Reaching Out to Property Owners on City Lien List

The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation

The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation (GRRC) announced that its staff has contacted all property owners in Community Board 5 (Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village) who are on the lien sale list published on the internet by New York City.

This is a list of owners who are delinquent on their property taxes, water, sewer or other charges. New York City no longer forecloses on buildings that are delinquent. Instead they sell the lien to an authorized third party, who becomes the lienholder.

The lienholder purchases the right to collect the money plus interest that is owed to the city. If the lien is not paid within a stated time, the lienholder can begin a formal foreclosure proceeding.

Property owners can prevent the sale of a lien by either paying the full amount of the debt or by entering into a payment agreement.

The city sends letters to property owners, but the GRRC has found that many times the address is incorrect, or the owner does not understand what is happening, so the GRRC contacts all property owners in Community Board 5 who are on the lien sale list.

This year the lien list started with 419 locations but has now dwindled to 234. There were 185 property owners that took the steps needed with the Department of Finance and/or the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to keep their properties. Many times property owners call the GRRC to say they were not aware that they were on the lien list.

Angela Mirabile, executive director of GRRC said, “This number is high and we urge property owners to see if they qualify to be excluded from the lien sale.” She also stated that property owners should not let their taxes and water bills go unpaid, and urged them to make payment arrangements.

Some property owners are eligible to sign agreements, thus holding off the sale of the lien. Liens for all unpaid debts will be sold, unless resolved, on or after Thursday, May 17.

Paul Kerzner, president of GRRC said, “The city charges 18 percent interest on unpaid liens. Once the liens are sold, the new holder can charge 23 percent. Interest on a bank loan would certainly be lower than those figures.”

He also stated that payment agreements could be as long as ten years.

Property owners with liens who enter into a paying agreement with the city will be billed quarterly or monthly. Anyone who has or had a payment plan, bu their property is stillincluded in the lien sale notice, should contact the Finance Department or the DEP immediately..

Those who require additional information regarding liens can go to www.nyc.gov/finance. The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation is also available to assist them on these matters.

Contact the GRRC at 1-718-366- 8721 for information and counseling. There is no charge for their services.

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