311 for Cities: Addressing IRS Liens on Abandoned Properties

How To, Guide, or Manual National Resource Network July 2, 2014 Community Development + Housing

In 2014, a city leader submitted a question to the Network through its “311 for Cities” feature about how to take control of, and clean up, five abandoned properties (once owned by a now defunct non-profit) with IRS liens. The Network reached out to our partners at the Center for Community Progress (CCP), who provided the attached response, highlighting three different tactics for moving properties into foreclosure.

According to CCP, the first thing to look for when trying to address an abandoned property with an IRS lien is an opportunity for the local government to do a property tax enforcement proceeding, because property taxes take precedent over the federal tax lien and force a foreclosure. A second strategy would be to explore housing and building code enforcement liens. Lastly, CCP would recommend  checking to see if there are any mortgage liens on the property from a bank, foundation, etc. (i.e. a mortgage of record) and asking to transfer the mortgage to the city so that they can foreclose on the properties.

311 for Cities launched with the Network in 2014 and – at its peak – was available to more than 600 cities around the country. Local government staff in these communities could submit a question on any challenge they were facing and the Network team would develop a written response highlighting recent research, relevant case studies and best practices. This is one of those responses. The Network no longer offers 311 for Cities, but please contact us at info@nationalresourcenetwork.org if you think we can be of help to your community.

311 for Cities: Addressing IRS Liens on Abandoned Properties