I didn’t pay my property taxes. What happens, next?

When a property owner’s taxes become delinquent in Louisiana, a lien is placed on the property. This means your property is now liable for those taxes, which could have serious repercussions. Every state has a law in place allowing local governments to sell your property to collect taxes owed. In Louisiana, after a lien is placed on a property, it is then subject to a possible auction at a tax sale held each May/June, where the entire property or a portion of it is sold to pay the bill.

What happens if my property is up for bid at a tax auction in Louisiana?

If your property is going up for bid, you will receive a notice by mail and publication. Initially, you will have time to catch up on the overdue tax amounts during a “redemption period.” If you don’t pay during this grace period, you will lose the property.

You can stop the sale by paying the taxes due up until the day before the sale. At the tax sale, you may also pay the amount due plus interest and costs due at the time of sale. This payment counts as a redemption. The redemption period in Louisiana is usually three years after the date the tax sale certificate was recorded. You must pay the price the purchaser paid for the property, plus additional costs such as a 5% penalty and 1% interest.

What happens if my property is not sold at a tax auction in Louisiana?

Not every property receives a bid at a tax sale. Those that do not will be “adjudicated” to the city and/or Parish where those entities will be given a type of tax deed to the property. Properties adjudicated to the Parish will not be involved in any future tax sales. These properties can only be sold by the Parish, declared “needed by the Parish for public use, or “redeemed” by the original owner.

Can I survive the tax sale process?

In Louisiana, yes you can. Having a tax lien placed on your property is not the end of the road. There are several options available for Louisiana residents and business owners. Contact your local Parish Assessor’s/Collector’s office for additional details.