SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — Schuyler County former property owners have a chance to repurchase their foreclosed properties before they head to auction this fall.

On Aug. 14, the Schuyler County Legislature voted to allow people whose properties were foreclosed on this year to buy back their properties before they go to auction on Oct 2. Former property owners will have until Sept. 18 to submit offers on their foreclosed properties.

If they would like to buy back their foreclosed properties, former owners must submit an offer to County Treasurer Holley Sokolowski. These offers must include a payment with the full amount of owed taxes, penalties, and interest. Additionally, the offers will need to include other county expenses related to the property. If the offer is accepted, County Attorney Steven Getman will prepare a deed that will return the property to its former owner.

According to Sokolowski, the buyback option is the latest measure Schuyler County is taking to collect overdue taxes while keeping people in their homes. Every November, the county sends foreclosure notices to properties that owe taxes from the previous year. These notices warn the property owner that failure to pay the back taxes will lead to foreclosure. The county also publishes the list of delinquent taxes in two newspapers and posts warnings on some of the properties.

Although not legally required, Sokolowski and Getman send out letters with handwritten notes to property owners who still owe taxes in February. Sokolowski said that this measure caused more than half of the people on the delinquent list to pay their back property taxes. After this step, property owners who still owe taxes are invited to attend an online conference with a state-appointed legal representative to discuss settlement options with Schuyler County officials. The New York State Supreme Court officially transfers property ownership to Schuyler County at the end of June each year.

This buyback option is the last chance property owners have to recover their foreclosed property before the county sells it at auction. Properties up for auction will be posted on the county’s website and will be in pamphlets in the county treasurer’s office.