Statement from Attorney General James on Tax Lien Reform

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement on reforms to the tax lien sale:

“Over the last few months, I have worked hard with stakeholders and lawmakers to address the problems associated with New York City’s tax lien sale program. I have long believed it is unjust to sell the debt that struggling homeowners owe to the city for water or taxes to private, profit-seeking enterprises. The lien sale program subjects homeowners already facing adverse circumstances to interest rates that compound daily, and thereby jeopardizes their homeownership and risks shifting wealth from individuals and families to private banks and real estate prospectors.

“After a lot of work, I understand that advocates and the city have reached an agreement on legislation that will be more equitable, less prone to abuse, and will chart the city on a course to a new program that will prioritize homeownership, neighborhood preservation, and affordable housing, over maximizing profits for private enterprises. I support this development. Thank you to my partners in government and to the many advocates for finding a way to move the city in the right direction.”