Wisconsin residents may want to pay attention to a new program run by Racine County, the Tax Refund Intercept Program. Property owners in the county with defaulted payments on property taxes may discover that their state income tax refunds have been seized and diverted to cover the costs.

The Racine County treasurer said that the program will expand next year after garnishing funds near the $1 million mark this year. Those with unpaid taxes considered not to be under the umbrella of protection through bankruptcy proceedings, without a payment plan in place or who have not stuck to their payments can expect to have all or a portion of their Wisconsin tax refund seized in the future.

The treasurer stated that approximately 100 individuals were affected by the refund seizure program this year, and that number will likely increase by about 150 more next year.

If you are facing foreclosure, bankruptcy or other dire financial straits, you need all the cash you can get just to stay afloat in treacherous economic waters. Make the necessary arrangements with your county treasurer to set up payment arrangements on delinquent property taxes so your refunds continue to come to you.

Financial challenges can happen to the best of people, through many different sets of circumstances. Don’t live under the threat of repossession, garnishment and asset forfeiture. An attorney familiar with Wisconsin bankruptcy laws can help you get your financial house in order even when bankruptcy appears to be your only option. Sometimes the only way to proceed is with a fresh, clean slate.

Source: The Journal Times, “County nets $1M in delinquent taxes through state refunds” Aaron Knapp, Mar. 31, 2014