Don Clavin

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

False Letter Left Long Island Residents Terrified Of Losing Homes

June 28, 2018 - 1:56 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Some residents were brought to tears after they received a false letter that claimed they were going to lose their home.

The letter stated the property taxes had not been paid and warned, "time is limited and you do need to take immediate action to keep your home."

It was sent to four to five dozen homeowners in the Town of Hempstead, Oyster Bay and North Hempstead by a Nassau County law firm which was trying to get business from the residents, according to Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin.

But Clavin said the owners were either paid up on their property taxes or slightly behind, and nowhere near the point of losing their homes.

He said the letter scared many residents.

"We had a resident who wasn't even late in her taxes. She had received the letter, she came here in tears concerned that she was on the brink of losing her property," he said.

Clavin said a friend of his from Garden City who had put all of her resources toward taking care of her son, who has been diagnosed with cancer, was also concerned that she was about to lose her home.

Clavin said the letter is legal, but it's still wrong.

"Nobody should be trying to drive up business for themselves by scaring taxpayers," Clavin said.

He said residents can fix the problem themselves without representation and that it normally takes about three years to lose your home to unpaid property taxes.

"Don't panic, don't be concerned. There are steps you can do to make sure you're house is not being taken away from you," Clavin said.