In re: Bowers, No. 13-8014 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Debtors owed delinquent real estate taxes to Summit County, Ohio, which sells outstanding tax obligations to investors as tax lien certificates. An investor purchasing such a certificate obtains a lien against the property and the right to pursue the taxpayer for the unpaid taxes, O.R.C. 5721.30-43. Plymouth filed a certificate showing its purchase of the Debtors’ tax obligation for $4,083.73 with a negotiated interest rate of 0.25%, “offered, sold, and delivered on November 3, 2010.” On October 3, 2011, Plymouth filed a second certificate, with a price of $2,045.44 and a negotiated interest rate of 18.00%. On April 17, 2012, Summit County filed a tax lien foreclosure complaint against the Debtors pursuant to pursuant to Plymouth's request for foreclosure. In May, 2012, the Debtors filed a chapter 13 plan and petition, proposing to pay interest on the tax certificates at the interest rates listed on the certificates. Plymouth filed a proof of claim based on both certificates in the amount of $10,521.46, including $2,120.00 in fees and the principal balance of $7,781.19 plus 18% interest from June 1, 2012 on both certificates. The Bankruptcy Court held that under Ohio law the appropriate interest rate for Plymouth’s tax claim was 0.25%. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed.