By Conrad Dudderar
Some 11,000 Canadian County residents got an unwelcome surprise over the Thanksgiving break when they received property tax statements in their mailboxes.
The people affected are some mortgage holders who have their property taxes escrowed with their monthly mortgage payments.
Only Canadian County taxpayers who don’t have their property taxes escrowed were supposed to be mailed the annual tax payment statements.
After mailing tax statements to Canadian County property owners, the county Treasurer’s Office recently learned the mortgage service company Core Logic had sent a corrupted electronic file that caused 11,000 accounts not to be coded correctly.
Core Logic Tax Service is a servicer for several mortgage companies across the U.S.
“Out of the 15,000-20,000 accounts that they service, we sent out 11,000 statements to individuals who are ‘vapor-locking’,” County Treasurer Carolyn Leck said Monday morning. “They are saying, ‘I can’t come up with $3,000; I pay it with my monthly payment’.
“It was around 11,000 (statements) that went out, so that’s a lot of people having minor heart attacks.”
Leck responded to their legitimate concerns, assuring them that the mortgage companies will be paying the taxes from their escrow accounts.
‘NO WAY OF KNOWING’
Because these affected taxpayers’ property taxes are escrowed into their mortgage payments, they were not supposed to receive the annual statement.
“Their tax service company sent us a corrupted file,” Leck said. “We’re very sorry for the confusion but that’s something we had no way of knowing until after the fact.”
Leck and her office staff have received many calls and messages from panicked county taxpayers who unexpectedly received a large property tax bill.
“If they have an escrow with their mortgage, then their mortgage company will pay that (property tax payment),” the county treasurer reiterated. “I always advise people to check the website in January or call us to make sure.
“In Oklahoma, if a mortgage company does not pay an account that has an escrow, they have to pay the penalties and they cannot pass that on to the customer.”
For Canadian County taxpayers who do not have a mortgage or don’t escrow property taxes, the first half of their annual property tax bill is due by Dec. 31. The second half payment is due by April 1.
For more information, call the Canadian County Treasurer’s Office at 295-6330 or visit the county website at http://www.canadiancounty.org/