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:


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

These 11 Harahan properties are listed for tax lien auction

Harahan hopes to sell tax liens on 11 pieces of property on July 18. The online auction starts at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 8 p.m. at civicsource.com.

The sale is open to the public. Tax certificates at this auction range in price from $699 to $1,702.

A tax certificate is an interest-bearing lien on a property for which taxes are delinquent. The certificate may be converted into a deed after three years if the delinquent taxpayer does not redeem it.

Original article found here: https://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/07/harahan_tax_sale.html

Indy Holds Annual Delinquent Property Tax Sale

INDEPENDENCE–On July 17th, the Town of Independence will host its annual Tax Certificate sale at CivicSource.com.

The online auction opens at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m., subject to a sliding close. Over 30 properties are slated to go to auction, ranging in price from $398 to $655.

The sale is open to the public. Free bidder registration and a list of tax sale properties are available at CivicSource.com.

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 within 24 hours of the close of the auction. Payment must be made in one installment and all sales are final.

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

Original article found here: http://www.actionnews17.com/news/indy-holds-annual-delinquent-property-tax-certificate-sale-2308718

Annual property tax sale to be held Tuesday

Bossier Sheriff’s Office will hold its annual Property Tax Sale on Tuesday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., for properties that have unpaid 2017 property taxes.

The sale is for approximately 354 assessments of land, commercial and residential properties that have unpaid ad valorem property taxes for 2017. Asst. Chief David Miller of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office said these are immovable properties, such as raw land and houses.

Since 2008, the number of assessments that go to the tax sale have been less than .25% (1/4 of 1 percent), and it’s been fairly consistent over the past 10 years.

“We start out with 60,000 assessments,” he said. “Historically, Bossier Parish has been really low in the amount of properties that we’ve carried to sale…350 sounds like a lot, but in the grand scheme it’s actually not that many.”

The purpose of the tax sale is to clean up loose ends, Miller said.

“For whatever reason, some people just can’t pay. Some people are in a bind, there might have been a death or some just can’t pay it,” he said. “This is our way to finalize collections.”

Preparation for the sale begins long before the properties go up for sale.

“The sheriff, by statute, is the ex-officio tax collector for the parish for ad valorem tax,” Miller explained. “The [tax] assessor actually values the properties, whether it’s commercial, residential or moveables. They work on that until about September/October.”

At that point, they get it approved through the Louisiana Tax Commission in Baton Rouge. Once approved, it’s forwarded to the Bossier Sheriff’s Office for collection.

“That’s when we print out our notices and send them out in November,” Miller said. “The tax sale is a culmination of that effort to collect those taxes.”

The Tax Sale is open to the public and will be held online only. To register and bid, go to www.civicsource.com, and click on “Sign In” to register. The bidding process is explained upon registration.

Potential buyers are encouraged to do their research before they bid on the listed properties.

“The ones that do this year in and year out know what to go look at, where the property is and what it is,” Miller added.

Online payments at www.bossiersheriff.com are accepted through noon Tuesday, but payments can still be made in person by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bossier Parish Courthouse or any of the Sheriff’s Office substations.

The monies collected then are distributed to a number of various public agencies. Miller said there are about 25 different agencies they collect for, with Bossier Parish Schools being the largest recipient of money.

Property owners of these unpaid assessments were given until 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, to have their property removed from the Tax Sale list. Miller said once their properties are sold, the owners have the option to redeem it up to three years through the Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s cleaning up loose ends, but they still have an out,” Miller said.

For further information or payment options, call the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Property Tax Department at (318) 965-3400.

Original article found here: http://bossierpress.com/annual-property-tax-sale-to-be-held-tuesday/