To find out if we have any upcoming Lien Sale Outreach Events, please visit our Events Calendar.
What is a lien sale?
All overdue water and sewer charges are considered a lien against your property. Under new legislation passed January 27, 2017, the City has the authority to sell this lien to a third party, or lienholder, in a process called a lien sale. The following property types are eligible for the 2020 lien sale:
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 previously owed to the City. Ultimately, however, if the property owner does not pay what is owed, the lienholder can begin formal foreclosure proceedings.
The 2020 lien sale process will begin on February 12, 2020. Customers will have until May 14, 2020 to arrange for payment, and those who do not will have the lien on their property sold on May 15, 2020.
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 meet the eligibility criteria for the 2020 lien sale.
As a result, a lien for the entire delinquent amount will be sold in the 2020 lien sale, unless you resolve your debt by May 14, 2020.
The most important thing for you to do is contact the Department of Environmental Protection immediately by calling (718) 595-7000. You must arrange for payment, or, if you think that you do not owe the money, you must dispute the charges with DEP on or before Monday, May 4, 2020. If payment has not been arranged by May 14, 2020, and the charges are not in dispute, the lien on your property will be sold.
Who is eligible for the lien sale?
Under the new legislation, mixed use, 2 and 3 family homes are eligible if they owe $2,000 or more in water and sewer charges outstanding for a year or more. Multi-tenant residential properties, including condos and most commercial buildings are eligible for the lien sale if they owe $1,000 or more in water and sewer charges outstanding for a year or more.
Single-family homes and residential customers receiving the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE), the Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) or the State Personal Income Tax (PIT) Circuit-Breaker Tax Credit are exempt from the lien sale. Active duty military personnel may also request an exemption from the lien sale by completing an affidavit that provides information about their military service, their property, tax warrants, Environmental Control Board violations, etc. You can download this affidavit at nyc.gov/liensale.
How do I make a payment?
Send your payment (check or money order) to:
NYC Water Board
P.O. Box 11863
Newark, NJ 07101-8163
To ensure your payment is correctly processed, please make your payment to NYC Water Board, and write your DEP account number on your check or money order.
Use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to make payments any time. For both online and mobile payments, you can pay via automated transfer from your checking or savings account without an additional charge. We will also accept credit and debit card payments, including MasterCard, Discover and American Express and Visa cards, for a 2.25% convenience fee. We do not accept Visa.
To pay online, you can register for a My DEP Account and create a Payment Profile. If you already have a payment profile, you will be prompted to create a new access code when you sign in. This access code is an added level of security that will further protect your personal information. We also offer the following payment features:
Or, you can pay online using QuickPay and pay a bill without logging in!
Customers can pay their water bill over the phone by calling (866) 622-8292. This automated service lets you pay with a checking/savings account or a credit/debit card. A 2.25% fee applies to payments made with a credit/debit card.
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.
Can I enter into a payment agreement?
If you have received a lien sale notice or would like to consolidate your debt, you may be eligible for a payment agreement, which will allow you to gradually pay off your debt over time. DEP is now offering payment agreements to customers with $0 down and a repayment period lasting anywhere from 3 months to 10 years. Starting January 1, 2012, customers will receive a consolidated bill each month that combines interest, installments, and new water and sewer charges into one bill. You must appear at our central office or any one of our borough offices listed above if you wish to enter into a payment agreement. The property owner should have a valid form of identification to enter into a payment agreement. If the property owner is unable to appear in person, they may send an authorized representative. An authorized representative may be any one of the following:
(Heirs/heiresses to properties must have at least one of the above named documents in order to enter into a payment agreement with NYC DEP. If an heir/heiress does not have the required documentation they may not enter into a payment agreement with NYC DEP. However, they may be able to receive a stay by signing an Agreement for Intestate Property (see link below) which states that the NYC DEP will give the heir/heiress at least one year to acquire the necessary documentation from either a Court authorizing them to conduct business on behalf of the property in question).
The representative must also have valid identification. Property owners’ representatives who wish to make a down payment may do so via mail, online, telephone, or in-person. Also, property owners’ or their representatives, who appear in person to pay, on or before July 12, 2019, may do so with personal checks, money orders, certified checks, and bank/cashier’s checks. Property owners’ or their representatives who plan to pay after May 4, 2020 should appear in person to do so with an official bank/certified check or money order to ensure timely processing and to prevent the sale of the lien(s).
Partial payments or payments in full may be made by any person or entity at any time.
In the event of any failure to pay the full consolidated bill each month, when the payment is due, DEP and the NYC Water Board will undertake all efforts provided under law and equity to recover the full sum due. Customers who default on their payment agreement by missing partial or full monthly payment(s) for a period of 7 or more months may cure the default by:
If the customer fails to either cure the defaulted payment agreement or sign a new payment agreement prior to the City tax lien sale and the delinquent charges are sold, no payment agreement may be entered into for the subsequent charges for the subject property for a period of five (5) years unless they claim and have proof of extenuating circumstances as described below. If the property is subject to another tax lien, the customer may elect (one-time only) to enter into an installment agreement for the amount due that is subject to the subsequent tax lien before the end of the five-year period and without a claim of extenuating circumstances, but they must make at least a 20% down payment. Extenuating circumstances may be defined as:
A “contributing household member” shall mean any person eighteen years of age or older who has lived in the property that is the subject of the installment agreement at least since the execution of the agreement and has paid household expenses since the execution of the agreement in an amount equal to at least fifty percent of each installment amount due under the agreement.
By paying your monthly consolidated bill in full and on time every month, the lien on your property will not be subjected to a City tax lien sale or any further collection action.
For more information, please call (718)-595-7000.
What are the consequences of non-payment?
Eligible customers who do not arrange for payment by May 14, 2020 will have their water and sewer charges sold in the 2020 lien sale.
What happens after a lien is sold
Within 90 days after the lien sale date, the City notifies all property owners by mail of (a) the terms and conditions under which the lien was sold, (b) the name of the new lienholder and (c) the name of the lienholder’s authorized representative whom the property owner should contact. The representative will also contact the property owner to discuss payment arrangements.
Are there any financial assistance programs available?
Multi family homeowners who are on the 2020 90-day lien sale list and are currently under threat of foreclosure or mortgage delinquency may apply for DEP’s Water Debt Assistance Program. If qualified, DEP will remove their property from the upcoming 2020 lien sale and defer the debt until the property is sold, refinanced, or the owner has the ability to pay the debt. Learn more about the Water Debt Assistance Program.
How can I learn more?
For more information about the lien sale, or for specific information about your water and sewer account, call DEP’s customer call center at (718) 595-7000 Monday through Friday between 9am and 6pm.
Lien Sale Extended Hours: Starting on TBD through TBD, all Borough Offices and the Collections Unit will be open from TBD.
In 2007, DEP opened the Office of the Ombudsman, a unit responsible for providing special assistance to all water and sewer account holders undergoing the lien sale process. To contact the Ombudsman, please call (718) 595-6628 or send an email to email@example.com. The Ombudsman will be offering extended hours during the 90-day lien sale period. However, extended hours for the Ombudsman’s office have not been established yet.