Frequently Asked Questions

Louisiana Tax Certificate Sales

Getting Started







Tax Certificate Sale Process



What is a tax title sale?

A tax title sale is the sale or adjudication of a tax sale title to property pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2155 and 2196.

A tax title sale is the sale of properties that have delinquent taxes due and owing the political subdivision. These properties are sold to the public for the amount of delinquent taxes due, plus any accrued interest, penalties, costs and other statutory impositions. If a property is sold at tax sale, the property owner has three years to redeem the property from the purchaser. For properties in Orleans Parish, this redemption period is reduced to 18 months if the property is deemed legally blighted or abandoned. The property owner may redeem the property by paying the tax sale purchaser the purchase price plus a 5% penalty and 1% interest per month from the date of the tax sale until the date it is redeemed. See: La. R.S. 47:2243.


What does a "tax sale title" confer to the tax sale purchaser?

A tax sale title confers on the tax sale purchaser, if the tax sale property is not redeemed within the redemptive period, full ownership of the tax sale property, free of ownership and other interests, claims or encumbrances held by all duly notified persons. A tax sale title is fully transferable and heritable, but any successor of a tax sale title takes it subject to any existing right to redeem the property or assert a nullity to the extent and for the period of time that the right would have existed in the absence of the transfer or succession. See: La. R.S. 47:2121C.


Who knows about the tax title sale?

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2153, the tax debtor is notified, and the tax sale is announced to the public through publication in the official journal of the political subdivision.


How does a tax title sale work?

Properties having tax delinquencies are offered at a public for the delinquent amount. Certain properties may have older taxes and other statutory impositions not offered in the auction total. Please consult the tax collector for the full delinquent amount.

Louisiana law stipulates that the property is sold at a tax sale to the purchaser willing to bid on the least percent ownership interest in the property. Properties listed for sale on CivicSource.com will be subject to an open bidding process. Rather than bidding on the dollar amount, participants bid on percent ownership interest in a property. The bidder willing to pay the total delinquent amount due for the least percent ownership interest will be the successful bidder.

The owner has three years to redeem the property (18 months in Orleans Parish if the property is legally blighted or abandoned) by paying the tax sale purchaser the tax sale purchase price, plus a five percent (5%) penalty and one percent (1%) interest per month from the date of the tax sale until redeemed to the public for the total delinquent amount due.


When and where will the properties offered at the tax sale be provided?

Starting one month before the auction opening date, the properties offered will be available to view on CivicSource.com.

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2153, the list of properties offered at the tax sale will also be advertised in the official journal of the political subdivision, more than 30 days before and within 7 days of the opening day of the tax sale. See also: La. R.S. 43:203.


Can the political subdivision remove properties offered from the auction?

Yes. The political subdivision reserves the right to withdraw from the auction any property listed at any time prior to the closing of the auction. If a property is withdrawn from the auction, it will be indicated as such on its full property description and details page. Additionally, if you have marked a property as a "Favorite" or placed a bid on property that is withdrawn from the auction, you will be notified by email.

If the client determines that the tax sale should not have occurred due to circumstances outside of its control, it reserves the right to cancel a sale and refund the tax sale purchaser the tax sale purchase price without repayment of the redemption penalty or interest.







Bidding Process


When:

You may bid on all properties only during auction hours.


How:

Bidding on properties is accomplished via the full property description and details page. Users must have a valid bank account registered to bid on properties.


Type:

This is an open bidding process. Participants will submit bids with knowledge of the value of the competing bids on the property. Additionally, if you placed a bid on a property and are outbid, you will be notified by email.


Overview:

Rather than bidding on the dollar amount, participants bid on the least amount of percent ownership interest for which they are willing to accept, while still paying the total delinquent amount due.

For instance, if the total delinquent amount due on a property is $1,000, one individual may submit a bid for a 100% ownership interest in that property and another individual may submit a bid for an 85% ownership interest in that property. The purchase amount of $1,000 remains the same for either bid. In this instance, the individual bidding the least percent ownership interest (85%) would be the successful bidder.

You may submit a bid at whatever percent ownership interest in a property you feel comfortable accepting, while still paying the total delinquent amount due.


Scenario - One Bidder:

In the instance of one bid, the sole bid submitted would be the winner.

The total delinquent amount due for a tax sale property is the same, whether you bid 100% or 1%.


Scenario - Multiple Bidders:

In the instance of multiple bidders, the lowest bid submitted will be the winner.

The total delinquent amount due for a tax sale property is the same, whether you bid 100% or 1%.



Winning:

The lowest bid wins! Winners will only be determined at the conclusion of the auction.


Questions by Investors


How do I know which properties have been sold?

All properties will be available for sale until the close of the auction.

However, the political subdivision reserves the right to withdraw from the auction any property listed at any time prior to the closing of the auction. If a property is withdrawn from the auction, it will be indicated as such on its full property description and details page. Additionally, if you have marked a property as a "Favorite" or placed a bid on property that is withdrawn from the auction, you will be notified by email.





If I purchase a property, do I receive full ownership rights?

No. Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2121C, a tax sale confers on the tax sale purchaser only tax sale title. The original property owner may redeem the property at any time within three (3) years from the date of recordation of the tax sale certificate. In Orleans Parish, if the property is deemed legally abandoned or blighted, the redemption period is eighteen (18) months. To redeem the property, the former owner must pay to the tax sale purchaser the total delinquent amount due, plus a five percent (5%) penalty thereon and interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month until redeemed. See: La. R.S. 47:2243.


What payment methods are accepted?

Payment must be made via ACH using a registered bank account. Please call us to arrange a wire transfer. A processing fee will apply per additional wire, if not paying in one installment.



Does payment have to be one installment?

Yes. Payment is made by one installment within 1 business day of the close of the auction. Wire transfers may be made in more than one installment, but a fee will apply for each additional installment.





Do I have to notify the owner that I purchased the property?

No. However, pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2156, within the applicable redemptive period, the tax sale purchaser may send a written notice to any or all tax sale parties notifying the parties of the sale. The notice shall provide full and accurate information necessary to contact the tax sale purchaser, including the name, physical address and telephone number of the purchaser. It shall be accompanied by a copy of the tax sale certificate received by the tax sale purchaser. The notice shall inform the tax sale parties that the failure to redeem the property prior to the expiration of the applicable redemptive period will terminate the right to redeem the property, and the purchaser will have the right to seek confirmation of the tax sale title and take actual possession of the property.

You should obtain legal advice as to your rights and obligations as a tax sale purchaser.


Am I responsible for paying the property taxes during the redemptive period?

Yes. Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2161, from the date of filing a tax sale certificate selling tax sale title to a tax sale purchaser, all taxes on the property shall, after that date, be assessed to and paid by the tax sale purchaser until the property is redeemed. If redeemed, the person redeeming shall pay all statutory impositions assessed upon the property subsequent to the tax sale, including associated interest and penalties.

Before paying subsequent year taxes as required by law, please contact the tax collector to make sure the property has not been redeemed. Failure to pay post-sale annual taxes may result in the property being sold at a later tax sale.

You should obtain legal advice as to your rights and obligations as a tax sale purchaser.


Do I receive interest upon any post-tax sale statutory impositions paid on the tax sale property, including upon the payment of annual property taxes, if the property is redeemed by the original property owner?

Yes. Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2243, Comment (b), to the extent the tax sale purchaser paid subsequent statutory impositions, which includes property taxes, the tax sale purchaser is entitled to reimbursement of those amounts, plus interest and penalties. Simple interest in the amount one percent (1%) per month accrues upon delinquent property taxes beginning January 1st of each year, until paid.

You should obtain legal advice as to your rights and obligations as a tax sale purchaser.






Can I make repairs and improvements to the property? Will I be repaid if the property is redeemed?

The tax sale purchaser may make repairs and improvements and is entitled to receive the value of any improvements made to the property only in instances wherein the improvements were mandated by order of the political subdivision. See: La. R.S. 47:2158; and 47:2243.

In the City of New Orleans, pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2161, if a tax sale purchaser has made improvements to abandoned or blighted property, as defined in R.S. 19:136.1, in order to bring the property into compliance with one or more municipal code ordinances prior to the property being redeemed, the person redeeming the property shall reimburse the tax sale purchaser for the costs of improvements required to bring the property into compliance with any such ordinances. The maximum amount of reimbursement for improvements shall be fifteen hundred dollars for abandoned property and three thousand dollars for blighted property. The maximum amount shall be per property per year.

You should obtain legal advice before making repairs and improvements to any property purchased at a tax sale.


Do I have to make repairs to the property? What happens if the property becomes "blighted" and the City orders me to make repairs or demolish the property? Will I be responsible for demolishing? Do I get reimbursed if the previous owner redeems?

In general, tax sale purchasers have the same responsibilities as property owners, including the duty to respond to all orders of government entities having jurisdiction.

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2158, the tax sale purchaser shall have a privilege on the property for the costs of complying with the order of the political subdivision. To preserve this privilege, the purchaser shall file the writ of possession with the recorder of mortgages of the parish in which the property is located within fifteen days after its issuance.

You should obtain legal advice before making repairs and improvements to any property purchased at a tax sale.



Can I rent the property after I purchase it?

Only if a writ of possession is issued. See: Can I take physical possession of the property?

You should obtain legal advice before renting any property purchased at a tax sale.




How long does the previous owner have to redeem their property?

The former owner may redeem the property at any time within the three-year redemptive period (in Orleans Parish, 18 months if the property is deemed legally abandoned or blighted) beginning on the date of recordation of the tax sale certificate. See: La. Const. Art. VII, Sec. 25B(1).


What happens when the previous owner redeems the property within the three-year redemptive period?

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2243, to redeem the property, the former owner must pay the purchase price, plus a five percent (5%) penalty thereon, and interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month until redeemed.

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2243, Comment (b), to the extent the tax sale purchaser paid subsequent statutory impositions, which includes property taxes, the tax sale purchaser is entitled to reimbursement of those amounts, plus interest and penalties. Simple interest in the amount 1% percent per month accrues upon delinquent property taxes beginning January 1st of each year, until paid.

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2161, if redeemed, the person redeeming shall pay all statutory impositions assessed upon the property subsequent to the tax sale.

Pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2158, the tax sale purchaser shall have a privilege on the property for the costs of complying with the order of the political subdivision.

You should obtain legal advice as to your rights and obligations as a tax sale purchaser.




Questions by Owners



What can I do to keep my property from being sold?

You can only prevent your property from being sold at a tax sale if you (1) are a member of the United States military on active duty and notify the collector of your active military status, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 561; (2) pay the overdue taxes and/or liens no later than the day before the opening of the tax sale; or (3) file for bankruptcy.


Can I designate a portion of my property to be sold?

If your property is made up of multiple parcels of property, pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2153, you can designate to the tax collector which portion of the property to sell to satisfy the total delinquent amount due.








Definitions


Ad valorem tax

(Latin for "according to value") means a tax based on the value of real estate or personal property.


Adjudication

means, subject to Article VII, Section 25(A)(2) of the Constitution of Louisiana, the bid to be accepted in tax sales shall be at least equal to the statutory impositions, costs, and interest; otherwise, the tax collector shall bid in tax sale title to the property for the political subdivision. The tax collector shall make out a tax sale certificate and file the tax sale certificate with the recorder of conveyances of the parish in which the property is located.


Adjudicated property

means property of which tax sale title is acquired by a political subdivision pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2196.


Bid

means, for the purposes of tax sale, an offer of percent ownership interest to acquire tax sale title to property.


Bidder

means, for the purposes of tax sale, a person offering a percent ownership interest to acquire tax sale title to property.


Certified funds

means a form of payment that is guaranteed to clear or settle by the company certifying the funds.


means, in computing, a small piece of text stored on a user"s computer by a web browser.



Governmental lien

means all liens imposed by law upon immovable property in favor of any political subdivision and filed in the mortgage records.


Interest

means an amount paid by the property owner to the tax sale purchaser in the amount of one percent (1%) per month of the tax sale purchase price until the tax sale property is redeemed.


means the giving of a formal opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law by an officer of the court, such as an attorney.


Lowest bid

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the lowest amount of percent ownership interest.


Office of Mortgages and Conveyances

means a public depository of documents that provides service to the public and legal profession. The office records all legal instruments that affect the transfer of real estate (immovable) and/or private or commercial (movable) property.


Open bidding

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the ability for competing bidders to see the prevailing winning bid amount.


Ordinance

means: (a) An act of a political subdivision that has the force and effect of law, including but not limited to an ordinance, a resolution, or a motion; or
(b) A rule or regulation promulgated by the State Land Office, the division of administration, or by another state agency with authority over adjudicated properties.


Notice

means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or which is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.


Owner

means a person who holds an ownership interest that has not been terminated pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2121C.



Political subdivision

means any of the following to the extent it has the power to levy ad valorem taxes and conduct tax sales for failure to pay ad valorem taxes:
(a) The state.
(b) Any political subdivision as defined in Article VI, Section 44 of the Louisiana Constitution.
(c) Any other agency, board, or instrumentality under Subparagraph (a) or (b) of this Paragraph.


Property

means, for the purpose of tax sale, tax sale property.



Recorder of mortgages

means the office that records all legal instruments that affect the dlansfer of real estate (immovable) and/or private or commercial (movable) property.


Redeem

means performing the act of Redemption.


Redemption

means the legal mechanism in which a property owner may pay the tax sale purchaser the tax sale purchase amount, plus a five percent (5%) penalty thereon and interest at a rate of one percent (1%) per month to remove the tax sale title from the property as provided in the Article VII, Section 25 of the Louisiana Constitution.


Redemption penalty

means an amount paid by the property owner to the tax sale purchaser in the amount of five percent (5%) of the tax sale purchase price when the tax sale property is redeemed.


Redemptive period

means the three (3) year period in which a person may redeem property as provided in the Article VII, Section 25 of the Louisiana Constitution. The redemptive period commences on the date the tax sale certificate is filed with the Office of Mortgages and Conveyances. For properties in the City of New Orleans, this redemption period is reduced to eighteen (18) months if the property is deemed legally blighted or abandoned.


Send

means either of the following:
(a) To deposit in the mail or deliver for transmission by any other commercially reasonable means of communication with postage or cost of transmission provided for, and properly addressed to any address reasonable under the circumstances.
(b) In any other way to cause to be received any written notice within the time it would have arrived if properly sent.


Statutory imposition

means ad valorem taxes and any imposition in addition to ad valorem taxes that are included on the tax bill sent to the tax debtor.


Successful bidder

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the individual who bid the lowest percent ownership interest on a tax sale property.


Tax collector

means either the Office of the Sheriff as provided for Article V, Section 27 of the Louisiana Constitution, or Director of Department of Finance for the City of New Orleans as provided for by Article IV, Chapter 13, Section 4-1301 of the Home Rule of the City of New Orleans.


Tax debtor

means, as of the date of determination, the tax debtor and any person requesting notice pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2159.


Tax notice party

means, as of the date of determination, the tax debtor and any person requesting notice pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2159.


Tax sale

means the sale or adjudication of tax sale title to property pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2154 and 2196.

A tax sale is the sale of properties that have delinquent taxes due and owing the political subdivision. These properties are sold to the public for the amount of delinquent taxes due, plus any accrued interest, costs and other statutory impositions. If a property is sold at tax sale, the property owner has three years to redeem the property from the purchaser. For properties in the City of New Orleans, this redemption period is reduced to eighteen (18) months if the property is deemed blighted or abandoned. The property owner may redeem the property by paying the tax sale purchaser the purchase price plus a five percent (5%) penalty and one percent (1%) interest per month from the date of the tax sale until the date it is redeemed.


Tax sale certificate

means the written notice evidencing a tax sale to be filed in accordance with La. R.S. 47:2155 and 2196.


Tax sale party

means the tax notice party, the owner of property, including the owner of record at the time of a tax sale, as shown in the conveyance records of the appropriate parish, and any other person holding an interest, such as a mortgage, privilege, or other encumbrance on the property, including a tax sale purchaser, as shown in the mortgage and conveyance records of the appropriate parish.


Tax sale property

means property for which tax sale title is sold pursuant to La. R.S. 47:2154.


Tax sale purchase price

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the total delinquent amount due for the acquisition of tax title to tax sale property.


Tax sale purchaser

means the purchaser of tax sale property, his successors, and assignees.


Tax sale title

means the set of rights acquired by a tax sale purchaser or, in the case of adjudicated property, on the applicable political subdivision.

A tax sale confers on the tax sale purchaser only tax sale title. If the tax sale property is not redeemed within the redemptive period, then at the termination of the redemptive period, the tax sale title transfers to its holder ownership of the tax sale property, free of ownership and other interests, claims or encumbrances held by all duly notified persons. A tax sale title is fully transferable and heritable, but any successor of a tax sale title takes it subject to any existing right to redeem the property or assert a nullity to the extent and for the period of time that the right would have existed in the absence of the transfer or succession. See R.S. 47:2121(C).



Total delinquent amount due

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the total tax, interest, penalties, costs and statutory impositions due by the property owner to the political subdivision causing the tax sale title to the property to be offered at sale.


Winning bid

means, for the purpose of tax sale, the lowest percent ownership interest bid. In the case of multiple lowest bids, the first bid submitted shall be the winning bid.


Writ of possession

means a writ addressed to the sheriff or constable commanding him to put the purchaser in physical possession of the property sold. See: La. R.S. 13:4346.


Disclaimer


Statement

The foregoing questions and answers are not intended as legal advice. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, auction participants are advised to educate themselves and/or to obtain the advice of an attorney as to the law and their legal rights. Property owners of auctioned property are advised to obtain the advice of an attorney as to their legal rights and obligations.