Home Sold over a $6.50 Late Fee! Outrageous!

Real Estate Agent with Pilkerton Realtors



I read the Tennessean every day, but a day late.


My husband gets the daily paper. He reads it throughout the day and then puts it into MY "pile". Occasionally he also puts some other publication in the pile. Outrageous


Last week, the"other" publication was the AARP newspaper.


The cover had OUTRAGEOUS written across the top. Under that was a list of stories that were true and also truly outrageous. One such story was about a widow, in Ohio (I think). Her husband has passed away and she used the life insurance money to pay off the mortgage on their home, like he had wanted.


With no Mortgage company involved, she was responsible for paying the property taxes. One year, she paid the taxes late. In full, but late. The tax assessors office never indicated that there was  a  late fee.

The following years bills also showed no indication of additional charges on her account. After 3 years, her home was sold in a Tax Sale auction to collect the $200+ she owed. A $6.50 late fee plus interest and other late fee charges caused her to lose her home.

Tax Assessor policy

3 years and $30,000 in attorney charges, she has her home back.

It’s just wrong.

I recently paid my property in installments. I know I sent one of the checks late because of our ice storm. I called the Trustee’s office today and in fact, I owe them $11.11 in late fees. I asked what the policy was for informing me of these fees and was told that I would get a letter, before they sold my house.



Had I not read this article, I might never have asked.

Do you know your City’s, County’s late fee policy? If not, you might want to check them out!







Posted by


Connie Harveyis a local agent with Pilkerton Realtors, serving home buyers and sellers in Nashville, TN, Brentwood TN, and Franklin TN. Let her help you realize your Real Estate goals. She can be reached at 615-371-2474.

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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Good grief.  Bureaucracy at it's finest.  (sarcasm there in case it didn't translate)  That's awful.

Mar 20, 2015 08:46 AM #1
Michael Dagner
Brokers Guild Classic - Denver, CO
Your Denver Homes Realty Expert

Hi Connie, wow!  Nice post.  It just doesn't take much these days for your life to spiral out of control, and good luck getting sympathy from those in charge.  

Mar 20, 2015 10:41 AM #2
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

yes the tax people deny all responsibility for keeping us informed.  I nearly had one go to tax sale because the sent the bill for part of the property to the wrong address, apparently someone down there has dyslexia and mixed up a few characters. luckily we caught it before we lost our back yard.

Mar 20, 2015 03:48 PM #3
David Saks
(retired) - Memphis, TN

Wonderful post and great information. Have the best weekend and keep up the good work.

Mar 20, 2015 05:19 PM #4
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Connie. What a shame! I hate to hear this happening to our senior citizens.

 Don't you just  love the nothing comment left by David?

Mar 20, 2015 06:22 PM #5
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Connie.  That is unconscionable.  All that grief and money for $6.50.  I agree with Michael's comment about David.

Mar 20, 2015 09:38 PM #6
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

And folks wonder why the "tax collector" is so dreaded.


Don't worry about David's comment.  My recollection is that points are awarded to the reciepent of the comment, not the writer.  I could be wrong.


Mar 21, 2015 01:24 AM #7
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Wow -- now that is outrageous.  I would think the towns would have to provide better notice than that.... and on a much more timely basis.

Mar 21, 2015 02:13 PM #8
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Connie this is crazy.   One year my school tax bill was not sent to the bank on time like it was suppose to, an issue other residents experienced.  Now I have to wonder if there was a late fee.  I too want to know what the municipal policy is.

Mar 21, 2015 02:45 PM #9
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Connie - This story is wrong in so many ways.

Mar 21, 2015 03:26 PM #10
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Connie Harvey - one word to describe that - outrageous! How can they do that?

(And yes, I pay my taxes on time - as we have online payment service, too - that charges little extra as convenience fees!) 

Mar 21, 2015 04:02 PM #11
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I have seen and heard many bizarre things but this one tops them all

Mar 21, 2015 09:42 PM #12
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

This is so wrong.  Something needs to change here.

Mar 21, 2015 09:43 PM #13
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Obviously it was wrong of them to do this since she was eventually awarded her home back but I would have counter sued for attorney's fees and whatever other expenses I had to pay to get back what should have been rightfully mine.

Mar 21, 2015 10:14 PM #14
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Our payment was late once, but when you are late, you can't make the payment anywhere except at the treasurers office, and they have the late fee added in at that time. Pretty good system.

Mar 21, 2015 10:22 PM #15
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Chris Ann -Sarcasm so noted. LOL

Michael - Thanks. It's amazing how something so small can become such a pain in the A....

Bob - How is nothing their fault and there is no common sense in the office!

David - thanks.

Michael - I totally do to. And may will not be able, or know how, to fight it. Its just wrong.

Conrad - Me too. Glad to see you. Noticed that you hadn't been posting lately. Hope all is well.

Mar 23, 2015 04:02 AM #16
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I agree with so many of the others that somebody should have reached out and tried to help this lady. It is a shame that municipalities feel like they can rob people this way.

Mar 26, 2015 01:32 PM #17
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

I smell corruption!  I smell ineptnes, laxity and derelection of duty. Such circumstances would better warrant a bit of compassion by our public officials.  I would imagine a Tax Assessors' office has power, influence and werewithal  to set aside such minute amounts, or to take it before the Council.  It amazes me that we live in a land where government officials are more willing to care for criminals, despots, illegal aliens, foreign powers and enemies than for those who have in so many ways given their lives to supporting, defending, loving and bettering our communities.  We live in an age where the masses appear to spend far more time demanding their rights so-called than in rendering their service to others.

I venture that a high percentage of those whom I know as family, friend, co-workers, and members of the real estate community would have, upon learning $6.50 was about to cost the dear lady her home or $30,000 in legal fees.  One last question: Whoever issued a seizure of that property over $6.50 is a sad piece of a man. 

In Tennessee, the elderly can elect to defer property taxes to be addressed as part of estate settlement.  There may be more to it, but I was so advised by a clerk in the Register's Office upon the passing of my dad, as I was concerned mother may not be able to afford them on limited income.  It proved to be neither necessary nor her will.  My son purchased the (debt free) property, and she paid off the note on the property she now owns (just up the street from me).  I am affraid the removal of prayer from the classroom did far more harm to our Nation than Justice Earl Warren ever envisioned.


Oct 25, 2015 04:09 AM #18
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Connie Harvey

Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate
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