Do Not Ignore: Seek Help If You Receive A Foreclosure Notice

Every year, the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging learns about older adults in foreclosure who are not taking advantage of all the tax exemptions that they are eligible for. In addition, we have found that other programs like HEAP, health Insurance counseling, and SNAP are not being utilized which could save money on other bills.

If you receive a foreclosure notice this month, please call NY Connects today to find out how we can help you in this situation. The longer you wait to call, the less options that are available to assist you. Chautauqua County OFA and Real Property are partnering with other county departments several community agencies including legal aide organizations and COI to try to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. But we need your help.

Sorting through the people on the foreclosure list to get to the ones who need help is a daunting task. There are thousands of properties on the foreclosure list each year. Even when we sort for residential properties with one owner there are still over 500 properties. Because tax roles don’t have any personal information, we have to contact each one to see who needs our help. If you get a foreclosure notice, don’t ignore it, call NY Connects immediately to see what we can do to help. Tax information is public record so concerned family members or caregivers can also call NY Connects to check if property taxes are current.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded property owners age 65 and over who are applying or reapplying to receive the Enhanced STAR exemption in 2019 that they must now enroll in the Income Verification Program.

Those already enrolled in the IVP don’t need to take any action to continue receiving their Enhanced STAR exemption checks. New IVP enrollees will likewise automatically receive the exemption each year they’re eligible.

In the first year of enrollment, the assessor will verify eligibility based on the income information provided by the homeowner. In subsequent years, the New York State Tax Department will automatically verify eligibility. As a result, homeowners will no longer need to renew the exemption or share income tax returns with their local assessor’s office.

“This change applies only to seniors 65 or older applying for the Enhanced STAR exemption or those who have the exemption included in their property tax bills,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “This doesn’t affect those who receive a check for this exemption because we already verify their income eligibility.”

NEXT STEPS

If you already receive the Enhanced STAR exemption but aren’t yet enrolled in the IVP, you must renew your application for the Enhanced STAR exemption and enroll in the IVP. Submit the following forms to your assessor:

¯ Form RP-425-Rnw, Renewal Application for Enhanced STAR Exemption for the 2019-2020 School Year; and

¯ Form RP-425-IVP, Supplement for Forms RP-425-E and RP-425-Rnw

If you receive the Basic STAR exemption now and are eligible for Enhanced STAR in 2019, you must apply for it and enroll in the IVP. Submit the following forms to your assessor:

¯ Form RP-425-E, Application for Enhanced STAR Exemption for the 2019-2020 School Year; and

¯ Form RP-425-IVP, Supplement to Forms RP-425-E and RP-425-Rnw

If you’re a new homeowner or first-time STAR applicant, you need to register for the STAR credit with the Tax Department instead of applying for the exemption. You can register here: www.tax.ny.gov/STAR. The deadline for applications is March 1 in most communities, but the date varies in some locations. Contact your local assessor for the deadline in your area.

SENIOR CITIZENS EXEMPTION

If you’re also receiving the senior citizens exemption, you’ll still need to annually renew that benefit with your assessor. To renew your application, file Form RP-467-Rnw with your assessor.

In the past, seniors who qualified for the senior citizens exemption were automatically granted the Enhanced STAR exemption. Beginning in 2019, you must apply separately for both exemptions. Follow the instructions above to apply or renew the Enhanced STAR exemption.

To apply or renew the senior citizens exemption, file the appropriate form with your assessor:

first-time applicants must file Form RP-467, Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens

renewal applicants must file Form RP-467-Rnw, Renewal Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens

For more information contact NY Connects at 753-4582, 661-7582 or 363-4582. We are here to help you.

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