Next week, 1,800 properties that were taken over by the city due to unpaid taxes will be available for purchase in an online auction in New Orleans. There are around 90 tax adjudicated properties that are mostly vacant lots within the city that will be up for virtual auction. The winning bidders will receive full owenership of the properties, not just a lien against it. In the past five years, the previous properties that have been up for sale that went unsold are now controlled by the city.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in a statement, said the auction will “help to spur new development and strengthen communities.”
Landrieu’s administration announced the initiative in February, explaining it as the largest auction of its kind in the city’s history. It is an innovative way to return hundreds of properties to commerce by eliminating the risk to potential buyers that comes with making purchases at tax sales.
At the the end of a tax sale, a buyer does not technically own a property. They must begin the foreclosure process against the current property owner, who then in return can fight it. Next week during the auction, former owners will forfeit all rights to the property, and winning bidders will get a free and clear title.
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