Monroe County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Additional provisions regarding taxation — See Ch. 357.
Tax Act — See Ch. 673.
Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known as the Monroe county in rem tax foreclosure act.
§ 1 
Definitions. When used in this act, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) 
"Tax lien" means any unpaid tax, assessment, or other charges imposed on real property by the county of Monroe, which is a lien on real property whether the same be evidenced by a "transfer of tax lien", a "tax sale certificate", a "tax transcript", a "certificate of tax sale" and whether evidenced by a written instrument, or a bookkeeping entry on the sales book of the county of Monroe by virtue of section twenty-seven of the Monroe county tax act.
(2) 
"Monroe county tax act" means and refers to an act relating to assessment, levy and collection of taxes in Monroe county enacted by chapter four hundred forty-one of the laws of nineteen hundred thirty-eight and all amendments thereto, including any amendment or additions made at the same session of the legislature enacting the within proposed in rem procedure.
(3) 
"Monroe county tax foreclosure act" means and refers to an act authorizing foreclosure of tax liens in the county of Monroe, as in an action to foreclose a mortgage enacted by chapter four hundred forty of the laws of nineteen hundred thirty-eight and all amendments thereto, including any amendment or additions made at the same session of the legislature enacting the within proposed in rem procedure.
(4) 
"County" means the county of Monroe.
(5) 
"Court" means the county court of Monroe county.
(6) 
"Tax foreclosure attorney" shall mean special counsel now engaged by county of Monroe or hereinafter so engaged to conduct actions to foreclose Monroe county tax liens whether by action in rem or as in an action to foreclose a mortgage, or by any existing statutory provision, and in the absence of such duly engaged counsel, such term shall include and authorize for all purposes of this act the Monroe county attorney or such other person or officer directed by law to act as such county attorney.
(7) 
"Director of finance" as used herein shall indicate the chief fiscal officer of the county of Monroe and for purposes of this act shall include any deputy director of finance of the county of Monroe, the county treasurer of the county of Monroe, the deputy county treasurer of the county of Monroe, or any other person or officer directed by law to act and perform the duties of such director of finance for the purposes herein required.
(8) 
"Legislature" means the legislature of the county of Monroe.
(9) 
"Tax district" means, as used herein, the county of Monroe, all villages within the county of Monroe and the city of Rochester.
(10) 
"Office of director of finance" or such similar terminology, as used herein, shall mean the chief fiscal office of the county of Monroe and shall also indicate the office of the Monroe county treasurer.
(11) 
"Eligible owner" means any person having any title in a parcel for which an agreement is to be made pursuant to section six (c) of this act.
§ 2 
Applicability of procedure in rem. (1) The provisions of this act shall be applicable only to tax liens owned by the county of Monroe.
(2) 
The provisions of this act shall not limit or be limited by any existing remedy or procedure for the enforcement or foreclosure of tax liens, provided for by the Monroe county tax foreclosure act or by the Monroe county tax act, or by any other law, but the remedy provided herein for foreclosure by action in rem shall be in addition to such remedy or procedure and to any other remedies or procedures provided by any general or special or local law.
(3) 
The provisions of this act shall not affect pending actions or proceedings, provided, however, that any pending action or proceeding for the enforcement or foreclosure of tax liens may be discontinued and a new action may be instituted pursuant to the provisions of this act, in respect to any such tax lien.
§ 3 
Jurisdiction. The county court of Monroe county shall have jurisdiction of actions authorized by this act.
§ 4 
Additional foreclosure remedy by action in rem. The county is hereby vested with the power to foreclose tax liens held and owned by it against land lying within such county pursuant to the provisions of this act. Whenever it shall appear that the county owns a tax lien, which has been due and unpaid for a period of at least one year from the date on which the tax sale certificate was sold, then the lien of such tax or tax sale certificate and the lien of any other such tax or tax sale certificate owned by the county which has been due and unpaid for any period less than one year from the date each such tax lien or tax sale certificate was sold may be summarily foreclosed by the county in the manner provided by the in rem provisions of this act, as an additional remedy, and notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special, or local law. Ownership by the county of such tax lien, or of such tax sale certificate, or of a transfer of such tax lien, or of any other instrument, or bookkeeping entry evidencing transfer of such tax lien, or certificate of sale, to it shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the tax, assessment, or other legal charges represented thereby have not been paid to the county, or assigned by it.
§ 5 
Certification of tax delinquency. The director of finance shall from time to time file in the office of the clerk of the legislature a list of parcels of property in such county, numbered serially, affected by unpaid tax liens held and owned by the county which on the date of such filing shall have been unpaid for a period of at least one year or more after the date on which the tax lien or tax sale certificate was sold; and shall further furnish to the legislature in such listing all other transcripts of tax delinquencies and other abstracts from the records in his office of such delinquencies affecting the parcels enumerated. The parcels of delinquent real property shown on such list or lists shall be segregated, grouped and classified by city, town or village, so that all real property affected by such list or lists and lying within each such city, town or village, shall be listed under the respective city, town or village. A listing under towns, which includes a village or villages therein, shall be deemed compliance with this provision. The inadvertent failure of the director of finance to include all the parcels in such list, or where more than one list is filed, all such parcels in any of the listings for the designated village, town or city shall not affect the validity of any proceedings brought hereunder. The legislature may thereupon direct that the in rem provisions of this act shall be applied to all or any part of such real property and the delinquent taxes set forth in such transcripts, as listed, and may direct the inclusion of other tax delinquency and tax delinquent property subject to such in rem foreclosure. Such legislature may direct foreclosure, as herein required, by separate and individual action as to each such list against all delinquent parcels separately listed and segregated within any one or more towns or villages of the county or within the city of Rochester, as such lists are prepared pursuant to the provisions hereof; and shall not approve for exclusion from any such separate or segregated list or lists any delinquent parcel therein without the accompanying written request of the director of finance stating the reason therefor. No parcel shall be excluded from any such list for any reason other than the following: (a) that a question has been raised by a person having an interest in such parcel as to the validity of the tax lien affecting such parcel, or (b) that the tax district has instituted proceedings to enforce such tax lien by other existing statutory method or is in the process of instituting such proceedings and it satisfactorily appears that such action can be more acceptably accomplished and completed, for good and sufficient legal reasons, by foreclosure under other statutory method than by in rem proceedings, or (c) that an agreement has been duly made and executed between an eligible owner and the county, by the director of finance, and filed with the director of finance for the payment of such tax liens in installments, on the following terms and conditions: (1) Eligible Owner. An agreement can only be entered into by an eligible owner and only if such owner does not have any title in any other parcel located within the county which is subject to taxation against which there is an unpaid tax lien unless that parcel is either already subject to an agreement, which is not in default, authorized by this section or will be made subject to such an agreement simultaneously with the making of the agreement which is to serve as the basis for an exclusion pursuant to this section, (2) Tax Delinquency. An agreement can be entered into between an eligible owner and the county at any time after the last day of any sale of tax sale certificates for unpaid taxes as provided by the Monroe county tax act, (3) Term. The term of the agreement cannot exceed eighteen months from the date of the agreement, (4) Payments. Payments shall be made on a monthly basis unless the eligible owner and the county agree to quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments instead of monthly payments, but in no event shall payments be made more frequently than monthly, (5) Prepayments. Prepayments can only be made with the consent of the county and only in an amount equal to at least one installment sum, or any multiple thereof, and only at the time an installment payment is due, (6) Interest. Interest shall be computed on all unpaid tax liens at the rate of one and one-half per centum for each month and/or fraction thereof through the last installment payment date, (7) Downpayment. A downpayment in an amount equal to at least twenty-five per centum of the combined sum of the unpaid tax liens and interest, as calculated in accordance with subparagraph (6) hereof, shall be paid on the date of the agreement, (8) Balance. The balance due under the agreement, after deducting the downpayment from the total combined sum of the unpaid tax liens and interest, shall be paid, as nearly as possible, in equal amounts on each payment due date. This amount shall be determined by dividing the balance by the number of required installment payments, (9) Payment Due Date. Each installment shall be due on the same calendar date as the agreement date, (10) Late Charge. If the county has not received the full amount of any installment payment by the end of fifteen calendar days after the payment due date, the eligible owner shall pay a late charge to the county. The amount of the late charge shall be five percent of the overdue payment of principal and interest, (11) Default. The eligible owner shall be deemed to be in default of the agreement upon the happening of any of the following events: (a) any installment payment is not made within thirty days from the payment due date; (b) any current county tax, assessment, fee or charge is not paid when due, that is, the last date on which the net bill can be paid without interest and/or penalty; (c) the subject parcel is sold and the new owner does not obtain an assignment of the agreement; (d) the eligible owner is in default of another agreement made and executed pursuant to this section. In the event of a default, the county shall have the right to require the entire unpaid balance, with interest and late charges, to be paid in full. The county shall also have the right to elect to institute either in personam or in rem tax foreclosure proceedings solely on the basis of the remaining unpaid tax liens, (12) Current Taxes, Assessments, Fees and Charges. The eligible owner shall pay when due all current taxes, assessments, fees and charges of the county which become due during the term of the agreement, (13) Sale of Parcel. If the subject parcel is sold or otherwise conveyed during the term of the agreement, the balance due under the agreement shall be immediately due and payable unless the new owner applies for and obtains an assignment of the agreement from the county, (14) Assignment of Agreement. The agreement shall not be assignable unless the county approves such assignment in writing. The county shall have the right to refuse approval of the assignment for any reason, (15) Non-Waiver. Even if, at a time when the eligible owner is in default, the county does not either require the eligible owner to immediately pay in full as described in subparagraph (11) hereof, or elect to institute tax foreclosure proceedings, the county shall still have the right to do so if, at a later time, the eligible owner is in default again, (16) Other Terms and Conditions. The director of finance is authorized to make any other terms and conditions, as he deems appropriate, consistent with the provisions of this section, or (d) that such tax lien affects a parcel which is either a known or suspected hazardous waste site. The approval of such exclusion by the legislature shall be by resolution recorded in its minutes stating the reasons therefor. Such request for exclusion of any parcel or parcels shall be by separate listing and in the event any such request is denied, such parcel shall then be added to the original list from which it was omitted and at the end thereof so as not to interrupt the continuity of serial numbering. The legislature shall direct the tax foreclosure attorney in said county to conduct and consummate any foreclosure proceedings in rem.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This subsection was amended by Chapter 499 of the Laws of 1990 and Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1992.
§ 6 
Preparation of list of tax delinquent properties. The tax foreclosure attorney shall prepare a list or lists to be known and designated in each instance, "A list of delinquent taxes and properties", and the parcels of real property affected thereby and set forth therein shall be numbered serially. Such list or lists shall each bear the following caption which shall be regarded as the title of the in rem foreclosure hereunder:
"State of New York, County Court, Monroe County. In the matter of the foreclosure of tax liens by the County of Monroe in the .................. (insert in blank space the name or names of the city, town or village described in such list or lists) pursuant to the provisions of the Monroe county in rem foreclosure act and the resolution of the legislature designated as Resolution No. ......... of ........" As to each parcel of real property affected, each such list shall contain:
(1) 
A brief description thereof sufficient to identify the same. Such description shall be deemed sufficient when it states, as to subdivision lots, the subdivision lot number and the map reference of the subdivision as filed in the county clerk's office; as to all other parcels the description as it appears on the latest tax roll in the office of the director of finance. The account number, if available, shall be indicated. If such lot or parcel is assessed upon an approved tax map, it shall be identified and described as indicated thereon.
(2) 
The name of the last owner as the same appears on the latest tax roll in the office of the director of finance, or a statement that the owner is unknown, if such be the case.
(3) 
A statement of the amount of each tax lien or tax sale certificate unpaid and owned by the county for a period of at least one year or more from the date on which such tax lien or tax sale certificate was sold, including tax liens or liens of tax sale certificates which shall have been due and unpaid for any period less than one year from the date on which each said tax lien or tax sale certificate was sold, together with the account number, if any, year of sale of each such tax lien or tax sale certificate and the date or dates from which and the rate or rates at which interest and penalties are to be added as to each such tax lien or tax sale certificate.
(4) 
The name and address of any owner or assignee other than the county of any unredeemed tax lien certificate acquired upon the annual sale of lands for unpaid taxes or by assignment thereafter. Such owner or assignee shall be known as a claimant.
§ 7 
Verification of list and filing thereof. Each such list shall be verified by the affidavit of the director of finance and shall thereupon be filed in the county clerk's office by the tax foreclosure attorney. Certified copies of such lists shall be filed by the said tax foreclosure attorney in the office of the director of finance and in the office of each tax collector, receiver of taxes and assessments, or treasurer or other tax collection agency of the respective town, city or village in which such listed real property is located.
§ 8 
Effect of filing list. The filing of such list of delinquent taxes and properties in the office of the county clerk shall constitute and have the same force and effect and shall be deemed to give the same notice of such foreclosure proceeding as the filing and recording in said clerk's office of an individual notice of pendency of a tax foreclosure action and of the filing in the county court of a separate and individual complaint by the county against the real property therein described, to enforce the payment of the delinquent taxes, assessments, or other lawful charges which have accumulated and have become liens against such property and which remain unpaid on said tax rolls in the office of the director of finance.
§ 9 
Withdrawal of parcels from foreclosure. The director of finance may at any time prior to final judgment withdraw any parcel from a proceeding under this act with the approval by resolution of the legislature stating the reason therefor. No parcel shall be withdrawn from such proceeding excepting for one of the reasons set forth in section six hereof as a reason for exclusion of a parcel from a list of delinquent taxes and properties to be filed. Upon such withdrawal the tax liens and liens of tax sale certificates on or of any parcel so withdrawn shall be and remain the same as if no action had been instituted and the director of finance shall issue a certificate of withdrawal which shall be filed with the county clerk who shall note the word "withdrawn" and the date of such filing opposite the description of such parcel on the list. Such certificate may include one or more parcels appearing on any list. Such certificate shall operate to cancel the notice of pendency of action with respect to any and every such parcel.
§ 10 
Duty of the county clerk. The county clerk shall index such list in a separate book kept for that purpose to the name of the county of Monroe and the filing and indexing of such list shall constitute due filing, recording and indexing of the notice of pendency as to each parcel of property notwithstanding and in lieu of the provisions of any other law.
§ 11 
Redemption or answer. Each person or any tax district described, other than the county of Monroe, having any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon any parcel described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties may redeem such parcel either by paying or, if such person qualifies, by entering into an agreement, pursuant to section six(c) of this act, which, notwithstanding section ten of this act, need not be approved by resolution of the legislature, to pay the amount of all unpaid tax liens thereon, with interest and penalties, and the costs, allowances and disbursements of the action, together, with the expenses of the proceedings to sell, if any, allocated against such parcel, before the expiration of the redemption period mentioned in the notice published pursuant to section fourteen of this act; or he may serve a duly verified answer upon the tax foreclosure attorney, setting forth in detail the nature and amount of his interest and any defense or objections to the foreclosure of the tax lien. The caption of such answer shall contain a reference to the serial number, or numbers of the parcels involved. Such answer must be filed in the office of the county clerk and served on the tax foreclosure attorney within twenty days after the date mentioned in the notice, published pursuant to section fourteen of this act, as the last day for redemption. In the event of failure to redeem or answer by any person having the right to redeem or answer, such person shall be in default and shall be barred forever and foreclosed of all his right, title, and interest in, and lien upon the parcels described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties and a judgment in foreclosure shall be taken as herein provided.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: This section was amended by Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1992.
§ 12 
Redemption and filing certificate thereof. Upon redemption, as permitted by this act, the person redeeming shall be entitled to a certificate thereof from the director of finance, describing the property in the same manner as it is described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties. Upon the filing of such certificate of redemption with the county clerk, the county clerk shall note either the word "redeemed" or the words "redeemed by agreement" and the date of such filing opposite the description of said parcel on such list. Such notation shall operate to cancel the notice of pendency with respect to such parcel.
§ 13 
Public notice of foreclosure. Upon the filing of such list in the office of the county clerk, the tax foreclosure attorney shall forthwith cause a notice of foreclosure to be published at least once a week for six successive weeks in two newspapers designated by him and published within the county of Monroe. Such notice shall be in substantially the following form:
"State of New York, County Court, County of Monroe Notice of Foreclosure of Tax Liens by the County of Monroe in the .............................. by Action in Rem. (Insert in blank space the name or names of the city, town or village described in such list or lists) Foreclosure authorized by Resolution No. .......... of 20..... List of tax delinquent properties referred to herein was filed in Monroe County Clerk's Office on the .......... day if ...................., 20.....
Please take notice that on the .......... day of ...................., the county of Monroe pursuant to law filed with the clerk of Monroe county a list of parcels of property affected by unpaid tax liens held and owned by said county of Monroe which on such date had been due and unpaid for a period of at least one year after the date on which such unpaid tax liens were sold. Such list contains as to each such parcel (a) a brief description of the property affected by each tax lien, (b) the name of the last known owner of such property as the same appears on the latest tax roll in the hands of the director of finance, or a statement that the owner is unknown if such be the case, (c) a statement of such tax liens upon such parcel of property including such tax lien and tax sale certificates owned by the county of Monroe which shall have been due for less than one year after the date on which such unpaid tax liens were sold, together with the date or dates from which and the rate or rates at which interest and penalties shall be computed as to each such tax lien or tax sale certificate, (d) the name and address of any owner or assignee other than the county of Monroe of any unredeemed tax lien certificate, described as a claimant.
All persons having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties are hereby notified that the filing of such list constitutes the commencement by said county of Monroe of an action in the county court of Monroe county to foreclose the tax liens therein described by a foreclosure proceeding in rem and that such list constitutes a notice of the pendency of action and a complaint by the said county of Monroe against each piece or parcel of land therein described to enforce the payment of such tax liens. Such action is brought against the real property only and is to foreclose the tax liens described in such list.
No personal judgment shall be entered herein against any owner for such taxes, assessments or other legal charges or any part thereof.
This notice is directed to all persons having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties and such persons are hereby notified further that a certified copy of such list of delinquent taxes and properties has been filed in the office of the director of finance and in the respective offices of each tax collector, receiver of taxes and assessments, or treasurer or other tax collection agency of the respective town, city or village in which such listed real property is located, and will remain open for public inspection up to and including the .......... day of ...................., (here insert a date at least seven weeks from the date of the first publication of this notice) which date is hereby fixed as the last day for redemption.
And take further notice that any person having or claiming to have an interest in any such parcel of real property and the legal right thereto may on or before said date redeem the same either by paying to the said director of finance or, if such person qualifies, by entering into an agreement with the said director of finance, pursuant to paragraph (c) of section six of this act, to pay the amount of all such unpaid tax liens thereon and in addition thereto all interest and penalties which are a lien against such real property computed to and including the date of redemption and the costs, allowances and disbursements of the action -- together with the expenses of the proceedings to sell, if any, allocated against such parcel.[3]
In the event that such taxes are paid by a person holding a lien of record against such property, the person so paying shall be entitled to have the tax liens affected thereby satisfied of record or to receive an assignment of such tax liens evidenced by a proper written instrument.
Any person having any right, title or interest in or lien upon any parcel of real property described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties may serve a duly verified answer upon the tax foreclosure attorney setting forth in detail the nature and amount of his interest and any defense or objection to the foreclosure. Such answer must be filed in the office of the county clerk and served upon the tax foreclosure attorney within twenty days after the date above mentioned as the last day for redemption. In the event of failure to redeem or answer by any person having the right to redeem or answer, such person shall be forever barred and foreclosed of all his right, title, interest and equity of redemption in and to the parcel of real property described in such list of delinquent taxes and properties and a judgment in foreclosure may be taken by default.
Take further notice that the ownership by the county of the tax liens and tax sale certificates set forth on such list of delinquent taxes and properties is conclusive evidence of the fact that the taxes, assessments or other legal charges represented thereby have not been paid to the county of assigned by it.
Please be further advised that it is also the purpose of this notice to determine if any person having any right, title or interest in or lien upon any parcel of real property described in the aforesaid list of delinquent taxes and properties is in the military service of the United States, or of the state of New York; and request is made that any knowledge or information relating to such military service and interest, if any, be transmitted to the undersigned tax foreclosure attorney for the county of Monroe.
Director of Finance
County Attorney
Tax Foreclosure Attorney
for County of Monroe,
Counsel (Address).”
[3]
Editor's Note: This paragraph was amended by Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1992.
§ 14 
Posting copy of public notice of foreclosure. On or before the date of the first publication of the notice above set forth, a copy of such notice shall be posted in the office of the director of finance and in the County Office Building and also in three other conspicuous places within each city, town or village in which the real property affected by such proceeding is situated.
§ 15 
Notice to owner, mortgagee, lienor or claimant. (1) At any time after the enactment of this act, any owner of real property in the county, any mortgagee thereof or any person having a lien or claim thereon or interest therein may file with the director of finance a notice stating his name, residence, and post office address and a description of the parcel or parcels in which such person has an interest, which notice shall continue in effect for the purposes of this section for a period of five years, unless earlier cancelled by such person.
(2) 
After the completion and filing of the list or lists of delinquent taxes and properties, as herein provided, and after posting of the public notice of foreclosure described in sections fourteen and fifteen hereof, the tax foreclosure attorney shall mail to each such person at the address given and filed pursuant to subdivision (1) above, or in the absence of such filing at the last known address of such owner, lienor, mortgagee or claimant as the same appears upon the current tax rolls or the records in the office of the director of finance, a copy of such public notice of foreclosure. There shall be inserted with or annexed to such notice a statement or notice substantially as follows:
"To the party to whom the enclosed notice is addressed:
You are the presumptive owner, mortgagee, lienor or claimant of an interest in one or more of the parcels mentioned and described in the list or lists referred to in the enclosed public notice of foreclosure.
Unless the taxes or assessments or other legal charges are paid, or answer is interposed, as provided by statute, such premises will be sold at tax foreclosure sale as provided by the in rem provisions of the Monroe county tax foreclosure act.
If you are in the military service of the United States, or of the State of New York, or if anyone else within your knowledge or information is in such military service, and you are, or he is, the owner of any right, title or interest or lien upon any parcel of real property described in the aforesaid list or lists, will you kindly advise the undersigned Tax Foreclosure Attorney for the County of Monroe.
Director of Finance
County Attorney
Tax Foreclosure Attorney
for County of Monroe,
Counsel (Address).”
(3) 
If the name or address of such owner, mortgagee, lienor or claimant does not in any manner indicated herein appear upon the current tax rolls or in the records of the office of the director of finance, such mailing shall be dispensed with and an affidavit establishing the absence of such name or address shall be made and filed in the office of the county clerk as a part of the judgment roll in any such in rem foreclosure action.
(4) 
The failure of the tax foreclosure attorney to mail such notices as provided herein shall not affect the validity of any proceeding brought pursuant to the in rem provisions of this act.
§ 16 
(Reserved)[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Former § 17, Filing of affidavits, was repealed by Ch. 307 of the Laws of 2009.
§ 17 
Trial of issues. If a duly verified answer be served upon the tax foreclosure attorney within the period mentioned in the notice published pursuant to section fourteen of this act, the court shall summarily hear and determine the issues raised by the complaint and answer in the same manner and under the same rules as it hears and determines other actions, except as herein otherwise provided.
§ 18 
Severance and preference for trial of issues. Whenever an answer is interposed, as herein provided, the answering defendant shall have an absolute right to a severance of the action as to any parcel or parcels of land in which he has pleaded an interest, upon written demand therefor filed with or made a part of his answer. The county may, as of right, procure a severance as to such parcel or parcels upon order with or without notice to the answering defendant. Any action brought pursuant to the in rem provisions of this act shall be given preference over all other causes and actions.
§ 19 
Presumption of validity; burden of proof. It shall not be necessary for the county to plead or prove any act, proceeding, notice or action preceding the delivery of such tax sale certificates, nor to establish the validity of the tax lien, represented or transferred by such tax sale certificate. If a party or person in interest in any such action or proceeding shall claim that any tax lien or tax sale certificate is irregular or invalid or that there is any defect therein or that any transfer or issuance of any tax sale certificate is irregular or invalid, such invalidity, irregularity or defect must be specifically pleaded or set forth and must be established affirmatively by the party or person pleading or setting forth the same, and in any such action or proceeding the transcript of the director of finance and his certificate thereof shall be presumptive evidence of the legality of the taxes and assessments therein described and of the regularity of all proceedings required by law to be taken.
§ 20 
Final judgment. (1) Determination by court of rights of parties; right of county to purchase on sale. The court shall have full power to determine and enforce in all respects the priorities, rights, claims and demands of the several parties to such action, as the same shall exist according to law, including the priorities, rights, claims and demands of the defendants as between themselves, and to direct the sale of such lands and the distribution or other disposition of the proceeds of such sale. The order of priorities established by such judgment shall in all cases be in conformity with the provisions of section twenty-seven of this act relating to priorities. The court shall further determine upon proof by affidavit or otherwise whether there has been due compliance by the county with the in rem provisions of this act and shall make its findings upon such proof. The president, clerk or deputy clerk of the legislature may bid for and purchase in the name of the county upon such sales under judgment in actions in rem to foreclose tax liens or liens of certificates of sale of county taxes. All real property hereafter conveyed to the county, pursuant to a judgment in any action brought, as herein provided, for the foreclosure of taxes, tax liens, and liens of certificates of sale in the county by action in rem, shall be deemed, from the date of such conveyance to the county and during the time the said county shall continue to be the record owner thereof, to be owned, possessed and held by said county for a public use and shall have the same exemptions from taxation accorded the real property of a municipal corporation held for a public use. The sale directed by the court shall be at public auction by the referee appointed to conduct the same; and the conduct of such sale, the public notice thereof, the description of the parcel to be conveyed and the manner and effect of said conveyance shall be as herein provided by this act.
(2) 
Distribution of proceeds of sale. After payment of all lawful costs, allowances and disbursements, the county and all other parties who are owners or holders of any liens on or interests in the lands, evidenced by tax liens or liens of certificates of sale or otherwise shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale the several amounts of their respective liens and interests to which they may be entitled, so far as the said proceeds shall suffice to pay the same in the order of the lawful priority of such liens and interests of the respective parties on or in the lands, as the same may be determined in said action.
(3) 
Cancellation of county taxes; offset of county tax liens against bid. All taxes due the county that are liens upon the property sold prior to the final judgment in any tax foreclosure action provided for by this act and any lien or liens including tax liens of any interested party or parties to the action shall be cancelled and the final judgment in said tax foreclosure action shall so provide, and the delivery of a certified copy of said final judgment to the director of finance shall be authority for him to cancel said taxes on the books in his office. Said final judgment shall further provide that in the event the county shall become the purchaser of any or all of the premises at the public sale hereinbelow described, said referee shall not require the county to pay in cash the entire amount bid at such sale, but said referee shall execute and deliver to said county a deed of the premises sold and shall set off against and deduct from the amount of said bid of said county the costs of the action as allowed by this act and the amount of the tax liens owing to said county with interest and penalties thereon to the extent of said bid, all of which shall be allowed to the county and applied by the referee accordingly.
(4) 
Any provision herein to the contrary notwithstanding, no tax, tax lien, or lien of certificate of sale, shall be deemed cancelled or satisfied as against the interest in the premises of a necessary party to any action to foreclose said tax, tax lien, or lien of certificate of sale upon said premises omitted from said original foreclosure action or whose property interest therein was insufficiently described, and further or additional foreclosure proceedings may at any time be instituted by the purchaser at the judicial sale, or any successor in interest to him against said necessary party by virtue of said unpaid tax, tax lien, or lien of certificate of sale. If such tax, tax lien or lien of certificate of sale by the terms of sale and judgment of foreclosure has been cancelled or satisfied, as herein provided, it shall nevertheless be deemed revived and existent and owned by said purchaser at the judicial sale, or his successor in interest for the purpose of such further foreclosure against said necessary party as herein provided and as provided by the provisions of the Monroe county tax foreclosure act. So much of section three hundred and seventeen of the civil practice law and rules as requires the court to allow a defendant to defend an action after final judgment, does not apply to an action to foreclose a tax lien under the provisions of this act.
§ 21 
Reinstatement of right of redemption. When actions to foreclose by proceedings in rem, pursuant to this act, have been commenced and have proceeded to final judgment pursuant to section twenty-one hereof, the right of redemption, otherwise barred by any provision of this act, on the part of each person or any tax district described, other than the county of Monroe, having any right, title or interest in or lien upon any parcel included in said final judgment, shall be thereupon reinstated and shall continue until noon of the day preceding the date of the commencement of the sale at public auction, pursuant to the final judgment in said foreclosure action, either upon payment of, or, if such person qualifies, upon entering an agreement pursuant to section six(c) of this act, which, notwithstanding section ten of this act, need not be approved by resolution of the legislature, to pay the full amount of all delinquent taxes and liens of tax sale certificates charged against and owing upon said premises, as appears from the list of delinquent taxes and properties filed in the county clerk's office pursuant to subdivision seven of this act, with interest and penalties calculated thereon and all subsequently accrued tax liens or liens of certificates of sale owing thereon and remaining unpaid with interest and penalties, as provided by law, with apportioned costs, allowances and disbursements up to and including the time of said redemption.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: This section was amended by Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1992.
§ 22 
Costs, allowances and disbursements. The county in any such action authorized by this act shall be entitled to recover from the premises foreclosed the actual and necessary disbursements made in such action, all statutory costs and allowances provided by the civil practice law and rules in the cases of foreclosures of mortgages on real property by action and, in addition thereto, the sum of one hundred dollars shall be allowed against each parcel for payment of the services rendered by the tax foreclosure attorney in carrying out the terms of this act.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: This section was amended by Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1992.
§ 23 
Tax districts may agree on conveyance. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary, the county and the city of Rochester and villages located within such county may, pursuant to resolution of their respective governing bodies, enter into agreements with each other with respect to any parcel of property which is the subject of any tax foreclosure proceeding under this act and upon which they respectively own tax liens, pursuant to which such county, city or village may acquire the title to such real property at foreclosure sale and hold the same for the benefit of itself and/or the other tax districts and provide, if necessary, for the disposition of the proceeds of a resale of such property so acquired upon terms established by such agreement.
§ 24 
Publication and posting of notice of sale. Appointment of referee. The sale directed by the court shall be at public auction under the direction of the director of finance or a deputy director of finance who shall be designated by the court both by name and official capacity to act as referee thereat. Public notice thereof shall be given once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper published daily or weekly in the county of Monroe and such sale shall take place on any day on or after the twenty-first day and on or before the twenty-eighth day after the day of the first publication. Notice of such sale shall also be given by posting a copy of the notice of sale on or before the date of the first publication thereof in three conspicuous places within each city, town or village in which the real property affected is located; and if the sale is to be held in another city, town or village in three conspicuous places therein. On the day specified in the notice of sale, the referee appointed shall commence such sale and shall continue the same, if required, from day to day, excepting and omitting Saturdays, Sundays and public or legal holidays, until so much of each parcel shall be sold as will be sufficient to pay the amount due thereon. If the referee so appointed, by reason of absence, resignation or any other incapacity, is unable to attend, conduct or complete said sale, the court may upon ex parte application of the county appoint in his place and stead any other deputy director of finance to perform or complete the services of and act as such referee. The referee so named and acting as such shall receive no fee or compensation for his services as such referee. The description of the parcel of land offered for sale in such notice shall be that contained in the list of delinquent taxes and properties or such other description of such parcel as the court in its judgment may direct. All of the provisions of section eight-a of the Monroe county tax act shall apply to this proceeding as though fully herein set forth.
§ 25 
Deed description as directed by court. The judgment of foreclosure and sale pursuant to the in rem provisions of this act shall direct the name referee, or the named person and official designated in his place and stead as such referee, to execute and deliver to the purchaser a deed conveying title to the parcel or parcels affected by such judgment and sold at such sale. The description used in such deed shall be that contained in the list of delinquent taxes and properties or such other description as the court in its judgment may direct.
§ 26 
Priority and parity of tax liens. The priorities between Monroe county tax liens, the superiority and priority of the same, when owned and held by the county of Monroe to all other liens, encumbrances, tax liens, and liens of certificates of sales held by individuals or other municipal taxing bodies, excepting liens for unpaid city taxes and assessments held by the city of Rochester, liens for, or certificates of sale when held and owned by the villages levying the same, and the liens of direct taxes upon the real estate imposed by the state of New York, and the parity of such tax liens between the county of Monroe and the villages therein shall be in conformity with the provisions of sections twenty-four and twenty-four-a of the Monroe county tax act and sections three and three-a of the Monroe county tax foreclosure act relating to priority and parity of such tax liens, and such sections of the said Monroe county tax act and Monroe county tax foreclosure act shall apply to the in rem procedure of this act as though fully herein again set forth.
§ 27 
Conveyance — effect of same. Such conveyance shall vest full and complete title unless it shall be made subject to tax liens pursuant to agreement as in section twenty-four herein provided. Upon the execution and recording of such deed the grantee shall be seized of an estate in fee simple absolute unless expressly made subject to the tax liens of the county or the city of Rochester or a village as herein provided; and all persons including the state, infants, incompetents, absentees and nonresidents, persons in prison and all other persons or corporations whether under disability or not, who may have had any right, title, interest, claim, lien or equity of redemption in, to or upon such parcel of land shall be forever barred and foreclosed of all such right, title, interest, claim, lien or equity of redemption.
§ 28 
Conclusive presumption of deed; limitation. Every deed given pursuant to this act shall be presumptive evidence that the action and all proceedings therein and all proceedings prior thereto from and including the assessment of the lands affected and all notices required by law were regular and in accordance with all the provisions of law relating thereto. After two years from the date of the record of such deed, the presumption shall become conclusive. No action to set aside such deed may be maintained unless the action is commenced and a notice of pendency thereof filed in the office of the clerk of the county prior to the time that the presumption becomes conclusive as aforesaid.
§ 29 
Report of sale and confirmation thereof not required. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary, it shall not be necessary for the referee appointed to make a report of his proceedings as such referee; nor shall it be necessary for the court to confirm by order or otherwise the proceedings of such referee. In the event that any such sale shall result in a surplus as to any piece or parcel of land offered at such sale, such appointed referee shall report the fact of such surplus to the court which shall direct the said referee to deposit such surplus in trust with the office of the director of finance for the benefit of any or all parties who may be justly entitled to all or any part of such surplus monies. The date of entry of such last described order of the court may be deemed to be the date of confirmation of said referee's report under the provisions of sections thirteen hundred fifty-one, thirteen hundred fifty-two, thirteen hundred fifty-four, thirteen hundred fifty-five, thirteen hundred sixty-one and thirteen hundred sixty-two of the real property actions and proceedings law for the purposes of institution of surplus monies proceedings pursuant to the same. All of the provisions of the abandoned property law shall apply to such surplus excepting that payment of the abandoned surplus, after the prescribed proceedings, shall be made to the county of Monroe and not to the state comptroller.
§ 30 
Deed in lieu of foreclosure. The county when authorized by resolution of the legislature, may under the conditions of such authorization, and in lieu of prosecuting an action to foreclose a tax lien on any parcel of real property pursuant to this act, accept a conveyance of the interest of any person having any right, title, interest, claim, lien or equity of redemption in or to such parcel.
§ 31 
Sales by the county. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law, the legislature may sell any real property acquired by the county of Monroe through tax foreclosure proceedings in rem upon such terms and conditions as it may indicate, in the same manner and with the same rights and privileges as if owned by an individual, if such sale is approved by a majority vote of said body; provided said legislature by similar majority vote shall have first determined that such property is not needed for county purposes. Conveyance in such event shall be by bargain and sale deed. Such sales by the county, however, shall be further limited by the provisions of section thirty-three of this act relating to application for conveyance as set forth therein.
§ 32 
Application for conveyance from the county of its right and interest to land, real estate, or real property acquired and foreclosed through actions in rem. (1) The legislature may in its discretion grant, convey and release all of the right, title and interest of the county in any lands, real estate or real property hereinafter acquired by the county by virtue of an action in rem brought pursuant to provisions of this act to any person, association or corporation, who or which, on the date of the filing of the list of delinquent taxes in such action pursuant to section eight of this act, had been vested with the title thereto, provided, however, despite timely application as hereinafter described, no such grant, conveyance, transfer or release may be made of any such lands, real property, or real estate or any portion thereof, which the legislature has assigned or set aside, or does so assign or set aside, either prior or subsequent to such application, for the use of the county, city of Rochester, or any town or village within the said county, and provided further that the grantee by such grant, conveyance, transfer, or release, whenever consummated, shall receive thereby the title which was vested in the owner on said date of the filing of the list of delinquent taxes as aforesaid, subject to any and all liens, tax liens, and encumbrances and any and all defects which existed on said date.
(2) 
Such person, association or corporation owning such title, as described in subparagraph (1) above, may apply in writing to said legislature for such grant, conveyance, transfer or release within four months after the date of such acquisition of such land, real property or real estate by said county.
(3) 
After the effective date of this section and during the provisions of time provided by the same the said legislature shall not sell such land, real estate, or real property to anyone other than the one entitled to apply for a grant, conveyance, transfer, or release as herein provided, but this prohibition or limitation shall not operate or be construed to deny the right of the legislature to assign or set aside at any time, such lands, real property, or real estate, or any portion thereof, for the use of the county, the city of Rochester, or any town or village within said county.
(4) 
Any application made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be made in writing and shall be verified. It shall contain a statement of the identity and interest of the applicant and a full description of the land, real property, or real estate, and shall be accompanied by a certificate, search, or abstract of title, issued and certified by any title insurance, abstract or searching company, organized and doing business under the laws of this state, attesting that the applicant for such grant, conveyance, transfer, or release, was on said date of the filing of the list of such delinquent taxes such owner of the premises described.
(5) 
In the event the ownership interest of the applicant was on the date of the filing of such list of delinquent taxes derived through previous death or deaths of the record owner, at or before such date, or was acquired by such death or deaths of such record owner after said date of filing of such list of delinquent taxes, and within the time limitations of this section, and such derived ownership interest shall not appear of record, proof of such facts as shall be necessary to attest to the derivation of such estate shall be made by affidavit of the applicant and/or other person or persons having information relating thereto. Such certificates, searches, abstracts and affidavits shall be transmitted by such legislature to the tax foreclosure attorney for said county, who shall examine them and report to such legislature upon the sufficiency of the same relating to compliance with the provisions of this section.
(6) 
Upon timely conformance by the applicant with all the preceding provisions and limitations of this section and upon the approval of all required evidence of title ownership by the tax foreclosure attorney, the legislature shall cause to be prepared, executed and delivered to such applicant a grant, conveyance, transfer or release of the right, title and interest of the county in and to such lands, real estate or real property provided only that the title which said applicant shall receive thereby shall not be free from any and all liens, tax liens, encumbrances or other defects which existed on said date of the filing of said list of delinquent taxes, and upon the delivery of such grant, conveyance, transfer or release, such liens, tax liens, encumbrances or defects shall thereupon re-attach in the manner as if the foreclosure in rem by which the county acquired title to said premises had not occurred. Such grant, conveyance, transfer or release shall be executed by the county manager of Monroe county upon approval of the form of the same by the county attorney for said county and county manager.
(7) 
Such grant, conveyance, transfer or release shall be delivered to the applicant upon payment by him as to each parcel so conveyed of the following sums of money:
a. 
The principal amount due on all delinquent tax liens appearing on the list of delinquent taxes upon which the judgment of foreclosure was based with interest and penalties at the rates appearing on said list to the date of payment.
b. 
The principal amount due on all unpaid taxes which accrued and became liens, on a date or dates subject to the date or dates on which the delinquent tax liens appearing on the list of delinquent taxes accrued and became liens, with interest and penalties at the rate or rates provided by law.
c. 
A sum which shall reflect the statutory costs and disbursements of the in rem foreclosure action as allocated against the parcel conveyed. Such amount must be determined by the legislature and in the determination of the same such legislature shall consider the proportion that the total of unpaid taxes, interest and penalties in said judgment of foreclosure and sale against such parcel bears to the total amount of all unpaid taxes, interest and penalties against all the parcels in the in rem action through which such parcel sought for conveyance to the applicant was acquired by the county.
d. 
Any other costs or disbursements which shall have been awarded to the county, or which the county shall have expended, or to which the county may have become entitled by operation of law or which the county may have paid or may have become liable to payment thereof in connection with any litigation between said county and the applicant or any person having an estate or interest in the lands, real property or real estate sought to be conveyed under this section, resulting directly or indirectly from the foreclosure by action in rem of the delinquent taxes affecting lands, real estate or real property.
e. 
The right to apply for a grant, conveyance or release allowed by this section shall be the exclusive method by which any person, association or corporation, which by this section shall be entitled to make application, may secure such grant, conveyance, transfer or release of such lands, real estate and real property.
§ 33 
Rules of construction. (1) Statute of limitation. The statute of limitations shall not bar or be a defense to any action, brought as herein provided, to foreclose by proceedings in rem, any taxes, tax liens or liens of certificates of sales as described herein.
(2) 
Pending actions and proceedings. No action or proceeding pending at the time when this act shall take effect shall be affected by any provision of this act, but the same may be prosecuted, defended or enforced as if this act had not been enacted.
(3) 
Existing rights and remedies preserved. No existing right or remedy of any character shall be lost, impaired or affected by reason of this act, nor shall the validity of any action taken by any public official under the law in force immediately prior to the time this act shall take effect be affected by the enactment of this act.
(4) 
Reference to other law. Reference herein to any general, special or local law or to any provision of the real property tax law, civil practice law and rules, Monroe county tax act and Monroe county tax foreclosure act, in force at the time this act shall take effect, shall be deemed and construed to have inserted such provision in this act where appropriate and such provisions of law shall apply to the proceedings under this act as though fully herein again set forth.
(5) 
Amendments to other Monroe county laws. An act of the legislature of nineteen hundred seventy-one purporting to amend or add any provision of law to the Monroe county tax act or the Monroe county tax foreclosure act shall be legally effective and shall be construed as having been amended or added prior to the effective date of this act.
(6) 
Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
(7) 
Remedy not conditional. The remedy to foreclose herein, by proceedings in rem, shall be in addition to all other remedies allowed by law for the collection of any tax lien and shall not be dependent upon them or any of them.
(8) 
Order in nature of writ of assistance. Any party or tax district acquiring title to a parcel of real property under and pursuant to the terms and provisions of this act shall be entitled to an order in the nature of a writ of assistance, with the same force and effect as if such party or tax district had acquired the property by virtue of a mortgage foreclosure.
(9) 
Effect of other laws. Except as otherwise provided herein such action in rem to foreclose a tax lien shall be regulated by the provisions of the civil practice law and rules and by all other provisions of law and rules of practice applicable to foreclosure of a mortgage on real property, and all provisions of the Monroe county tax act and of the Monroe county tax foreclosure act, where applicable, and where not otherwise herein provided, shall be deemed applicable to the provisions of these in rem proceedings as if fully herein again set forth.
§ 34 
This act shall take effect immediately.