Frequently Asked Questions
Nassau County Tax Lien Sale



BASICS

What is a tax lien?
A tax lien represents a first lien against real estate (not the owner). The tax lien sale is NOT a sale of real property.

It is your sole responsibility to research any tax lien certificates you intend to buy. You can see additional property and tax information for any item by clicking on the Account or Parcel Number on the auction web site. Research any advertised items carefully before submitting bids. There are potential risks associated with tax lien purchases. Each bid submitted represents a binding offer to purchase a lien from the Treasurer, and purchases in the tax lien sale are final.

When does the tax lien sale take place?
The sale takes place the third Tuesday of February each year. Registration and submission on BidNassauCountyNY.com begins in late January or early February.

In late January or early February:
  • Items for sale are advertised (in a local newspaper and on the auction web site)
  • Bidders can begin to register for the sale (submit W-9 forms, pay deposits, get Tax Sale Buyer Number)
  • Bidders can begin to submit bids
On the day of the sale (the third Tuesday in February):
  • Bid submission ends
  • Sale results are generated
For exact dates, please see the Auction Schedule. All activity related to registration, bidding, and lien awards takes place on the auction web site.

How do I register for the sale?
All bidders who wish to participate in the sale must perform the following steps on the auction web site:

Please note: If you have participated in previous Nassau County lien sales, you have a Tax Sale Buyer number and must continue using that number. If you plan to register under a different entity, follow the procedure below and a new Tax Sale Buyer Number will be assigned.
  • Obtain a User ID and password for the web site by clicking the "Register" link on the home page and completing the required form
  • Submit an IRS W-9 form
  • Agree to the Terms of Sale
  • Submit the Conflict of Interest Form
  • Submit a registration fee (paid online by ACH)
  • Set a budget amount (the most you are willing to spend in the sale)
  • Pay a deposit of at least 10% of your anticipated purchases
  • A minimum deposit of $5,000 is required to participate in sale
Please note that you can only submit or modify your W-9 during the registration period from late January through early February. You will be assigned a Tax Sale Buyer Number after you successfully submit your W-9.

How do I pay my deposit?
Deposits are accepted by ACH initiated on the auction web site and must be made before bids can be submitted.

How do I submit my bids?
You can submit your bids on the Bid page individually, as a group (using a saved list), or via a file upload. You must complete all the registration steps before you are allowed to submit bids.

How do I pay for lien purchases?
Payment must be made by ACH using the Pay for Certificates button on the My Account page. The button is activated once the last batch in the sale closes and any final data updates are complete. The deadline to pay is listed on the Auction Schedule. If you fail to pay by the deadline, you will forfeit your security deposit and lien purchases.

What is an ACH debit?
An ACH debit is an electronic payment from your checking or savings account. When you enter your bank account information and submit payment on the auction web site, you are authorizing the treasurer to debit your account for the amount you indicated. All payments are sent for processing immediately. Additional information is available on the page where you authorize payment.

Funds must be drawn from a U.S. financial institution. Some types of money market, brokerage, and/or trust accounts cannot accept ACH debits. Please check with your financial institution prior to initiating payment on the web site.



THE TAX LIEN SALE top

What is the auction process?
Liens are sold in the order advertised. Bidding begins at 10 percent (the maximum rate) and bids down in decrements of one-quarter of one percent. Each lien is sold individually to the bidder offering the lowest interest rate. In the case of a tie at the lowest rate, the winner will be selected using a random number generator in the auction software. Items that receive no bids are "struck" to the county and become county-held liens. Bids are accepted at 0.00% (zero), but liens awarded at this rate WILL NOT accrue interest. Bids at 0.00% will not be treated as Proxy bids even in sales using Proxy Bidding.

Is there a cost to participate?
The registration fee is $125.00. This fee is paid to the Treasurer through the auction web site and is non-refundable. Successful buyers will also be required to pay a $20.00 fee per lien purchased in conjunction with payment for the balance due at the end of the sale.

What is a batch?
A batch is a subgroup of the list of auction items. The list is divided into batches to make the bidding process more efficient, and enable participants to manage their bids and budgets.

Do I have to bid on all the items in a batch?
No. Each tax lien in each batch is auctioned independently of every other tax lien.

What happens to my security deposit if I don't win any liens?
The Treasurer will issue refunds after the close of the sale. Refunds of ACH payments will be made electronically to the account you used to submit the deposit. You will receive an email confirmation when the refund is initiated.

How do I receive my tax lien certificates?
The Treasurer will mail paper certificates to buyers after they pay the auction fees and balances due for their purchases.

How can I get a list of my liens after the sale?
To review and download a list of your winning bids:
  1. Log in to the auction web site
  2. Enter the relevant tax lien sale
  3. Click on the Results tab
  4. Select "All Certificates" from the Certificate Lists menu
  5. Select "All Batches" from the Batches menu
  6. Select your buyer number from the Bidder menu
  7. Select "Winning Bids" from the Results menu
  8. Check "Hide Removed Certificates"
After completing these steps you will see a list of your purchases. You can download the list in Excel, or comma-separated values format (CSV), by clicking the icons on the right-hand side of the page above the list of liens.



USING THE AUCTION SITE top

I forgot my password. What should I do?
Click "Forgot your password?" on the Sign In page. Answer a security question and the system will send you an email with a link to reset your password.

I forgot my User ID. What should I do?
Click "Forgot your User ID?" on the Sign In page. You will be prompted to enter the email address associated with your ID. The system will send you an email to that address with your User ID.

What is Proxy Bidding?
In a live auction, bidders lower their bids by quarter percent decrements until they are the only bidder left or until the interest goes below their acceptable minimum level, at which point they would drop out.

Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders enter the minimum interest rate that they are willing to accept for each lien. The auction system acts as an electronic agent, submitting bids on behalf of each bidder until their minimum bid rate is met. Using the proxy system the electronic agent keeps lowering your bid by quarter percent decrements until you are either the only bidder left, (in which case you get the lien at a quarter percent lower than the previous bid) or until you reach the floor you have set. Note:
  • Zero percent bids (0%) will not be treated as proxy bids. They will be awarded at zero.
  • If you are the only bidder on a given lien and your minimum rate is greater than zero percent, the electronic agent will submit a bid of 10 percent on your behalf.
  • In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards the lien to one of the tied bidders through a random selection process using a random number generator.
  • In no case will a bidder be awarded a lien at a rate lower than their specified minimum acceptable rate.
  • Liens that receive no bids after all batches are closed will be struck to the County at 10 percent.
Does my budget amount limit the number of bids I can submit?
No. You can submit an unlimited number of bids regardless of your budget amount. However, you will not be awarded an item if the award would cause the value of your purchases to exceed your budget amount.

Is my budget amount automatically 10x my deposit amount?
No. The maximum allowable budget you can set is 10x your deposit amount, but you must enter your budget amount. You can modify your budget any time before the end of the sale, as long as you have at least $5,000 or 10% of the amount submitted as your deposit.

Where can I find sale results?
You can see results by logging in to the auction web site, entering the auction, and clicking on the Results tab in the upper right-hand part of the page. Clicking on the winning bid for any lien will display a list of all submitted bids in a new window.

What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
In order to use the auction web site you need an Internet connection and modern web browser with JavaScript and cookies enabled.

Many people choose one of the following freely available browsers:
If I have a question about how to use the web site, whom do I contact?
Contact Grant Street Group by email at [email protected], or by phone at (800) 410-3445, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST on business days.



TAX LIENS top

How do I receive redemption funds?
All liens purchased at the 2018 sale may be redeemed by the property owner or interested party at any time prior to either the Treasurer's issuance of a tax lien or the commencement of a foreclosure action in court. Neither of these events can occur before February 20, 2020 at the earliest. All redemption payments will be charged the total interest rate due at the time of payment. The County Treasurer will pay you the appropriate interest for your lien paid by the property owner or interested party. The interest collected will be in accordance with the provisions of the Nassau County Administrative Code which call for the same rate as bid at sale for the first twenty-four month period calculated at six-month intervals beginning February 20, 2018. In cases of one-year hardship extensions, interest on the lien for the 25th month through the 36th month will be at five percent per six-month period of time.

Can I pay the taxes and own the property?
NO. You have not purchased the property. A tax lien does not convey any property rights or ownership to the lien holder.

Are tax liens transferable?
Certificates can be transferred by completing an Assignment Form, W-9, Conflict of Interest form and paying the applicable fees through the Treasurer's office.

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