Tax Lien Lawyers in Lake County
In Lake County, Indiana, a "lien" is a type of property right, which is created by a court to obtain payment of a lawful debt. Typically, a valid lien gives its holder the right to seize the property subject to it, or at least some of the property's equity, to satisfy the debt. If the owner sells a piece of property that's subject to a lien, the creditor who owns the lien may be entitled to the proceeds, up to the amount you owe them. It can further put them "first in line" compared to other creditors, if the debtor files for bankruptcy.
A "tax lien" is simply a lien placed on a piece of property by the state or local government, to secure the payment of back taxes. A tax lien in Lake County, Indiana can arise to secure the payment of any federal or state tax, including income tax, estate tax, or gift tax.
However, like any other debt-collection method, a tax lien is worthless if the debtor has no considerable property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in Lake County, Indiana apply to after-acquired property (property obtained after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to certain pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Lake County, Indiana
In Lake County, Indiana, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities determine that a taxpayer really owes taxes that they haven't paid (that they're delinquent in their taxes).
At this point, the taxpayer will receive a letter containing a "notice and demand," which, as the name suggests, gives notice that the recipient owes taxes, and demands immediate payment. It will normally give the taxpayer about 10 days to pay the demanded amount.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in Indiana have all the rights in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, including priority over competing creditors.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Lake County, Indiana, and elsewhere. Typically, the IRS has 10 years to try and enforce a tax lien. If no effort is made to enforce a tax lien for 10 years, the lien is automatically lifted, and the lien holder loses all rights in it. This rule exists to ensure that the government collects its taxes in a reasonable time period, and it prevents valuable property (which could otherwise be contributing to the economy by being bought and sold) is not laded with a lien for an indefinite period of time.
How Can a Lake County, Indiana Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a tax lien in Indiana, you are going to have to wade through some substantial and difficult legal contentions.
Thankfully, Lake County, Indiana tax attorneys can help. If you are facing the prospect of a tax lien, you should not hesitate to seek qualified legal advice, to ensure that your legal rights are protected.