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N.Y. County Encourages Credit Cards for Preventing Foreclosures

Phil Hall
Mar 29, 2016
The American public received a financial check-up and the results are somewhat problematic: Repayment on credit card debt during the first quarter was the lowest in eight years

Officials in an upstate New York county will soon allow at-risk homeowners facing possible foreclosure to pay their property tax bills with credit cards.

According to a report in TheDailyStar.com, Otsego County officials are considering this option following a trio of lawsuits filed by property owners whose homes were sold in a 2014 tax auction to the highest bidders—thus resulting in their loss of all equity while the county enjoyed a handsome profit from the sales. New York law enables local governments to collect payments on taxes, fees and fines with credit and debit cards, and this new approach is being touted as helping the county collect taxes with greater efficiency.

Otsego County Treasurer Dan Crowell has selected the Pennsylvania company Muncipay to process credit-card payments, which will include an additional 2.45 percent fee to cover the service.

"Credit cards are a more comprehensively available tool for people who have fallen behind," Crowell said.

There are currently about 160 property owners in the county that have not paid their taxes in three years and could face foreclosure over the next three months if they remain delinquent.

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