Paying past taxes may seem difficult, but every jurisdiction has a process for taking care of it.

The first step is to figure out to whom the taxes should be paid. This is generally a county treasurer or town clerk depending on where you live. If you have a tax bill, call the number on the bill to find out. Otherwise, call county records or city hall and ask. They will point you in the right direction.

If you send anything, be sure to send it return receipt so you have proof of payment. Also save images of any canceled checks or the credit card statement. The taxes are late and you want to be able to produce a paper trail if things get worse.

There is an entire industry around buying properties with delinquent taxes or simply paying the lien: You want to be aware of this and make sure you have any lien removed from your property.