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Meaner Tax Liens

The DOB released two local laws that will move buildings with high ECB fines closer to foreclosure. Tax liens and distressed properties were previously limited to owners that defaulted payment.

Local Law 152 changes the definition of “distressed property” to include not just tax liens as a result of DOF fines owed, but “a tax lien or liens that result from an environmental control board judgment against the owner.” The lien or liens to value threshold remains at 25%, as determined by the DOF. Mortgagees typically sell distressed properties under a foreclosure order.

Local Law 153 expands the DOB’s criteria for tax liens that could cause a property to become distressed. Tax liens on the property can now apply to buildings with 20+ units (or any # of units if not class R) where the value of judgments against a building total $60,000 or more. If a occupancy-R building that have between 6-19 units, judgments over $30,000 constitute a tax lien.

There are exceptions to LL153. Qualifying buildings that are in the foreclosure process or have taken an HPD loan will not receive tax liens.