Several churches and charities in Schenectady, N.Y., are being pursued by a collections agency that holds tax liens sold to it by city officials and is threatening to foreclose on the properties, the Albany Times Union writes.
The threat stems from Schenectady’s adoption in 2006 of a policy requiring nonprofit groups to apply for their property-tax exemptions, something the city had previously handled. The shift created confusion, with some organizations unaware of the new rule until they got their first-ever tax bills the following year.
At the same time, the city was selling liens on numerous properties to a Florida firm called American Tax Funding, which has foreclosure powers if the bills are not paid. Some of the nonprofit groups’ liens were bundled into the deals, with at least nine now owing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars each.
Schenectady officials have asked the collections firm to hold off on foreclosures until the situation can be resolved. The company last year offered to knock $60,000 off the nonprofit groups’ collective $280,000 bill but says the city has offered in return only liens on rundown properties.