The cold rain that fell outside City Hall on Oct. 13 felt appropriate to the activists, advocates and elected officials who are calling for New York City to end tax-lien sales.

“These are the tears of my community,” said organizer Albert Scott.

Every year the Department of Finance sells off delinquent municipal debts—unpaid property taxes, water and sewer bills and other charges owed to the city. Liens as low as $1,000 are placed for sale to third-party debt collectors, who can charge fees and interest up to 18%.

“The lien sale has a destabilizing effect on communities of color,” said State Attorney General Letitia James.