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​​

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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

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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

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,” 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.”

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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 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.

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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 to RSVP.

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Iberia Parish holds meeting on delinquent property sales

Iberia Parish Government will hold a meeting Thursday night to let residents know how they can participate in the parish’s delinquent property sale program.

The parish entered into an agreement with CivicSource, a developer that handles the sale of tax-delinquent properties through an online auction site. The company already handles sales for the city of New Iberia and St. Martin Parish, among others.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., at the Iberia Parish Central Library, 445 E. Main St. New Iberia. The meeting is free and open to the public.

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CivicSource to hold regional info session

CivicSource will hold a community information session on purchasing tax-adjudicated real estate in Northwest Louisiana at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium, 276 HM Stevens Blvd in Leesville.

Comprehensive training on all aspects of purchasing adjudicated properties, including how to acquire title insurance, will be covered. The event is free and open to the public.

All adjudicated properties for sale at went unsold in a previous tax sale.

Taxing authorities across Northwest Louisiana, including Vernon Parish Police Jury, the City of Leesville, Natchitoches Parish, and the City of Natchitoches auction these tax-delinquent properties online through

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 sales return blighted, abandoned or tax-delinquent properties to commerce while regenerating significant annual tax revenues to the parish. 

Visit to view a complete listing of qualified tax-distressed adjudicated properties or to nominate properties for auction through a deposit of $850.

The properties are listed for $0 plus closing costs. Both commercial and residential properties are available for purchase.

To RSVP for the upcoming information session on purchasing adjudicated properties, visit

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Bogalusa to hold real estate information session

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m., the city government of Bogalusa will partner with CivicSource to hold a community information session on purchasing tax-delinquent adjudicated real estate. The session will be at the Bogalusa City Hall courtroom, located at 202 Arkansas Ave.

The event is free and open to the public, and representatives from CivicSource will be available to answer questions from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the city hall lobby before the presentation begins. Comprehensive training on all aspects of purchasing adjudicated properties, including how to acquire title insurance, will be covered.

All adjudicated properties for sale at went unsold in a previous tax sale. The city of Bogalusa auctions these tax-delinquent properties online through 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 sales return blighted, abandoned or tax-delinquent properties to commerce, while regenerating significant annual tax revenues to the parish.

“This is an opportunity for the citizens of Bogalusa to learn how to purchase these adjudicated pieces of property,” Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said.

Interested citizens can visit online at to view a complete listing of qualified tax-distressed adjudicated properties or to nominate properties for auction through a deposit of $850. The properties are listed for $0 plus closing costs. Both commercial and residential properties are available for purchase.

To RSVP for the upcoming information session on purchasing adjudicated properties, visit

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Avoyelles Police Jury Tax Sale Property Meeting Generates Interest

Potential buyers learn process of online auction

About a dozen potential buyers attended an informational meeting on the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury’s new program to sell adjudicated — or “tax sale” — properties on its books.

At this time, there are five sites listed on the CivicSource website seeking potential bidders. One of the five has attracted at least one interested party who has put up an $850 deposit to get the process moving. That parcel is on Boggy Bayou Road near Marksville.

Beau Byers, a real estate attorney with CivicSource, said the company was created following Hurricane Katrina when many property owners in the New Orleans area abandoned their storm-damaged homes.

CivicSource helped to track down property owners to pursue tax payments and to help taxing authorities sell the abandoned properties. The company now helps parish and municipal governments around Louisiana and in a few other states to sell adjudicated properties and return them to the tax rolls.

Police Jury President Charles Jones said the parish “just wants to dispose of our adjudicated property. We want to stop having to cut the grass on these little lots around the parish and return the property to the tax rolls.”

Byers said adjudicated properties are those parcels that did not sell at a sheriff’s tax sale for five years and the taxes are still delinquent. At that time, the properties are turned over to the parish to manage. The five Avoyelles Parish properties have all been under Police Jury control for at least 10 years.

Byers said CivicSource sells title insurance with each piece of property it sells. That ensures the buyer has clear title to the property and that a long-lost heir won’t show up and stake a claim to the property. CivicSource tracks down all known heirs as part of its pre-auction work.


Abandoned houses not only look bad but can attract illegal activities, Byers said. For that reason, this program not only returns property to commerce and removes a cost and responsibility from the local government, it also fights blight and crime.

The average starting cost of a piece of property is $4,800, Byers said. That cost has little to do with the size of the parcel or its market value. It reflects the cost of tracking down heirs and completing all necessary paperwork for the sale.

Before a property is put up for auction, it has to be “nominated” by a potential buyer who is willing to submit an $850 deposit. If that person wins the auction, the deposit is applied toward the final cost. If he loses, the deposit is refunded. If he or any other bidder does not bid at least enough to cover all closing costs, he forfeits the deposit and can be banned from participating in future auctions.

CivicSource Investor Relations Manager Madelyn Duran said the Police Jury has 70 potential parcels of property to put up for auction.

The process takes about three months from the time a deposit is submitted to put the property up for auction to the day of the online auction. Most of that time is legally mandated waiting periods to give potential heirs time to respond.

Should an heir come forward with an interest to retain the property, they would be given an opportunity to redeem the property. If that happens, the deposit will be returned to the potential bidder.

Byers said the property still technically belongs to the previous owner. The parish merely maintains it. However, once the process is finished the previous owner and/or heirs relinquish all rights to the property.

If a parcel with closing costs of $4,800 is sold for a high bid of $10,000, the additional $5,200 would go to the Police Jury. If the closing costs are $4,800 and only one person bids that amount, then the property is essentially purchased for $0 plus closing costs, which is paid to CivicSource.


“Title insurance allows you to get a mortgage or a loan to improve that property,” Byers said.

“The property may not seem like it is worth the closing costs of, on average, $4,800,” Duran said. “The investor is not necessarily looking at what that property is worth now, in its current condition, but what it will be worth once improvements are made to it in the future.”

Those interested in participating can go to and click on the adjudicated property tab to view available properties in not only Avoyelles but surrounding parishes.

Adjoining landowners who have maintained the adjudicated parcel for at least a year — such as mow the grass — can purchase the property for the closing costs only and would not have to compete for the property at auction.

Police Juror Marsha Wiley, who is heading the jury’s program, said she was pleased with the interest shown in the meeting.
“This is a way to get property back into the hands of the public and receive taxes for the parish,” she said. “These properties have been off the tax books for at least 10 years. It’s time to do something with them.”

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Avoyelles Police Jury to Hold Meeting on How to Buy Tax Sale Property

6:30 p.m. Thursday in Mansura AgCenter

For more than 10 years, five parcels of land have sat idle as property of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury, waiting to be useful again.

The beginning of the end of that wait may be at hand with an informational meeting on how to purchase “tax-adjudicated” real estate, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 24) at the LSU AgCenter on La. Hwy 1 in Mansura.

The parish has made no use of these tracts and no taxes have been paid to those government entities receiving property taxes for a decade. The Police Jury is making these parcels its first group to be sold because of the length of time since the original owners lost their possession rights.

Earlier this year the Police Jury decided to address the problem of returning “adjudicated property” to the tax rolls by selling them to interested buyers. Representatives of the Assessor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office Tax Division, District Attorney’s Office and Police Jury worked together to research possible options.

The result of that work was a recommendation to hire CivicSource, a New Orleans-based company specializing in online auctions for “tax-distressed real estate.”

In short, Civic Source researches the title and does all the “heavy lifting” to prepare to sell a property that was obtained by a government due to non-payment of taxes.

The Thursday meeting will explain the process to the public and describe the properties going up for auction.

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge. To RSVP, visit events.CivicSource. com. Registration is recommended but not required.

Police Juror Marsha Wiley is heading the jury’s efforts to return tax sale properties to the tax rolls.


“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Wiley said. “The parish gets rid of property that has just been sitting on the books for over 10 years and the buyer gets a piece of property with clear title. This means abandoned properties that have been maintained by the parish for years will be back on the tax rolls and no longer a burden on taxpayers,” she added.

Wiley said she is especially grateful to Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gaspard, who has worked with adjudicated properties in the past and provided a wealth of legal expertise to ensure the parish was not stepping out on unstable legal ground.

She said CivicSource “does this for a living. They are doing this in other parishes across the state. They do all the legwork, contact all the heirs, etc., and makes sure there is clear title to the property so the buyer does not have to worry about the original owner coming back and reclaiming the property.”

CivicSource conducts adjudicated property auctions in 50 parishes and municipalities in the state, as well as many other out-of-state taxing authorities.

All properties in the auction will have gone unsold in a tax sale and not been redeemed by the original owners. CivicSource ensures all owners, heirs and interested persons affiliated with a tax-delinquent property have been properly notified and given ample opportunity to redeem the property before it qualifies for one of its adjudicated property auctions, a CivicSource spokesperson said.

The five parcels to be discussed are 716 Branch St. in Simmesport and four lots in or near Marksville — one on Boggy Bayou Road, one off Ferdinand Street, one near Deanna Drive and one on Brouillette Street.


The auction price for a piece of property begins at $0 plus closing costs. Closing costs vary, but CivicSource spokesperson Molly Richard said the average is $4,800. That includes all of the legal fees involved in obtaining clear title to the property. The past taxes on the property are not included in the closing costs, she said.

The final price of a property depends on the bidders. The Police Jury would receive anything in addition to the closing costs. For example, if closing costs were $4,800 and the high bid was $5,000, CivicSource would receive $4,800 and the parish would receive $200. If the high bid was $10,000, CivicSource would get $4,800 and the parish would get $5,200.
CivicSource’s payment is included in the closing costs. The company does not get paid a commission or percentage of the bid price.

For a property to be placed on the list for auction and for CivicSource to begin its research to prepare it for sale, an interested buyer must make an $850 deposit. That ensures there is at least one person bidding on the property.

If that bidder loses the auction, he gets his deposit back. If he wins, the deposit is applied to the final auction price. If he decides not to bid, he forfeits the deposit. Once a pool of interested buyers has been trained in CivicSource’s process, the technology-driven property auction will occur online at

Bidders will be able to research the properties and participate in the auction from anywhere with internet access.

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