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Erie County: Pandemic restrictions prompt in rem auction postponement

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Tue, Nov 3rd 2020 10:20 am

Limits on attendance force Department of Real Property Tax Services to postpone auction until 2021

The Erie County Department of Real Property Tax Services announced the postponement of the county’s 2020 in rem auction due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. Initially delayed until Dec. 10 due to the pandemic, the department is now postponing the event until 2021 because of restrictions that limit attendance at indoor events to 50 people or fewer.

“We hold the annual foreclosure auction, usually in the fall, on properties that have delinquent taxes overdue for more than two years. We had hoped to be able to hold this year’s auction in December, but with the ongoing pandemic that will not be possible,” said Director of Real Property Tax Services Scott A. Bylewski, Esq. “With attendance at indoor events still limited to 50 people or fewer, we cannot hold a fair auction indoors at this time. Accordingly, we are now hoping to hold the auction sometime in the first half of 2021.”

The department works with property owners to help them get current in their taxes and to prevent the possibility of foreclosure. When property owners have failed to pay their Erie County property taxes for a period of at least two years and have failed to work out payment arrangements with the department, that property can be included in the in rem foreclosure proceeding. Following the delay of the current in rem proceeding due to COVID-19 earlier this year, the department has worked to extend broadened relief to tax-delinquent property owners in foreclosure and facing financial disruption as a direct result of the pandemic.

For more information on the Department of Real Property Tax Services, visit https://www2.erie.gov/ecrpts/.

The Department of Real Property Tax Services prepares and administers the collection of current county taxes in the City of Buffalo and the foreclosure/enforcement of countywide delinquent tax liens. It also maintains up-to-date real property tax maps and assessment data and to maximize the collection of real property tax dollars.

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