Plymouth Park Tax Services proudly proclaims that it has “provided over $4 billion to governments through the purchase of real estate tax liens.”
About $33 million of that went to Cuyahoga County, where outgoing Treasurer Jim Rokakis has worked with the New Jersey company since 1999. The idea is that it’s preferable to get something rather than nothing out of people who don’t pay their property taxes. For the county, it’s essentially selling the debt to a collection agency.
And Plymouth Park knows how to play tough: One year after it buys a tax lien from the county, it can take the house by foreclosure if the owner still hasn’t paid up.