What Happens if I Don’t Pay My New York Property Taxes?
If you live in New York, and are behind on your home’s property taxes, you risk having your home foreclosed on. This can happen even if you are up to date on your mortgage payments or own your home outright.
What Will My County Do If I’m Behind on My Taxes?
In New York State, property taxes are collected semi-annually by your county. Each county has their own protocols about what to do with delinquent property taxes, but they usually follow a similar path.
After a specific deadline, if you still haven’t paid your taxes, your county will issue a tax lien on your property. The county can then either keep the lien itself or auction it off to the highest bidder.
Nassau and Suffolk Counties regularly sell off their tax liens to third-party investors. New York City, however, sells their tax liens to a trust called the NYCTL Trusts. Either way, you will now have to pay what you owe, plus interest, plus fees to the owner of your tax lien. If you still cannot pay the cost of the lien, the lien owner can foreclose on your property.
Just like if a bank forecloses on your home, there is a legal process that the lien holder has to follow. If the foreclosure case is successful, the lien holder can do one of two things: a foreclosure sale auction or a tax deed sale. In an auction, like with a bank foreclosure, the lien holder awards your home to the highest bidder. In a tax deed sale, the county can take ownership of your property directly.
What Options Do I Have?
If you cannot immediately pay back everything you owe, you do have some options:
- Installment Agreements – You may be able to pay back everything in smaller increments over a set period of time.
- Hardship Forms and Exemptions – If the county threatening to put your home on their Tax Lien Sale List, you may be able to stop them by claiming hardship or certain special statuses (such as veterans and active military).
- Tax Deferral – If you are over 65 or are disabled, you may qualify for some deferral programs.
- New Loan – If you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to get a loan to pay off your tax debts.
- Bankruptcy – Any form of bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure. Talk to your bankruptcy attorney on which type of bankruptcy would work best in your situation.
For more information on dealing with tax liens sales and foreclosures in New York, click here:
What to Do Next
If you are behind on your property taxes and your county announced that it is going to place a lien on your home, you need to reach out to New York foreclosure lawyer Ronald Weiss immediately. After a free consultation, he can tell you what you need to know about how your specific county operates and how to slow down the process to help you catch up. And if bankruptcy is your only option, he can help there as well. Call 631-303-3765 and take the first step to a fresh start.