieting title and if the taxes are not redeemed by March 31st, the County Treasurer assumes ownership and starts the process of

LAND DISPOSITION…THIS IS THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY.  The former owner cannot get the property back after it has been foreclosed.  Foreclosure is final!  Property that has been foreclosed will be sold at Public Auction to the highest bidder.  ALL SALES WILL BE FINAL WITH NO RECOURSE BY THE PREVIOUS LANDOWNER TO RECLAIM TITLE TO THE PROPERTY.  For further information on these land sales, check here:

It is extremely important that you understand this law that took effect October 1, 1999.  For a property tax timeline, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Property Tax Timeline

First Year
Taxes are billed and collected by the local unit.  Summer tax bills are mailed by July 1, and Winter tax bills are mailed by December 1.

Second Year
On March 1, unpaid taxes become delinquent and payable to the County Treasurer.  A statutory 4% administration fee and 1% interest per month is added.
On October 1 a $15.00 mail fee is added

Third Year
On March 1, the property is forfeited to the County Treasurer.  Per Michigan law, the interest increases to 1.5% per month and is retroactive back to the date the taxes first became delinquent and additional fees of at least $248.00 are added.
On June 1, title research begins, personal visits are made to each property and properties are posted.
On December 1, a $50.00 statutory publication fee is added to all parcels that remain delinquent.  During December properties and all names with a legal interest are published in the newspaper.

Final Redemption Period
In January and/or February, a show cause hearing is held by the County Treasurer and a Circuit Court Foreclosure Hearing is conducted. Click here to see the hearing notice.
March 31 is the last day to redeem property. All redemption rights expire on April 1.  At Foreclosure all persons with any interest lose all rights. Title to property passes to the County Treasurer.
In August the property is sold at public auction.  See for information.

Hearing Notice

Click on the PDF below to download the Notice of Show Cause Hearing and Judician Foreclosure Hearing, Nonpayment of Property Taxes

Hearing Notice




What is a delinquent tax?
A delinquent tax is a tax that has been forwarded to the county treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was billed.
I did not receive a property tax bill from my local treasurer.  Will the County waive the interest on my delinquent taxes?
No.  The County Treasurer is required by law (Sec 211.56 of the general property tax act) to add a 4% administration fee on March 1st, the date the taxes are turned over delinquent, and add 1% interest per month.  There is no provision for waiving these or any other fees.
Can I make partial payments?
Yes.  Partial payments can be made up to December 31st of the year a parcel enters forfeiture.  After that date we require full payment in certified funds.
What does forfeiture mean?
The forfeiture date each year is March 1st, one year after your taxes are turned over delinquent to the County Treasurer.  This does not mean that you have lost your property.  Forfeiture, as defined in the property tax laws, means that your property is being prepared for foreclosure.
What happens on the forfeiture date?
The County is required to add fees and retroactively increase interest to 1.5% per month.
What happens after my property is foreclosed?  How do I get it back?
You CANNOT get your property back after it has been foreclosed.  FORECLOSURE IS FINAL.  Property that has been foreclosed will be sold at public auction.
My taxes are too high.  How can I challenge my taxable value?
Contact the Assessor for the city, township, or village where you reside.  Click here for a list of local assessors.
Can I get a list of foreclosed properties that will be available at your auction?
Yes.  This list is available about June 1st of each year online at


Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us