When a property located in New York City has property or other tax arrears, it may be subject to enforcement actions by the City to collect the amounts due. Depending upon the property class, condition, and amount of arrears, the City can either sell a tax lien in a tax lien sale, or foreclose on the property that is the subject of arrears by bringing an in rem foreclosure action under the Third Party Transfer program.
Tax Lien Sale A tax lien is a legal claim against real property for unpaid property taxes, water, sewer or other property charges such as Department of Housing Preservation and Development charges listed below, as well as the interest due on these taxes and charges. An owner whose property is subject to a tax lien sale will receive a lien sale notice and public notice is given through a published lien sale list. In a tax lien sale, the City sells delinquent tax liens to a single authorized buyer. The lien holder purchases the right to collect the money that is owed to the City. Ultimately, if the property owner does not pay what is owed, the lien holder can begin a formal foreclosure proceeding in court. For more information about the Tax lien Sale, visit nyc.gov/liensale, or call 311. From outside NYC call 212-NEW-YORK. TTY: 212-504-4115 (Hearing Impaired).For general information about taxes and to pay online please visit the Department of Finance website.
If you have a questions specific to an Emergency Repair charge, Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) charge, Demolition charge or other HPD fee on your property tax bill, you can see the charges online or you can contact HPD directly for details about the charge at:
Phone: 212-863-6020 Weekdays 9-4
Location: HPD Research and Reconciliation Unit at 100 Gold Street, Section 5Z, New York, NY 10038
However, please be advised that failure to timely protest HPD Emergency Repair, AEP, or Demolition charges within the period identified on the tax statement negates an owner’s right to contest the charge in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding
Third Party Transfer--In rem Foreclosure Proceeding If a property has a certain level of arrears and is, also the subject of housing violations and/or emergency repair charges, the City may begin an in rem proceeding. This proceeding requires an owner to pay the tax arrears or face the loss of his or her property. If the taxes are not paid, after being awarded a foreclosure judgment in court, the City can convey the tax delinquent property to a qualified third party. The new owner is selected based on the history and qualifications in property management that are submitted to the City.
For an in-depth discussion of the history, development, and implementation of the Third Party Transfer initiative, read Breaking the Cycle of Abandonment Using a Tax Enforcement Tool to Return Distressed Properties to Sound Private Ownership (in PDF). This paper was the winner of the Pioneer Institute's Year 2000 Better Government Competition.