Selling Property with Delinquent Taxes in Rhode Island

Selling Property with Delinquent Taxes in Rhode Island

If you find yourself needing to sell a property with unpaid taxes, it may feel like a complicated problem with no clear solution. Facing unpaid property taxes, increasing fines, and the possibility of a tax lien can be daunting.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The specifics of unpaid taxes and what they mean for property owners in Rhode Island.
  • A step-by-step guide on how to sell property when dealing with unpaid taxes.
  • The advantages of working with cash buyers in these situations.
  • Helpful tips on choosing the right buyer for your needs.

Whether dealing with this issue presently or wanting to be prepared as a homeowner in Rhode Island, it’s important to understand the available options.

Understanding delinquent taxes in Rhode Island

When we talk about delinquent taxes, we’re referring to unpaid taxes owed to the state, county, or city. If a homeowner in Rhode Island fails to pay their property taxes, this can quickly become a major issue. The outstanding amount can result in a property tax lien being placed on the property. This means that the government has a legal claim on the property until the taxes are paid.

In Rhode Island, if taxes go unpaid for a certain period of time, the local tax collector can start a tax foreclosure process. This allows the government to sell the property at an auction in order to recover the unpaid taxes. Since each municipality in Rhode Island may handle delinquent property taxes differently, it’s important for homeowners to understand these procedures.

Key points about delinquent taxes in Rhode Island

Here are some important things to know about delinquent taxes in Rhode Island:

  1. The interest rate on unpaid property taxes is 1% per month (or part of a month) for each month that the tax remains unpaid.
  2. If tax payments are not made within one year from the last day of the calendar year in which they were due, municipalities can ask the Superior Court for permission to sell the property at a tax sale.
  3. A tax collector can put a lien on any real estate owned by the taxpayer in Rhode Island for unpaid municipal taxes.

It’s worth noting that these laws and regulations apply mainly at a general level; individual cities or towns may have their own specific rules and procedures for dealing with delinquent property taxes.

So what choices do homeowners have when they find themselves in these situations? Is there a way to resolve this issue without losing their homes? For many people, selling their property might not be an ideal solution. However, with the rise of cash buyers in Rhode Island’s real estate market, there could be a potential answer for these homeowners.

Can you sell a house with property taxes owed in Rhode Island?

Yes, it is possible to sell a house with property taxes owed in Rhode Island. In fact, there are real estate investors who specialize in purchasing properties with delinquent taxes. These cash buyers can offer homeowners a quick and hassle-free sale, often closing within days or weeks. By selling to a cash buyer, homeowners can avoid the risk of losing their properties at a tax sale and settle their tax debt in one transaction.

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How long can property taxes go unpaid in Rhode Island?

The duration for which property taxes can remain unpaid in Rhode Island before municipalities can seek permission to sell the property varies. Generally, tax payments should be made within one year from the last day of the calendar year in which they were due. However, it’s important to note that each city or town may have its own specific rules and procedures regarding delinquent taxes.

For example, in the city of Providence, if property taxes remain unpaid for three years, the city can initiate a tax sale process. Other cities or towns may have different timeframes. It’s crucial for homeowners to familiarize themselves with their local regulations to understand their options and potential consequences.

Can IRS take proceeds from sale of home in Rhode Island?

The IRS can potentially take proceeds from the sale of a home in Rhode Island if there are federal tax liens on the property. These liens are typically placed on properties when the homeowner has unpaid taxes. In such cases, the IRS has the authority to seize the proceeds from the sale to satisfy the outstanding tax debt. Homeowners facing this situation should consider consulting with a tax professional or attorney to explore potential options and minimize any financial impact.

How to sell a house when you owe taxes in Rhode Island

Selling a house with taxes owed in Rhode Island can be a complex process. However, by understanding the necessary steps and procedures, you can navigate the process efficiently. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through it.

1. Understand Your Tax Obligations

The first step is understanding your tax obligations. In Rhode Island, unpaid property taxes can lead to serious consequences, including tax liens or even foreclosure. Therefore, it’s important to know how much you owe and any penalties that have been accrued.

2. Evaluate Your Financial Situation

Next, evaluate your financial situation. Can you afford to pay the taxes owed before selling? If not, consider options such as payment plans or selling to cash buyers who are willing to handle the tax liability.

3. Consult with Professionals

Consulting with professionals such as real estate agents, attorneys, or tax experts can provide valuable insights and advice. They can guide you on the best course of action based on your unique situation.

4. Consider Selling to Cash Buyers

If paying off the taxes before selling isn’t feasible, consider selling to cash buyers. They often buy properties ‘as-is’, including those with tax liens, offering a quick and hassle-free sale process.

5. Prepare for the Sale Process

Prepare your home for sale by making necessary repairs or updates if possible. Remember, a well-maintained home tends to attract more potential buyers and higher offers.

6. Disclose Tax Liens to Potential Buyers

Transparency is key when selling a house with taxes owed. Disclose any outstanding tax liens to potential buyers during negotiations. This helps avoid future legal disputes and promotes trust.

While selling a house with taxes owed in Rhode Island can be challenging, it’s not impossible. By following these steps and seeking professional advice, you can navigate the process effectively and reach a suitable solution.

Advantages of Selling a Property with Taxes Owed to a Cash Buyer

When you have delinquent taxes on a property in Rhode Island, selling to cash buyers is a practical solution. This method has several clear benefits that can help you handle the challenges this situation brings.

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Quick Closing Timeline

One major advantage of choosing cash buyers is how fast the sale can be completed. Regular real estate deals can take months to finalize, but cash sales often close within a few weeks. For homeowners dealing with delinquent taxes, this speed helps resolve their tax issues quickly, reducing potential penalties and charges.

Ability to Purchase Properties in Any Condition

Cash buyers usually invest in properties regardless of their state. This means that even if your property has maintenance issues or needs extensive repairs, selling to a cash buyer is still an option. As a result, you can avoid the cost and trouble of preparing your property for sale, which is especially useful when facing financial troubles due to delinquent taxes.

Real Life Examples

To show these advantages, let’s look at some examples of Rhode Island homeowners we’ve worked with who have successfully gone through this process:

Example 1: A homeowner in Providence was struggling with delinquent property taxes and was facing foreclosure. After getting in touch with us, they managed to sell their property quickly and use the money to pay off their tax debt. We were able to get this deal done as fast as 12 days!

Example 2: In Warwick, another homeowner inherited a property with extensive repairs needed. They were unable to afford the renovations and were burdened by the delinquent taxes on the property. Selling to a cash buyer allowed them to offload the property as-is, without having to worry about expensive repairs. The cash they received helped them settle their tax debt and alleviate their financial strain.

These real-life examples showcase how selling to a cash buyer can provide practical solutions for homeowners dealing with delinquent taxes or properties in disrepair. The speed and flexibility of these transactions offer a lifeline for those facing urgent financial challenges.


When faced with the challenge of selling your property with unpaid tax debt, considering a cash buyer may be a strategic move. The benefits are clear:

  • Quick resolution: Cash buyers can expedite the closing process, helping you to swiftly address the financial burden of delinquent taxes.
  • As-is purchase: You can sell your property in its current state, bypassing the need for costly repairs or renovations.
  • Peace of mind: With a reputable cash buyer, you’re assured of a certain sale, without the uncertainties that often accompany traditional real estate transactions.

If you’re navigating this complex situation, it’s crucial to weigh your options carefully. While a cash sale may not align with every seller’s goals, for many it represents a viable and attractive solution. Remember, taking proactive steps now can prevent further complications down the road.

Should you decide to go this route, make sure to partner with a cash buyer who understands the nuances of Rhode Island’s real estate market and brings credibility to the table. With the right buyer, you can turn what seems like an overwhelming obstacle into an opportunity for a fresh start.

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