City officials in New Iberia working to clear 30 blighted properties

NEW IBERIA, La (KLFY) – The City of New Iberia is working to clean blighted properties. 

“It’s time to be a little bit more aggressive. We’ve been fortunate to sell properties through civic source which came to about $50,000. All of those funds were generated from adjudicated property so we are putting it right back into the system,” says Mayor Freddie DeCourt. 

The Mayor has put together a two part plan to tackle almost 30 properties in the city.

“We are tearing down about 12 immediately. This is the first time we bring that many at once and then in phase 2 in the fall, Public Works crews will begin boarding houses that could be saved.” he said. 

Phase 2 will involve 18 other properties throughout the city.

“We don’t want to represent empty lots, we want people. By cleaning these properties up, hopefully the ones that are boarded, we will be able to put back on the market and the ones that we tear down now makes a vacant piece of property that could be developed,” Decourt said.  

Original article found here: https://www.klfy.com/news/local/city-officials-in-new-iberia-working-to-clear-30-blighted-properties/1841010784

Councilwoman to host sessions about acquiring adjudicated property

Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks is hosting information sessions on how to acquire property in East Baton Rouge Parish. The event is free and open to the public. The meeting will include details on getting title insurance and paying the outstanding taxes.

The second session will be at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28, at Louisiana Leadership Institute, 5763 Hooper Road, Baton Rouge.

The goal is to help bring new life to blighted, abandoned or tax-foreclosed properties, according to a news release. Agency representatives will present five unconventional pathways to acquire these properties. Both residential and commercial investors will learn how to purchase tax-delinquent assets by attending these informational.

A list of invited agencies and programs:

  • East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office sale, a public auction of property repossessed to satisfy an unpaid obligation.
  • Parish Attorney’s Office, which handles the sale of adjudicated properties through public bids and donations.
  • CivicSource, a company partnered with the city-parish to offer an online process for the sale of adjudicated property in excess of five years.
  • Mow to Own Program, which allows certain parties to avoid the public bidding and receive a preference in making an offer to purchase adjudicated properties in excess of three years.
  • East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, which has the ability to acquire and quickly clear title to tax sale and adjudicated properties.

For information, contact the District 2 office at (225) 389-8331 or email cbanks@brla.gov.​​

Original article found here: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/zachary/article_8efef842-24c8-11e9-aadd-1353b9410e2c.html

RPSO partners with CIVICSOURCE for Tax Certification

ALEXANDRIA, La. (RPSO) – The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is updating its Tax Certificate auction processes by implementing the assistance of CivicSource, an online auctioneer of tax-distressed real estate.

The Parish’s new partnership will be an asset to improve existing protections for homeowners and provide tremendous benefits to Rapides real estate purchasers. On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office will host its annual Tax Certificate sale at the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, located at 701 Murray St. in Alexandria.

A tax certificate is an interest-bearing lien on a tax-delinquent property that can be converted into a deed after a 3-year redemptive period.

Certificates are sold by a taxing authority at a public auction for the amount of the delinquent taxes due, plus any accrued interest, penalties, costs and other statutory impositions. In Louisiana, tax certificate purchasers receive a 5% penalty and an interest rate of 1% per month for the duration of the 3-year redemptive period. Tax certificate sales are a “low-bid wins” style auctions, in which the property is sold to the purchaser willing to bid on the least percent ownership interest in the property. If the property is not redeemed by the delinquent owner within the 3-year redemptive period, the investor can file to acquire ownership in the property based on his or her bid amount.

Winning bidders of the tax sale are expected to pay for their purchases by the close of business the day of the auction. Payment must be made in one installment and all sales are final.

To avoid a Tax Certificate auction is to pay the tax liability before the delinquent date. Each month the tax liability is not paid, the amount owed will go up. A schedule of the fees from CIVICSOURCE is below.

Date Total Costs

2/1/2019 10% of the tax liability + $15.00

3/1/2019 $40.00

4/1/2019 $55.00

4/15/2019 $5.00

5/15/2019 $5.00

6/1/2019 10% + $120 Final Tax Sale

The Sheriff’s Office Tax Department will be OPEN on December 31, until noon to accept payments. The Tax Office will be closed on January 1st, New Year’s Day and will re-open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

TAX PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED DELINQUENT UNTIL JANUARY 7, 2019. Interest will be assessed at that time.

For more information on the Louisiana Tax Certificate sale process or to view upcoming auctions, visit CivicSource.com.

Original article found here: https://www.kalb.com/content/news/RPSO-partners-with-CIVICSOURCE-for-Tax-Certification-503631751.html

Want to buy a property seized for back taxes? Firm to show you how at meeting in Donaldsonville

DONALDSONVILLE — City officials are launching an online system to auction properties in the city’s hands because of unpaid back taxes.

CivicSource, the contractor running the online auction system, is set to explain the process during a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday inside the City Council Chambers, 609 Railroad Ave.

CivicSource officials will offer training on buying adjudicated properties, including how to acquire title insurance, according a statement by the firm.

CivicSource, which is based in New Orleans, has operated the same online auction for Ascension Parish government since 2017.

The company said its services help restore revenue to local governments by bringing properties back to the tax rolls.

CivicSource’s statement said all adjudicated properties for sale on its website had previously gone unsold at a tax sale and have not had back taxes redeemed.

The company said it specializes in “digitized due diligence, ensuring all homeowners, heirs, and persons of interest affiliated with a tax-delinquent property have been adequately notified” before the property is sold.

Those planning to attend can RSVP at events.civicsource.com.

Original article found here: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/ascension/article_975d7ebc-fe5a-11e8-94ba-2335c4a04e98.html4ba-2335c4a04e98.html

Learn How to Buy Property from the City or Parish

Every year, governments auction off properties with outstanding tax bills. For some folks this is a complicated process. But others make lots of money doing this.

You can get all the details about how to do this during a community information session on Tuesday, September 25th at 6:30pm at Shreve Memorial Library downtown.

Civic Source is hosting the information session on how to buy adjudicated property in Caddo Parish. The event is free and open to the public. The meeting will include details on getting title insurance and paying the outstanding taxes.  During the last tax sale, all adjudicated properties went unsold.

These properties are sold during online auctions at CivicSource.com. By hosting the sale online, bidders who would normally be unable to attend the auction in person are able to participate from their homes or places of business. The goal is to help bring new life to these blighted, abandoned or tax-foreclosed properties.

“One of the Parish’s highest priorities is to ensure our citizens’ confidence in their communities to provide a stable environment to work and raise a family,” said Dr. Woodrow Wilson, Jr., Parish of Caddo Administrator. “Our partnership with entities such as CivicSource makes it easier for these properties to be responsibly purchased and helps to stabilize our neighborhoods and our property values,” said Wilson. “We encourage all Parish residents interested in investing in the future of our communities to attend this important informational session.”

Check out CivicSource.com to take a look at the list of properties. You might be surprised at the low cost. You will need a deposit of $850 and then you’ll pay the auction price which can range from as low as $10 dollars, plus closing costs.

Please RSVP for the information session at events.CivicSource.com

Original article found here:
http://710keel.com/learn-how-to-buy-property-from-the-city-or-parish/

 

Want to learn how to buy cheap property in East Baton Rouge? Information session scheduled

Aspiring investors will get an opportunity this week to learn how to purchase land from the government.

When property owners don’t pay taxes, their land can be seized and put up for auction. In East Baton Rouge, the local government advertises those lots on the website CivicSource.com.

Company representatives will hold a training session Thursday to explain how the public can purchase adjudicated land. The meeting will be at the Bluebonnet Regional Library at 6:30 p.m.

Prospective buyers can view properties that are available for sale and, if interested, can ask for an auction of a particular residential or commercial lot. An $850 deposit is required, and bidding starts at $0 plus closing costs — generally about $3,400.

“Taxing authorities across Louisiana auction these tax-delinquent properties online through CivicSource.com,” the company wrote in a news release “By hosting the sale online, bidders who would normally be unable to attend the auction in person are able to participate from their homes or places of business.”

The company said such sales return blighted, abandoned or tax-foreclosed properties to commerce “while regenerating significant annual tax revenues to the city and parish.”

Original article found here: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_3f5a5cec-b5e6-11e8-bb39-17aa75b22c4c.html

Going once, going twice, sold — Only one month to tax sale

Some landowners haven’t settled up last year’s tax bills, and Lincoln County is about to collect.

The annual tax sale begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27, and over the course of six hours of digital bidding in an online auction, the Lincoln County Tax Collector’s Office will recover $1,581,173 in back taxes owed on 2,362 parcels. Tax collector Blake Pickering said the average unpaid bill is between $1,300 and $1,500, and he expects several of the open tabs to be closed out before sale day.

Otherwise, those in arrears will be paying a new lien-holder 1.5 percent interest per month.

“Ninety percent of the people who bid on parcels in the tax sale are after the interest income, and from my understanding, the guys who do it make a pretty good bit of money,” he said.

Anyone interested in bidding on the delinquent parcels must create an account with CivicSource.com and send a completed Form W-9 to Pickering’s office. Once registered with the bidding site and tax office, registered users will receive an email approving their participation in the sale.

Once the sale launches, logged-in bidders will have access to all of the parcels and can immediately enter bids. CivicSource allows “proxy bidding,” in which users can set a maximum bid amount and walk away — the site will automatically increase the bid by the minimum to stay on top of competitors until the maximum is topped.

CivicSource uses a rolling 5-minute clock that extends bid times to prevent last-second “sniping” during the final seconds of the bid process. Pickering said a bidding war over a particular parcel extended 10 times for an additional 51 minutes during last year’s sale.

Successful bidders will have 24 hours to pay the full owed amount to CivicSource. The site turns a profit only off a percentage of over-bids and sends Lincoln County a check for the full amount of taxes collected.

Successful bidders will be entitled to 1.5 percent interest per month and will be paid in full once the landowners settle their bill. If the landowner doesn’t pay up in two years — three years from the date of the original tax lien — successful bidders can sue in chancery court for a quiet title giving them ownership of the parcel, though Pickering said such actions are rare.

Anyone owing taxes who wishes to avoid having their bill auctioned off can settle up with the tax collector’s office by Aug. 24. The office will stop accepting checks after Aug. 10.

Pickering said his office will publish a list of delinquent parcels in The Daily Leader on Aug. 9 and Aug. 21.

If a parcel is auctioned off in the upcoming tax sale, landowners should pay their bill as soon as possible in the Lincoln County Chancery Clerk’s Office.

This will be the second year the annual tax sale has been conducted online. Previously, tax sales were carried out in all-day sessions in the circuit courtroom, but moving the sale online allows more participants and ensures more collections, Pickering said.

“It opens it up for working people who want to participate but can’t get off work all day,” he said.

For years in the courtroom and now online, Lincoln County’s Johnny Gunnel dominates the land sale. Pickering said the next three top buyers behind Gunnel are out-of-town companies built on tax lien interest profits.

Gunnel could not be reached for comment.

Pickering’s office will host an info session with CivicSource to teach participants how to use the online system. The two sessions are scheduled for noon and 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.

Original article found here: https://www.dailyleader.com/2018/07/19/going-once-going-twice-sold-only-one-month-to-tax-sale/

Police Jury heads in right direction on blighted property

Abandoned, blighted property is a huge drain on a community. Not only does it look bad when an unused building falls into disrepair or a vacant lot gets overgrown, it costs the community money. Sometimes that cost is in maintenance or repairs the government has to invest to prevent a safety hazard. Other times it is the lost tax revenue from the property.

Earlier this week, the Rapides Parish Police Jury’s Parochial Board Liaison and Legal Committee approved contracting with Civic Source, a New Orleans-based company that specializes in auctions of tax-distressed real estate on behalf of parishes and municipalities across the state. The issue will need approval from the full Police Jury before it takes effect.

We see this as a good move and encourage jurors to support the proposal.

A current estimate put the number of adjudicated properties in the parish at about 4,000. “If we put 100 to 200 pieces of property back into use, where somebody is paying taxes on them and somebody is maintaining them, that’s a win,” said Police Jury legal counsel Greg Jones.

But wait, some may say, if the government can seize property for failure to pay, why don’t they just auction it themselves? Why engage an outside company? Isn’t that what Sheriff’s sales are for?

Short answer, yes, governments can do it themselves. But the problem is, it’s a lot more complicated than one might think and often the seized property doesn’t sell.

Buying property at a tax sale is inherently risky. Governing bodies do their best to find the property owners, or the rightful heirs in cases where the property owner has died, but its not that uncommon for a property to be sold and then the rightful heir or owner comes forward.

Under Louisiana law, there is a three year window in which the property could be reclaimed. So buyers have that issue to deal with. But even if that isn’t a problem, real estate acquired through tax sales can face title issues. And if a buyer can’t secure a clear title they are less likely to buy the property.

Doing all of the necessary due diligence work on the front end is costly and time consuming. Contracting with a company that specializes in such minutia and has an established reputation with other communities in the state makes sense. Larger areas, including New Orleans, Lake Charles and Shreveport, have chosen to use Civic Source as well.

Using an established broker hosting online auctions also expands the base of potential buyers. There are many regional and national investors who look for tax sales and are willing to take the risk of purchasing a property for the past due taxes in the hopes that they can fix it up and sell it at a profit. That’s a win-win, for the investor and for the community that sees its property values increase and the government regains its recurring tax revenue. Sites that aggregate tax sales are a natural place those investors will check regularly. And, with the online auction system, potential buyers initiate the sale and cover associated costs — so the process costs local governments and taxpayers nothing.

In Shreveport, which last year had an estimated 1,000 adjudicated properties when they contracted with Civic Source, the estimate was $250,000 in new revenue from the program. With the financial challenges currently facing Rapides Parish, bringing in outside expertise to help get blighted property back into productive use and generating revenue without adding to the burden of local taxpayers sounds like a good plan.

Original article found here: https://www.thetowntalk.com/story/opinion/2018/07/08/editorial-police-jury-heads-right-direction-blighted-property/763741002/

Can this company help Rapides Parish with abandoned properties?

Rapides Parish has thousands of neglected properties that are not contributing to the tax base and, in many cases, are a blight on the neighborhoods where they’re located.

The Police Jury is hoping a private company can reduce that number.

New Orleans-based CivicSource auctions tax-distressed real estate on behalf of parishes and municipalities across the state. Since its founding 10 years ago, the company has handled more than 37,000 property sales.

A current estimate put the number of adjudicated properties in the parish at about 4,000.

“If we put 100 to 200 pieces of property back into use, where somebody is paying taxes on them and somebody is maintaining them, that’s a win,” said Police Jury legal counsel Greg Jones.

In addition to marketing properties and auctioning them online, CivicSource researches title issues and attempts to find and contact property owners and heirs. In about 30 percent of cases, the company is able to contact owners and the delinquent taxes are paid.

The company’s fees are collected from winning bidders.

The Police Jury’s Parochial Board Liaison and Legal Committee approved contracting with Civic Source during committee meetings Monday. The full jury must still approve it next week.

Original article found here: https://www.thetowntalk.com/story/news/local/2018/07/05/can-company-help-rapides-parish-abandoned-properties/755381002/

Tax Auction Session

TAX AUCTION SESSION: CivicSource, the company that partners with New Orleans to auction the city’s tax-foreclosed properties, will hold an information session about the auction process from 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, July 5, at the Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave. Visit events.civicsource.com to RSVP.

Original article found here: https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/communities/crescent_city/article_92529772-7a57-11e8-b798-af185cf49ac3.html