Bossier embraces new way to fight blight

Bossier Parish, LA – The Shreveport Times – Bossier Parish Police Jury has taken a historic step in fighting blight.

The parish recently entered into a partnership with CivicSource, a company that makes online auctions of a city’s adjudicated properties possible. Last Friday, in a first for the parish, 31 of its  adjudicated properties became available online to potential buyers..

Cities often take multi-faceted approaches to fighting blight and turning around adjudicated properties. Placing properties online has proven a successful method in cities such as  New Orleans — and since buyers pay the total cost, partnership with CivicSource costs the city and taxpayers nothing.

Patrick Culverhouse, public information officer for the parish, said administrator Bill Altimus knew about CivicSource because the company had been attending Police Jury meetings and working on the online auction process for years.

“There are serious advantages to having an outside source handle these issues for us,” Culverhouse said. “What we want to see are those properties back into commerce, and that is something that CivicSource can do for us.”

CivicSource’s chief legal officer Stephen Morel said online auctions open property sales to a wider audience, generate revenue for cities, speed up the sale of adjudicated properties and actually raise the selling price. CivicSource, based in New Orleans, also provides title insurance on sold properties.

“What governments have been trying to do is sell these properties off one at a time, but without title insurance,” Morel said. “The ability to provide title insurance on adjudicated properties has been a foreign concept to governments. No one wanted to take that risk.”

Without the title to a property, a purchaser technically owns the land but runs into roadblocks when trying to take out a mortgage. City governments in the past also have debated on whether to fund the sale of adjudicated properties. But with platforms such as CivicSource, the buyer initiates the sale and the process costs city governments and taxpayers nothing.

The way it works is the winning bidder at auction picks up all the costs associated with the company’s preparation of a property. Morel said the costs associated with the property — including the initial research, notification process, estimated closing costs and cost of title insurance — all are included in the base starting price at auction.

“Taxpayers pay nothing,” Morel said. “There’s no commission on the sale. There’s absolutely no liability to the governing agency.”

Partnerships with Caddo parish and the Bossier Parish Police Jury district are still too new to have comprehensive data for the cities, Morel said. But data the company collected from its other partnerships indicate online auctions work.

Morel said since launching in July, the online auctions have collected more than $16 million through sales of more than 600 properties across Louisiana. Cities have collected an additional $3 million in redemptions from owners of adjudicated properties slated for sale, according to the company.

Via The Shreveport Times

Shelby County, TN – To post January 2016 Tax Sale Properties online at

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Dec. 18, 2015) – Shelby County will host its quarterly tax sale of delinquent properties online on starting Tuesday, January 19th at 8:00 a.m. CST through Thursday, January 21st at 8:00 p.m. CST. The implementation of an online tax sale is the first of its kind for the state of Tennessee, and it allows people to bid from their computers instead of in-person at the courthouse.

Over 500 residential, commercial and vacant properties included in January’s sale will be posted to Saturday, Dec. 19 at noon.

“Having the tax sale online makes the process more efficient and streamlined,” said Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir. “Not only is it convenient, it broadens the pool of prospective bidders, potentially increasing revenue for the county.”

Registration is free and open now. The opening bid for a property includes delinquent city and county taxes, accrued interest and penalty charges, court costs, attorney fees, as well as service and title costs. Owners of the property may still pay the amount of taxes governing the sale up until the close of business prior to the day of the sale.

“Delinquent taxes have a significantly negative impact on the potential revenue for country government. We are sincerely grateful to be given the opportunity to assist Shelby County and offer a viable solution to redress the problem through the use of our technology,” said CivicSource CEO Bryan Barrios.

Bossier Police Jury posts adjudicated properties online for spring 2016 auction

Biz.MAG – The first adjudicated properties for auction consideration in Bossier Parish were posted on Friday, Dec. 11.

Included in the 31 available properties are those that have failed to sell at previous tax sales and will return to commerce as a result, generating significant tax revenues to the parish. The average starting bid is $3,500, which includes all closing costs, as well as the cost of title insurance.

“The Bossier community and its residents are our greatest priority. As part of our continuous efforts to improve and restore our parish, we are thrilled to have a partner that can expedite and streamline the property auction program. CivicSource provides more than an online auction system; they offer a level of service and product that is changing the way we collect these late or unpaid taxes. The end result is a win-win: less blight and more tax revenue,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus.

Monthly auctions occur on the first Wednesday of each month, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In order for a property to be included in an auction, a $750 deposit must be placed approximately 120 days prior. Once a deposit places, all presale legal compliance begins, and when finalized, the investor is notified of the appropriate auction date. If the depositor is not the winning bidder at the auction, they are fully refunded the deposit amount.

“Adjudicated property is a leading cause of blight and abandoned property, leading to crime and decreased revenues for communities nationwide. We are grateful to provide a viable solution to those seeking to redress this problem and are excited for Bossier Parish to lead this effort for their residents,” said CivicSource CEO Bryan Barrios.

Since launching in July, the online auctions have collected over $16 million through the sale of over 600 properties across Louisiana. Millions more have been recovered directly from owners of adjudicated properties who redeemed their properties that were slated for sale.

via Biz.Mag 

Coming Soon – Shelby County Tennessee Tax Sale

Memphis, TN – Shelby County Government will host its January 2016 Tax Sale online at starting Tuesday, January 19th at 8:00 a.m. CST and ending Thursday, January 21st at 8:00 p.m., subject to a sliding close. Properties will be available to view starting December 19th at Register now for a free account and familiarize yourself with several investor friendly features such as custom watch-lists, sliding close and proxy biding.

When registering, be sure to opt-in to our email newsletter. We will send an update with additional information on the Shelby County Tax Sale and provide a link to the available properties on December 19th.

Enjoy the sale!