By Jill Terreri
The Fillmore District had the most properties sold at the city's auction, but the lowest average bid, and the Delaware District saw the lowest number of properties sold - just four - but the highest average bid.
The Brown administration's CitiStat team today heard from the commissioner of assessment and taxation, Martin Kennedy, about the results from the city's foreclosure auction, known as In Rem 46, which was held in late October.
Here are some highlights:
- * The highest average winning bid was $93,250, in Delaware, and the lowest was $3,207, in Fillmore. The average winning bid across the city was $7,091, the highest it has been in the last seven years. The rest of the average bids in descending order by district: University, $18,563; South, $15,548; Niagara, $13,499; North, $12,678; Lovejoy, $7,714; Masten, $7,257; and Ellicott, $3,775. (A map of the city below shows the Council districts.)
- * The number of sales in descending order: Fillmore, 389; Masten, 218; Ellicott, 156; Lovejoy, 137; Niagara, 75; University, 51; North, 45; South, 29; and Delaware, 4.
- * Sales in Masten yielded the most amount of money, $1.58 million, followed by $1.25 million in Fillmore; $1.06 million in Lovejoy; $1.01 million in Niagara, $946,700 in University; $588,900 in Ellicott; $570,500 in North; $450,900 in South; and $373,000 in Delaware.
- * The total amount of winning bids, $7.83 million, is the highest the city has seen in seven years. Last year's total sales were $6.4 million.
- * The city kept 493 properties that were up for auction for its own purposes, either for future development potential or a public use, up from just 13 properties in 2011, and 6 in 2010. In the last seven years, the city kept the most amount of parcels - 1,121 - during In Rem 41, in 2007. In descending order, the number of properties the city kept by district: Fillmore, 342; Ellicott, 69; Masten, 39; Lovejoy, 34; Niagara, 8; and University, 1. None were struck to the city in Delaware, North or South districts.
- * The most court orders (which means a payment plan was worked out and a property was removed from the list) were granted in the Masten District - 332 - while the fewest were granted in Delaware, just 13. The rest in descending order: Fillmore, 254; Lovejoy, 177; Ellicott, 151; Niagara 118; University, 114; North, 60; South, 36.
The auction is held every year, and the city sells parcels where their owners have not paid taxes, garbage user fees or sewer bills. The list of properties that sold, and their value, is here.
Prior to the auction, city lawyers meet with people who want to work out a payment plan in an effort to get those properties off of the foreclosure list. The meetings take place over four days in the basement of Erie County Court.
In 2012, negotiations with people, most of whom represented themselves, resulted in 1,255 properties with court orders, which took them off the foreclosure list. A total of 1,357 court orders were granted, but just 1,255 of the orders were effective at the end of the process. Just 226 of the effective court orders were granted to people who paid for a private attorney, while 645 were granted to people who represented themselves. The rest were represented by Legal Aid (240), Legal Services for the Elderly (94), and Volunteer Lawyers Project (50).