Lien Sale Frequently Asked Questions
What is a lien sale?
All overdue water and sewer charges are considered a lien against your property. Under new legislation passed December 31, 2007, the City has the authority to sell this lien to a third party, or lienholder, when these charges are in excess of $1000 and have been overdue for a year or more.
When the City sells a lien, it is not selling the property. The new lienholder does not take title to the property. The lienholder purchases the right to collect the money that was owed to the City. Ultimately, however, if the property owner does not pay what is owed, the lienholder can begin formal foreclosure proceedings.
The 2008 lien sale process will begin on February 19th, 2008. Customers will have until May 16th, 2008 to arrange for payment, and those who do not will have the lien on their property sold on May 19th, 2008.
What should I do if I receive a lien sale notice?
If you have received a lien sale notice by mail or if your property has been listed on a published lien sale list, it means that DEP's records show that your delinquent water and sewer charges are aged more than one year and in excess of $1000.
As a result, a lien for the entire delinquent amount will be sold in the 2008 lien sale, unless you resolve your debt by May 16th, 2008.
The most important thing for you to do is contact the Department of Environmental Protection immediately. You must arrange for payment, or, if you think that you do not owe the money, you must dispute the charges with DEP before May 16th. If payment has not been arranged by May 16th, 2008, and the charges are not in dispute, the lien on your property will be sold.
If you received a lien sale notice, you may be eligible for significant reductions in your outstanding water and sewer account as part of DEP's one-time Payment Incentive Program (PIP). Commercial customers can receive similar reductions through DEP's Late Payment Charge Removal program.
To learn more about these programs call DEP's Customer Call Center at (718) 595-7000.
Who is eligible for lien sale?
Under the new legislation, 2- and 3- family homes, most multi-tenant residential properties, and most commercial buildings are eligible for lien sale if they owe more than $1000 for a year or more.
Single-family homes and residential customers receiving the Senior Citizen Homeowner's Exemption (SCHE), the Disabled Homeowner's Exemption (DHE) or the State Personal Income Tax (PIT) Circuit-Breaker Tax Credit are exempt from lien sales.
How do I make payment?
Customers can make payment by using any of the following methods:
To pay by mail
Send payment (check or money order) to:
NYC Water Board
P.O. Box 410
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008-0410
To pay by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
To pay your water and sewer bill using EFT, you will need your water and sewer bill account number, a checking or savings account number, and your bank routing number.
To pay by E-check or Credit Card through the NYCServ ePayment Center To make a payment using a credit card or electronic check, for a convenience fee, please visit the NYCServ ePayment Center. In order to use this water bill application you must have your account number.
To pay in-person
Contact DEP's call center at (718) 595.7000 to schedule an appointment with a DEP customer service representative at our central office or at one of our borough offices.
Manhattan - 1250 Broadway, 8th Floor (Enter on 32nd Street)
Bronx - 1932 Arthur avenue, Room 601 (Corner of Arthur and East Tremont)
Brooklyn - 250 Livingston Street, 8th Floor (Between Hoyt and Bond Street, alternate entrance at 233 Schermerhorn Street
Queens - 96-05 Horace Harding Expressway, 1st Floor (Between Junction Boulevard and 99th Street)
Staten Island - 60 Bay Street, 6th Floor (Between Slossen Terrace and Hyatt Street)
Can I enter into a payment agreement?
Eligible residential customers, who owe more than $2,500 even with the Payment Incentive Program, may enter a payment agreement on this reduced amount. Customers who choose this option must put at least 10% down and will have up to five years to pay.
Those customers who owe less than $2,500 dollars with the Payment Incentive Program offer and all commercial customers may enter into a payment agreement on their original balance, including late charges. To learn more, call (718) 595-7000 to schedule an appointment with a DEP customer service representative at our central office or one of our borough locations.
What are the consequences of non-payment?
Eligible customers who do not arrange for payment by May 16th, 2008 will be subject to lien sale.
Are there any financial assistance programs available?
Seniors, those affected by the nationwide predatory lending, mortgage and foreclosure crisis, and others having difficulty paying their bills may be eligible for DEP's Safety Net Referral program, which can help you work with a range of assistance programs citywide, including budgetary counseling, emergency grant/loan and home improvement services.
To learn more about the Safety Net Referral Program, please call our customer call center at (718) 595-7000. Literature is also available at our customer service outreach events or as a downloadable PDF below.
Where can I learn more?
For more information about lien sale, or for specific information about your water and sewer account, call DEP's customer call center at (718) 595-7000 Monday through Saturday between 9AM and 5PM, or Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9AM and 8PM.
More information is also available at our customer service outreach events. Upcoming events are listed on the Lien Sale Events page.