New York lawmakers want to strengthen foreclosure protections for homeowners in parts of the state who are facing displacement due to tax liens on their properties. 

The lawmakers, state Sen. Kevin Thomas and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, have introduced a bill that would provide homeowners at risk of foreclosure due to tax liens the same protections as borrowers who are in residential mortgage foreclosure. 

The measure is meant to make it harder to foreclose on homeowners who have faced tax burdens so steep that their property taxes become delinquent. Many of these homeowners are likely older New Yorkers who struggle financially. 

“We should be making it easier for struggling Long Islanders to resolve tax lien foreclosures and get back on their feet – not allowing investors to capitalize off of them," Thomas said. "The current process contributes to the displacement of longtime homeowners, which is often concentrated amongst communities of color and senior citizens already facing high foreclosure rates and targets of predatory lenders. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to protect due process for all homeowners and help New Yorkers stay in their homes.”

The measure would limit the interest charged on taxes that are in delinquency at 16% and create a new "homeowner bill of rights." It would also create new requirements for pre-foreclosure notices and require all taxing jurisdictions to take on the changes. 

The bill is largely modeled off a 2016 measure that provided new protections for homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure.