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Acquiring Blighted Property in Louisiana Under the Blighted Property Statue: Possible Only with Dogged Perseverance

Posted by Amanda Butler Schley | Mar 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

I've worked with a few clients that were intent on acquiring blighted property in their neighborhood.  And depending on the parish you are seeking to acquire the property in, there are a few different approaches available.  This article will focus on Louisiana's Blighted Property Statute, La. R.S. 9:5633, which was first proposed as the solution to Louisiana, particularly New Orleans' blight problem.

An epidemic caused by Hurricane Katrina and Louisiana's succession and property laws. 

For a few years after the statute was first adopted, I watched developers make half-hearted attempts to use the statute.  I can say I don't know a single person that has made it through the whole process from start to finish. 

The reason that could be is the sheer volume of steps involved in the process.  Another is the requirement to pay the back taxes and blight fines which can be substantial. 

We were recently asked by a client to dust off the statue, so BLG developed a detailed checklist of steps required to acquire property by possession. We hope it will help you in your pursuit.  If you are overwhelmed - we are happy to assist.

ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION OF BLIGHTED PROPERTY CHECKLIST

Requirements Pursuant to La. R.S. 9:5633

 

ITEM

NOTES

     
1.               Confirm Parish population is 300,00 or more Check most recent federal census
2.               Obtain certified copy of judgment declaring/certifying Property as blighted  
3.               File Pre-Possession Affidavit with Orleans Parish Conveyance Records Pre-Possession Affidavit must state:·      Possessor's name and address;·      Intention of Possessor to take possession of the Property for own account in accordance with La. R.S. 9:5633;·      Possession of the property shall not commence until 60 calendar days from the date of filing the affidavit; and·      Short legal description of the property Attach to the Pre-Possession Affidavit:·      Certified copy of judgment declaring/certifying property as blighted; and·      Certificate from clerk of court for district court showing that 30 days have elapsed since date of judgment/declaration of blight AND certifying that an appeal has not been filed in the district court 
4.               Mail Pre-Possession Affidavit and attachments to: ·      Record property owner at address on file with tax assessor;·      Owners of properties having common boundaries to the Property at addresses on file with tax assessor; and·      All parties having an interest in the Property, as shown in mortgage and conveyance records, at reasonably ascertained addresses  Must:·      Be mailed within 1 week after filing Pre-Possession Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records; and·      Be sent certified mail, return receipt requested
5.               Affix Pre-Possession Notice to Property Must:·      Be done within 1 week after filing Pre-Possession Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records;·      Be placed in prominent location on Property;·      State Possessor's name and address;·      State intention of Possessor to take possession of the Property for own account; and·      State date affixed to Property 
6.               Request Mortgage Certificate from recorder of mortgages Must:·      Be requested within 90 calendar days after filing Pre-Possession Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records;·      Set forth full legal description of Property; and·      Be run in the name of the record property owner for a period commencing on the date Property acquired by record property owner and ending 60 days after filing Pre-Possession Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records.
7.               Take Possession of the Property ·      No sooner than the date Mortgage Certificate is generated and no later than 60 calendar days following the Mortgage Certificate being generated 
8.               File Post-Possession Affidavit with Orleans Parish Conveyance Records ·      Within 10 days of taking possession of the Property; Post-Possession Affidavit must state:·      Possessor's name and address;·      Possessor has taken possession of the Property for own account;·      Date Possessor took possession;·      Acts taken (above) to effect possession; and·      Short legal description of the property Attach to the Post-Possession Affidavit:·      Mortgage Certificate showing 60 days have elapsed from filing Pre-Possession Affidavit and showing no notice of lis pendens filed against the Property, and that the Property has not been seized under writ of fieri facias or seizure and sale 
9.               Mail Post-Possession Affidavit and attachments to: ·      Record property owner at address on file with tax assessor; and·      All parties having an interest in the Property, as shown in mortgage and conveyance records, at reasonably ascertained addresses  Must:·      Be mailed within 1 week after filing Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records; and·      Be sent certified mail, return receipt requested
10.            Affix Post-Possession Notice to Property Must:·      Be done within 1 week after filing Post-Possession Affidavit in Orleans Parish Conveyance records;·      Be placed in prominent location on Property;·      State Possessor's name and address;·      State Possessor has taken possession of the Property for own account; and·      State date Possessor took possession 
11.            Pay all ad valorem taxes, interest, and penalties due  
12.            Demolish Improvements or obtain Certificates of Use and Occupancy ·      Within 170 calendar days after Possessor takes possession 

About the Author

Amanda Butler Schley

Founding Partner Amanda Butler is a transactional business attorney with more than a decade of sophisticated deal experience, representing corporations, C suiteexecutives, and entrepreneurs. With a focus on the hospitality industry,Amanda serves as counsel to the country's fastest-growing brunc...

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