Hancock County

Thousands of properties up for auction in Hancock County

Open land and building lots in Hancock County are among the properties up for tax sale at an online auction conducted by the Secretary of State’s office.
Open land and building lots in Hancock County are among the properties up for tax sale at an online auction conducted by the Secretary of State’s office. Courtesy Secretary of State

Bidding is open on an online auction to sell 2,038 tax-forfeited properties throughout Hancock County.

The auction opened Wednesday and the mostly residential properties have a combined value of about $11.87 million.

This is the latest in a series of online auctions, launched by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann in July, as a way to streamline the purchase of tax-forfeited properties. Previous auctions sold properties in Bay St. Louis, Greenville, Greenwood, Hinds County, Jackson, McComb, Meridian, Pearl River County, Rankin County, Waveland, Vicksburg and Yazoo City.

Bids must be submitted online through the secretary of state’s online auction portal until 11:59 p.m. May 17. Paper bids will not be accepted.

The minimum bid historically has been about 10 percent of the market value of the property, Hosemann said, so a $15,000 lot’s minimum bid would be about $1,500.

“Some people are fixing to get a really good deal here,” he said. Successful bidders will be notified by email as soon as possible after the auction closes, and the winning bid must be paid within 15 days of notification.

An added feature is “Buy it Now,” which Hosemann said allows bidders to buy properties outright. If the purchase is approved, usually the same day, the property will be taken out of the auction.

A photo is provided of some of the properties or, with Google Earth, people can “virtually” stand right in front of the land or home and see the surrounding neighborhood.

“These auctions are critical to local communities because they raise funds for education and infrastructure and revitalize neighborhoods,” Hosemann said. The auctions have raised millions of dollars for Mississippi schools and municipalities, and he said, “Every dollar that I collect goes to the city and the county.”

Before the online auctions, Hosemann said, paper bids were taken and that delayed the final sale by a month.

“We’re the most automated secretary of state in the country,” he said. The office handles 700,000 documents a year online.

Details: sos.ms.gov/Public-Lands/Pages/Tax-Forfeited-Auction.aspx or call Public Lands Division at 601-359-5156

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