In this particular case the debtors filed their bankruptcy petition on December 28, 2009. This was a Kansas case, and, under Kansas law, the court held that the real estate taxes were due on November 1 and on that date a lien would automatically attach to the debtor’s real property. Using this reasoning the court held that the debtors’ property was subject to a priority tax lien for 2009 and any preceding years because the tax was actually assessed on November 1 of 2009.
In this case the debtors argued that because they had until after November 1, 2009 to actually pay the property taxes that the lien was not valid against the property. The court did not accept this argument and held that the property taxes were secured by the real property.
What is the lesson to be learned? Well if you are contemplating filing bankruptcy you may want to file your case before the property taxes actually become due. In addition, you may want to consult with an attorney in your state to determine whether your property taxes may be wiped out in the bankruptcy.