VI. The Patent Process
A. Applications to purchase, once accepted by the Secretary of State as
complete, shall remain on file at least thirty (30) days before same are finally
approved or disapproved. Miss. Code Ann. § 29-1-37.
B. During the thirty (30) day waiting period, the Secretary of State shall
ascertain the estimated fair market value of the land, using either the first or
both of the following methods.
1. The Secretary of State shall request the county tax assessor to certify
in writing as to the most recent true value of the land and any improvements
thereon, to the best of his information and belief.
2. The Secretary of State may obtain an appraisal report of the real
estate from a real estate appraiser chosen by the Secretary of State. The
Secretary of State, in selecting a licensed real estate appraiser, shall give
preference to residents of the county in which the property is situated.
C. During the thirty (30) day waiting period, the Secretary of State shall
make reasonable efforts to locate and notify record owners at the time the
property was forfeited to the state that application to purchase the property
has been made.
D. If an application to purchase is received from the former owner, his
heirs, executors or administrators, or the mortgagee, and is found to be valid,
that applicant takes priority.
E. If no such application to purchase as described in Section D
immediately preceding or transfer request in Section IV is received by the
Secretary of State, the property will be priced to the applicant.
F. The purchase price of the land shall be determined, using as a
guideline the value of the land as established pursuant to Rule VI B., and the
goal of obtaining optimal price for the land.
G. Every reasonable consideration must be given to obtain optimal price
for the land when it is sold to a purchaser in the application process who is
not a state agency, county, municipality or political subdivision of the state.
McCullen v. Tate. A price of 25% of estimated fair market value shall be
available to persons eligible for a special patent but who cannot show that
nonpayment of taxes was unintentional.
H. The minimum price of property sold to an applicant other than a state
agency, county, municipality or political subdivision of the state, under a
regular patent (except as set forth in VI G. above) shall be fifty percent (50%)
of its estimated fair market value.
1. Property valued at $250.00 or less shall be priced at one hundred
percent (100%) of its estimated market value and the total amount of delinquent
taxes and fees, including damages and costs.
2. Where lands have situated thereon buildings or personal property which
are deteriorating, such "blighted properties" may be sold for any consideration
the Secretary of State may deem reasonable, irrespective of the amount of taxes
for which such land was sold. Lands shall be designated as blighted property
when the Secretary of State's field inspection confirms a complaint that the
property is in a deteriorated or impaired condition and presents a hazard to
public health, safety or welfare.
I. Except as set forth in H.2 above, the purchase price shall never be
less than the total amount of delinquent taxes and fees, including damages and
costs. If the municipality or county within which the property is located has
reported to the Secretary of State costs incurred in maintaining lands, the
amount of said maintenance costs shall be collected from the purchaser and
reimbursed to the county or municipality from the purchase money. In no event
shall the maintenance costs allowed the county or municipality exceed the
purchase money received from the sale of the lands.
J. The applicant shall be offered the property at the price determined by
the Secretary of State pursuant to these rules, or at the highest price offered
by any applicant, whichever is greater. However, transfers to any other state
agency, county, municipality or political subdivision of the state are not
subject to this requirement.
1. A written offer to sell at the price determined by the Secretary of
State shall be forwarded to the first applicant, with instructions to remit
payment in full within fifteen (15) days of said offer.
a. An extension may be granted in the discretion of the Secretary of
State, but in no event shall extensions be granted beyond six (6) months of the
initial offer date.
(i) If an application is canceled for failure to remit purchase price,
applicant may re-file no more than three (3) times, but subsequent applications
shall not qualify for priority pursuant to rule VI D.
2. If the applicant refuses to buy at the price offered, the land will be
offered to subsequent applicants in the order in which the applications were
3. If the first offer is not accepted, offer shall be made to the second
applicant based on information available at the time the offer is made to that
second applicant. Thus a higher buying price offered by an applicant subsequent
to the Secretary of State's first offer to sell will result in the property
being offered by the Secretary of State at that higher price to the second
applicant. This rule shall apply consecutively as applications are accepted.