If you are a property owner with a legal claim against you for unpaid property taxes, water, sewer or other property charges, as well as the interest due on these taxes and charges, May 14, 2015 is the last day to pay before the city can place a lien on your property. No down payment is required for a payment agreement.

Please note: In 2007, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began placing liens on properties where the owner was one year and at least $1,000 behind in water and/or sewer charges. If the charges are not paid within the specified time frame, the city can transfer the liens to a single authorized buyer who hires collection agencies.  The lien holder then attempts to collect the debt.  The lien holder can place additional charges, including a 5 percent surcharge and up to 18 percent in interest during this period, which is usually between six months and one year. After that time, if all debts are not paid, the property can be foreclosed and sold.

Your residential property may be excluded from the lien sale if you qualify for certain personal exemptions, but you must file the Exemption Eligibility Checklist that was mailed to you with the 90 Day Notice of Intention to Sell Liens by May 14 in order to be removed from the sale.

How do you know if you are on the lien sale list? Ninety (90) days prior to the actual lien sale, the city publishes a list of all delinquent properties in the newspaper, and on the NYC Department of Finance’s website. Find the list here.

Your stability as a property owner is important to our community! Six years ago, former City Councilmember Al Vann established the “Know the Facts Don’t Lose Your Home” Collective in order to provide homeowners with local technical assistance from community development agencies. Bridge Street Development Corporation was the first to get on board. The organizations that followed were Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford Stuyvesant, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Pratt Area Community Council and Community Board #3, Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation, and the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

On Thursday, May 7, from 5:00pm – 7:00pm, City Councilmember Robert Cornegy and the “Know the Facts Don’t Lose Your Home” Collective will host its annual Lien Sale Help Night at Restoration Plaza, located at 1368 Fulton Street. The help night will be an opportunity for homeowners on the lien sale list to meet with and ask questions of the staff from the Departments of Finance, Environmental Protection, and Housing Preservation and Development.

It will also serve as an opportunity for homeowners on the lien sale list to explore their options, including paying down the debt on-site, setting up an affordable payment plan or apply for an exemption (seniors, the disable, clergy and military may be removed from the lien sale list).

This event is free and open to the public! You don’t have to lose your home. Spread the word!


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