Friday, June 3, 2011


Here is some help available for property owners who are behind on tax payments and are at risk of having their tax debt sold to third parties. I believe the policy to sell tax debt to third parties was part of the recent bill passed by the NYC Council to collect tax funds due to NYC, without getting involved in costly or lengthy litigation. I also assumed the litigation would be used as a measure to prevent apartment buildings from falling to far into disrepair before aggressive litigation would be started by “parties” that can take possession and better provide livable housing stock for NYC residents.

In any event it looks like we will get to see how the bill is implemented and what the actual implications are for city tax rolls, property owners, renters and speculators purchasing these liens. Will the tax lien sale to private third parties spur an industry of private individuals or corporations seeking to acquire properties by securing tax leans and then aggressively perusing litigation to take possession of the property? Will NYC collect additional, much needed, tax revenue while savings on administrative expenses? Will housing stock in NYC be improved?

If any one has any insight on this issue please do inform us via a comment or separate email to For anyone who finds themselves on the list please do review the post sent by Councilman Koppel’s office.



Council Member Oliver Koppell has scheduled a tax lien assistance outreach session at his district office, 3636 Waldo Avenue, Riverdale on Monday, June 13, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for constituents whose tax liens are on the list to be sold.
This sale is the transfer of the lien to a single authorized buyer who hires a collection agency. It is not a sale of the property, but if the taxes and/or charges are not paid or resolved, the lien holder can begin a foreclosure proceeding in court.

A representative from the NYC Department of Finance will be available at the June 13th session in Koppell’s office to meet one-on-one with homeowners with tax liens to help them avoid the Lien Sale by discussing eligibility for exemptions from the sale or ways of resolving the lien.

In order to prevent the sale of a lien on property, the debt must be resolved by August 1, 2011 through one of the following methods:

Pay your outstanding debt in full;
Enter into a payment agreement;
Apply to receive an exemption that will exclude the property from the Lien Sale;
Dispute the charges by filing a formal dispute with DEP or Finance.

Individuals in Koppell’s district who have been sent a legal claim against their property for unpaid taxes, or whose property was on a published lien sale list, are encouraged to attend this outreach session to obtain advice and to take the necessary steps to prevent the sale of their lien The Finance representative will provide assistance in developing payment agreements, resolving billing disputes and helping complete Exemptions applications for those who qualify.

Koppell said, “My office has sent out invitations to this session to those of my constituents whose tax liens are in danger of being sold. I strongly urge these individuals to come to the session in order to obtain the help they need to avoid the sale, which can have serious consequences in the future.”

If you plan to attend, it is necessary to RSVP to Drew Gabriel in Koppell’s district office, (718) 549-7300 or to schedule an appointment.

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