Source: Government Technology

Last month, the Center posted a blog about options that homeowners have to avoid the May 15th tax lien sale. Since then, the NYC Department of Finance released an updated 30-day list of properties on the tax lien sale list.

While the number of 1-4 family homes on the list has fallen by about 30% since the City released its 90-day lien sale list in February, more than 12,500 properties are still at risk. Brooklyn holds the highest percentage of these liens, with over 5,500 properties on the list, while Queens follows with nearly 4,000 properties. Neighborhoods that are home to thousands of middle- and working-class families — including East New York, Jamaica, and Bedford-Stuyvesant — have the highest number of liens.

Use our Lien Sale Tracker to see how many properties in your neighborhood still have a lien scheduled to be sold. View the map and find more information:

We encourage homeowners on the list to get in touch with the City to see if they qualify for an exemption or to get into a payment plan and avoid the lien sale. Entering into a payment plan with the City will be much more affordable than dealing with a third party servicer.

We’re only a couple of weeks from the sale, but there’s still time to act. So call 311 to reach the Department of Finance (for tax liens) or the Department of Environmental Protection (for water liens). If you still have questions after speaking with the City, call the Center’s homeowner hotline at 646-786-0888 to be connected to a free housing advisor who can help you resolve complex tax lien issues.

Once a lien is sold, a lien servicer, working on behalf of investors in a trust, takes on responsibility for collecting the debt. These companies charge additional fees, plus an interest rate of up to 18%, which compounds daily. Paying the debt can become an overwhelming financial burden for families already behind on their bills, and unpaid liens can lead to foreclosure.

Be sure to check back in May. We’ll be updating the Lien Sale Tracker using data from the 10-day lien sale list.