A tax lien is a legal claim placed on your property by the City due to unpaid property taxes, water and sewer charges, and other property-related charges.

If you don’t resolve your debt, the City will sell the lien to an authorized buyer. When the City sells a lien, it’s not selling your property. The lien holder buys the right to collect the money that you owe the City. Liens are never offered for sale to the general public.

If the taxes and/or charges are not paid or resolved, the new lienholder can begin a foreclosure proceeding in court.

If the City places a lien on your property, the Department of Finance will mail you warning notices before your property is included in a lien sale.

If you receive a notice, you should take one of the following steps to avoid having your property sold in the lien sale:

  • Pay the amount you owe
  • Apply for a property tax exemption
  • Submit a COVID-19 Hardship Declaration
  • Enroll in a payment plan or deferral program
  • Request military debt relief
  • Submit an Emergency Repair Certification (only for ERP charges)

The City can place a lien against your property if you haven’t paid one or more of the following:

  • Property taxes
  • Water or sewer charges, including surcharges
  • Other property charges (including sidewalk repair, vacant lot cleaning, emergency repair program charges, and alternate enforcement program charges)
  • Interest, fines, or fees on the taxes and charges described above

Owners in Delinquent Payment Plans

If you entered into a payment agreement with the Department of Finance (DOF) or the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in previous years and haven’t made the required payments for six months, the liens on your property may be sold in the lien sale.

If you have received a warning notice for the 2021 lien sale and signed a payment agreement, you are receiving this notice because your agreement is not up to date (required payments have not been made for six months or longer). You had until December 16, 2021, to bring the agreement up to date.

You may only enter into a new payment agreement if you qualify for extenuating circumstances or if you pay 20% down for all charges, interest, and fees owed. To learn more about extenuating circumstances and payment plan rules, go to the Property Tax Payment Plan page.

If you received a lien sale notice and you believe you have made all the required payments or if you want to bring your payments up to date, you should contact DOF or DEP.


If the property that received the tax lien sale notice is owned by a not-for-profit, a representative from the not-for-profit should contact DOF immediately through their website.

Contact the Department of Finance.

Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) Rental Properties

Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) rental properties can be included in the lien sale if they have $5,000 of unpaid charges that are outstanding for 2 years or more in one of the following categories:

  • Property taxes
  • Water or sewer bills
  • Emergency repair charges
  • Alternative enforcement expenses

The deadline to keep your property out of the lien sale was December 16, 2021.

Every year, DOF sends notices about past due property taxes and charges in late October and tell you what to do to avoid having a lien placed on your property.

You can get translated payment past due notices in ArabicBengaliChineseFrenchHaitian CreoleKoreanPolishRussianSpanish, and Urdu.

If your property is at risk for the lien sale, DOF will then mail you a Notice of Intention to Sell Liens. Notices are sent 90 days, 60 days, 30 days, and 10 days before the lien sale. You can get a lien sale warning notice even if you are on a payment plan. If you get a warning notice, it's because DOF's records show that you have defaulted on your payment plan.

Lien sale warning notices include answers to frequently asked questions about the lien sale and the Exemption Eligibility Checklist.

You can get a copy of the 90-Day Lien Sale Notice.


Download translated 90-Day Lien Sale Notices.

By Mail

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to request a copy.

After your payment is processed by the Department of Finance (DOF), you will receive a notice informing you that your property is no longer subject to the lien sale. It can take three weeks to affect the Lien Notice cycle. This means if you pay your debt close to the time the next Lien Notice is mailed, you may get that notice even though you have paid your debt.

Even if you are disputing your property's assessment or charges, you must have paid your taxes and charges in full or arranged for a payment agreement to avoid having your lien sold. Properties with outstanding charges for a legally specified time can be included in the lien sale even if the charges are being disputed. If your dispute is successful, you will be entitled to a refund of any overpayment.

Water and Sewer Debt

If you owe only water and sewer charges and not any property-related charges or taxes, you should visit a DEP Borough Office or call DEP to make a payment.

Due to COVID-19, DEP Borough Offices are currently open by appointment only.

You can learn how to pay water and sewer bills and how to schedule an appointment at a DEP Borough Office on the Water and Sewer Bill Payment page.

Property Taxes and Related Charges

You can pay property taxes and related charges online, by phone, by mail, or in person.


Visit the Property Tax Payment page to learn how to pay online.

By Phone

You can now pay your lien sale property tax debt or HPD emergency repair charges over the phone with a DOF representative. You can make a payment by e-check, EFT or credit/debit card (credit cards have a 2% service fee).

If you owe both property taxes and water charges you must pay them separately by contacting DOF and DEP.

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

By Mail

You can pay your debt by mail. You should pay by official bank check or money order to ensure the payment is posted before the deadline. Payments must be mailed by December 3, 2021 to ensure they are received and processed prior to the deadline. If you are paying after December 3, 2021 you should not mail your payment.

If you pay by check, you're authorizing DOF either to use information from your check as a one-time electronic fund transfer (EFT) from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction. You can't opt out of the electronic transfer. If your check is processed as an EFT, you won't get your check back.

You should:

  • Write the Borough, Block, and Lot Number (BBL) of your property on your check or money order. If you don't include the BBL, it may take much longer to process your payment.
  • If applicable, specify whether your payment is for a specific Emergency Repair or Alternate Enforcement charge.
  • Pay by official bank check or money order. 

If you owe both property taxes and water or sewer charges, do not combine the payments. Use separate checks to the NYC Department of Finance and NYC Water Board. You may still use the same envelope.

Send payment to:

NYC Department of Finance
P.O. Box 680
Newark, NJ 07101-0680

In Person

You can pay both property taxes and water bills together in person at any DOF Business Center using cash, personal check, certified check, or money order. As the deadline approaches, you should pay by official bank check or money order to ensure the payment is posted before the deadline. No appointment is necessary to visit a DOF Business Center, however you can schedule an appointment to ensure social distancing at the centers.

If you owe only water and sewer charges, you should visit or contact the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make a payment. Visit the Water and Sewer Bill Payment page for more information about water and sewer bills payments.

DOF Business Centers are extending their hours to help customers who need to make payments to avoid the lien sale. Visit the Property Tax Payment page for more information about payments at DOF Business Centers.

Your residential property may be excluded from the lien sale if you qualify for certain tax benefits.

You may qualify for an exemption that will take your property out the lien sale if you:

  • Are a senior
  • Have a disability
  • Are a veteran or family member of a veteran
  • Receive the NY State Circuit Breaker Credit

The property must be a 1-, 2-, or 3-family house and must be your primary residence to be eligible.

Visit the following pages to learn more about exemption eligibility:

If your property is on the lien sale list and you think you are eligible for one or more of the qualifying exemptions, fill out and send the Exemption Checklist you received with your tax lien sale warning notice as soon as possible.

DOF uses your checklist to determine whether you are eligible for one or more of these exemptions. If you are eligible for one or more of these exemptions, DOF will send you a Lien Sale Exemption Application to complete and send back to them.

If you qualify for an exemption, you will receive a notice informing you that your property is no longer subject to the lien sale and you will start receiving the exemption in the next tax year.

    If you need another copy of the lien sale exemption application, you can download it online or get a copy by mail.


    Download the Lien Sale Exemption Application.

    By Mail

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

    New York State Property Tax Credit

    The New York State Real Property Tax Credit, also known as the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit, is a refundable credit that you claim when filing your taxes.

    If you received the credit, you can be excluded from the lien sale. To be excluded, you must have received the credit for the year prior to the lien sale. For example, if you are eligible for the lien sale in 2021, you must have received the credit for your 2020 taxes, which you file in 2021.

    The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is administered by New York State.

    For more information about the credit, consult your tax professional or get information from the State.

    Visit the Department of Taxation and Finance website.

    The NYC Enhanced Real Property Tax Credit is NOT the same as the New York State Real Property Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker Tax Credit). Receiving the NYC Enhanced Real Property Tax Credit does NOT exclude you from the lien sale.

    • Agency: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
    • Phone Number: (518) 457-5181
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

    If you are facing hardship and aren’t able to pay all of your debt at once, you may still be able to avoid the lien sale if you apply for a payment plan.

    If you owe only water or sewer charges, visit the Water and Sewer Lien Sale  page to learn about payment plans and the Water Debt Assistance Program.

    If you owe property taxes and related charges, you can apply for a payment plan with the Department of Finance.

    Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) Plan

    The Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program helps homeowners who are experiencing hardship defer payments for past and future property taxes and avoid the tax lien sale.

    You may be eligible for a PT AID payment plan if:

    • You own a 1-, 2-, or 3-family home or a condominium unit
    • The property has been your primary residence for one year or more
    • The total income for all owners is $86,400 or less (federal adjusted gross income)

    If you owe only property taxes and related charges, and you enter into a PT AID agreement, your property will not be included in the lien sale. If you owe water and sewer charges, you need to resolve them or enter into a payment agreement with DEP to have your property removed from the lien sale.

    For more information, visit the Property Tax Payment Deferral page.

    Standard Payment Plan

    If you owe property taxes and charges other than water and sewer, you must submit a payment agreement application in person at a DOF Business Center or a Lien Sale Outreach event. You can't submit your application online or by mail.

    With a DOF payment agreement, you can choose:

    • Quarterly or monthly payments
    • An agreement period of 1 to 10 years
    • Whether or not to make a down payment

    Once your plan is set up, you will have to pay both your current property taxes and your scheduled payment for the plan. You must make your scheduled payments on time. If you fail to do so for 6 months, your agreement will be in default and you may receive tax lien sale warning notices.

    For applications, required documents, a payment calculator, and more information, go to the Property Tax Payment Plan page.

    Property owners experiencing financial hardship related to COVID-19 were able to submit a COVID-19 Hardship Declaration to be excluded from the 2021 Lien Sale.

    If you are an active member of the military (or a representative of one), you can request relief from property tax debt.

    Debt relief is provided under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act.

    To be eligible, you must be one of the following:

    • An active member of the military
    • A reservist ordered to report for induction or for military service
    • A service member's spouse or registered domestic partner
    • A service member's dependent, such as an unmarried child under the age of 18, an unmarried child and full-time student between ages 18 to 23, or others for whom the service member provided at least 50% of their support for 180 days before the date of the application.

    You can learn more on the Debt Relief for Military Service Members page.

    If the lien sale notice that you receive indicates that you owe Emergency Repair Program (ERP) charges to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) you may be eligible to be excluded from the lien sale by submitting an emergency repair certification.  To be eligible the property must be a tax class one home and must be the owner’s primary residence.

    Learn more and download the certification.

    After the Department of Finance (DOF) publishes the 90-day Lien Sale Notice, it is public record. Some homeowners may receive loan offers they didn’t request. Be careful if you receive a loan offer after the list is published. The offer may not be in your best interest.

    Lenders know that if your property is on the lien sale list, you owe the City money. Some dishonest lenders might try to take advantage of your financial situation, and you could lose your property.

    Be sure to research all lenders, seek guidance from independent sources, and be careful. Don’t risk losing your home to a predatory lender if you can’t repay the money you borrow.

    DOF and the NYC Sheriff's Office don’t call property owners to threaten eviction for unpaid taxes. If your property is included in the lien sale, you will receive official notices from DOF in the mail. If you receive a call threatening eviction due to unpaid property taxes, the call is fraudulent. If you believe that you are being targeted as part of a scam or other illegal activity, please contact the Sheriff's Office.

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

    If you received a Notice of Sold Lien from the Department of Finance, it means your property was included in the Lien Sale because you had unpaid property tax or property-related or water charges.

    This notice tells you:

    • Who bought the lien
    • How much you owe
    • What happens now
    • Who to contact

    Once a lien is sold, a 5% surcharge on the entire lien amount plus interest and other administrative charges, such as legal and advertising fees, are added and must be paid to the lien holder.

    About six weeks after a lien is sold, owners will receive a letter from the lien servicer who bought their lien. You should contact the Lien Holder or its authorized representative for additional information. Property owners should not deal with anyone other than the lien holder or its authorized representatives.

    If you haven't paid the lien in full or entered into a payment agreement with the new lien holder, the lien holder can begin formal foreclosure proceedings in court within one year of the lien sale date. Foreclosure can also begin if you don't pay the semi-annual interest on the lien sale amount within 30 days after it is due.

    2021 Lien Servicers

    For liens sold in December 2021, the lien servicers are:

    MTAG Services
    (800) 750-9210

    Tower Capital Management
    (800) 970-8454

    There are resources available to property owners who need help to avoid the lien sale. If you receive a warning notice that your property may be included in an upcoming tax lien sale because you have unpaid property tax, you can get help understanding property liens.


    Learn more about the lien sale.

    In Person

    For dates and locations, visit the Department of Finance Public Events page.

    By Phone

    Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

    Need more help?

    If you have already contacted the Department of Finance about an issue and were unable to resolve it, visit the Taxpayer Advocate page to learn how to get help.

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