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How does the Township Treasurer collect personal property tax from a business in bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy proceeding occurs when an insolvent business (or individual) files a petition, which starts the bankruptcy proceeding. On the date the petition is filed, debts owed by the business are classified as pre-petition debts and post-petition debts. If personal property taxes were due before the filing, that is a pre-petition debt and should be included in the Township's claim. Post-petition debts can also be collected by filing claims during the bankruptcy proceeding. These claims are known as administrative expenses. 

Post-petition debts often include personal property taxes that will come due during the bankruptcy proceeding. The Township Treasurer can obtain a jeopardy assessment under MCL 211.691 and accelerate the date that future personal property taxes are due and become a lien.  As a lien, the claim will receive priority of payment in the bankruptcy proceeding.  While recovery is not guaranteed, it does improve the chances of payment.

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