NYC Tax Lien Sale
Each year, the Department of Finance sells the liens of properties that have unpaid debts — including property taxes, water bills, and other charges — that can result in an increased financial burden for families already behind on their bills. The Department of Finance sells liens when owners fail to respond to notices or to enter into a payment plan with the City. Once a tax lien is sold, a third-party collection agency can add fees and high interest of up to 18 percent, compounded daily. The mounting debt can force some homeowners into foreclosure.
To raise awareness about the lien sale, the Center created the Lien Sale Tracker, a web-based tool that allows users to view the number of one-to-four family homes on the Department of Finance’s lien sale list by ZIP Code, City Council District, and Community District. By the time of the sale, some households will have been removed from the list because of exemptions or after entering into payment agreements with the City.