The Crosstown Coalition of Civics of which WSWCA is an active member has been contacted regarding issues with 2014 property tax payments. Questions on how much, overpayments and escrow amounts have been raised. In response to conversation with the Revenue Department the following has been learned.
Most large out of town banks (Citizens, TD Bank, PNC, Bank of America) are using a contractor to pay real estate tax bills. Wells Fargo and the local banks are working directly with Revenue.
The Revenue Department has already provided the banks or their contractor with data files of property owners who filed appeals with the BRT and are eligible to pay the same amount of tax they paid last year, pending the outcome of their appeal. Revenue will provide the banks or their contractors data files of property owners who are eligible for reduced payments under the LOOP program next month (after all of the applications have been processed).
If your mortgage company or you have paid too much then property owners or their mortgage holders can apply for a Refund using the attached form. If the bank pays a pre-LOOP bill and won't adjust the escrow to reflect the reduced amount owed, it is suggested that property owners file for the refund.
Property owners who have filed with the BRT can approach their bank and ask that they escrow based on last year's bill pending the outcome of the appeal. Be aware that this could lead to a large increase in the escrow if the appeal is denied. The alternative is to pay the higher escrow now and file for a refund if BRT reduces the assessment.
Decisions on escrow payments are made by the mortgage holder and not the City. Property owners should appeal to supervisors at their bank if they are dissatisfied with the answers they are receiving.
Revenue is finding that, in some cases, the banks have not educated their call center employees on these details. Revenue staff has already spoken with some banks when they learn that their staff members are giving incorrect information.
If you are a property owner with specifics on incorrect information received from their bank, and you would like help let us know, and we will forward that info to our Crosstown Coalition member Walter Spence who is working with revenue to help resolve issues. He will need the property owner's name, contact information, the name of the bank, and the specific problem. Revenue has offered to speak with banks where there is a legitimate issue.