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All overdue water and sewer charges are considered a lien against your property. New York City has the authority to sell this lien to a third party, or lienholder, when the charges have been delinquent for more than a year.

When the City sells the 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. If the property owner does not pay what is owed, the lienholder can begin formal foreclosure proceedings.

Lien sale-eligible customers have until August 1, 2019, to pay their water and sewer bill or enter into a payment agreement, or the lien on their property will be sold.

Call 311 for assistance.

Properties eligible for the lien sale include:

  • Tax Class 1 – Mixed use, two- and three-family homes with $2,000 or more in water and sewer charges outstanding for a year or more.
  • Tax Class 2 - Multi-family homes, including condos, with $1,000 or more in water and sewer charges outstanding for a year or more.
  • All commercial properties with $1,000 or more in water and sewer charges outstanding for a year or more.

Payment agreements may be available to customers whose property is to be included in the 2019 Lien Sale. Down payments can be as little as 0% down, and monthly payments can be spread out to a maximum of 10 years. The annual interest rate is 9% per year.

The 2019 Tax Lien Sale excludes:

  • Disabled Homeowners' Exemption properties (DHE)
  • Single-family properties
  • State Personal Income Tax (PIT) Circuit-Breaker Tax Credit properties
  • Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption properties (SCHE)
  • HDFC Coops and condos (Housing Development Fund Corporation)
  • Accounts with an Active Bankruptcy petition
  • Active Duty military personnel 
  • Veterans
  • Accounts in current payment agreements
  • Accounts in the Water Debt Assistance Program

The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Water Debt Assistance Program can help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. You may prevent the sale of your water and sewer debt in the upcoming 2019 Lien Sale if you meet all of the following requirements: 

  • You own and live in your home.
  • Your property is on the 90-Day Lien Sale Listing.
  • You are currently at least 30 days delinquent in paying your mortgage.
  • You are not currently in bankruptcy.
  • Your home is classified as a:
    • B0-B9: Two family residence
    • C0: Three family residence
    • S0: One family over two stores
    • S1: One family over one store
    • S2: Two family over one store
  • You get water and utility bills in your name at your home address and have a valid New York State ID.
  • All water and sewer charges were issued after you purchased the property.

To determine your eligibility, you must visit any DEP borough office or DEP's Central Office with a valid government-issued photo identification, proof of mortgage delinquency and proof of residency to complete a Water Debt Assistance Customer Participation Form and sign a Program Agreement before August 2, 2019.

Eligibility for this program can only be determined by DEP.

You can get this form:


Learn more about DEP's Water Debt Assistance Program and download Customer Participation form.

In Person

Visit your local DEP borough office to get a copy of this form.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

To ensure the safety of customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency, all of DEP's customer service borough offices are closed until further notice.

Learn more about DEP's COVID-19 response.

DEP Borough Offices

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Borough Offices are open Monday - Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.

1250 Broadway, 16th Floor
(Between 5th Avenue and Broadway)
1932 Arthur Avenue, 6th Floor
(Between East 176th Street and East Tremont Avenue)
250 Livingston Street, 8th Floor
(Between Elm Place and Bond Street)
96-05 Horace Harding Expressway, 1st Floor
(Between Junction Boulevard and Pedestrian Overpass)
Staten Island
60 Bay Street, 6th Floor
(Between Slosson Terrace and Bend)