What is... Public Act 123 and how does it affect me?




Public Act 123 of 1999 shortens the amount of time property owners have to pay their delinquent taxes before losing their property. Property owners with taxes that are three years delinquent will be foreclosed and the property will be sold at public auction.

For example, people who fail to pay their 2013 property taxes will lose their property to foreclosure on April 1, 2016.

With this new act, the amount of time to pay taxes has been reduced from approximately five years to approximately two and a half years.

Click here to review this portion of PA 123.



2012 property taxes billed by City, Village, or Township Treasurer.

MARCH 1, 2013
Unpaid 2012 property taxes are forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection. The County Treasurer adds a 4% administration fee and 1% per month interest.

OCTOBER 1, 2013
The County Treasurer adds a $15.00 mail notice fee to each delinquent parcel.

MARCH 2014
Property is forfeited to the County Treasurer. The County Treasurer adds a $175.00 Title Search fee and $20.00 Recording Fee. Interest increases from 1% per month to 1.5% per month retroactive back to the date the taxes became delinquent.

Property visit fee of $45.00 is added.  The property is then posted with a notice of delinquency.

Publication fee of $50.00 is added.
Unpaid properties are then published in the local newspaper.

Show cause hearing is held.

MARCH 2015
Final judcial foreclosure hearing.
Judgement entered and filed.

MARCH 31, 2015
Last day to pay taxes to avoid foreclosure.

APRIL 1, 2015
Treasurer takes title to foreclosed properties.

JUNE 2015
Notice of Minimum Bid Auction.

Minimum Bid Auction.



Q. If I don't pay my taxes, will I really lose my house and property?

A. YES. Property owners who had delinquent taxes under the old law could also lose their property, but they had more time to pay and more "second chances". Under the new law, if your taxes are delinquent for two years, that's it. You've lost the property.

Q. What is a delinquent tax?

A. A delinquent tax is a tax that has been forwarded to the Leelanau County Treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was due. For example, taxes that are billed by your city, village, or township treasurer in 2013 will be turned over delinquent to the Leelanau County Treasurer on March 1, 2014.

Q. What happens after the property is forwarded to the Leelanau County Treasurer for collection?

A. The county treasurer adds a 4% administration fee and interest of 1% per month. After one year, the property is forfeited to the Leelanau County Treasurer. For example, the 2013 taxes that are still unpaid as of March 1, 2014 will be in forfeiture as of March 1, 2015.

Q. What does it mean for my property to be in forfeiture? Does that mean I lose my property?

A. NO. Forfeiture is not foreclosure. If your property is in forfeiture, you still have a year before it will be foreclosed. However, the interest and fees will be higher. When a property is forfeited, the interest rate goes from 1% per month to 1.5% per month, back to the date the taxes became delinquent. A $175.00 title search fee is added along with other notice and recording fees.

Q. What happens after my property is in forfeiture?

A. After property has been in forfeiture for one year, it will be foreclosed. 2013 property taxes will be foreclosed in March, 2016.

Q. What happens after my property is foreclosed? How do I get it back?

A. 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.

Q. What if I can't come up with all the money right now?

A. Even if you can't pay your taxes all at once, you can still make partial payments.  Each payment will reduce the amount of interest that is added each month.  The final payment must be made prior to the foreclosure date. Make your check payable to the Leelanau County Treasurer. To ensure your payment is applied to your parcel, please write your parcel number on your check or money order along with the year you intend to pay. The mailing address is: Leelanau County Treasurer, 8527 E. Government Center Dr., Ste. 104, Suttons Bay, MI  49682

Q. Will I receive any notification before my property is foreclosed?

A. YES. Five (5) notifications will be made. Two (2) will be by First Class Mail, two (2) by Certified Mail and the last notification will be made by personal service. In addition to these notifications, names and addresses of delinquent property owners may be published in a newspaper of general circulation within your community.

This page last updated on 8/7/2023.