City Auditor’s Office makes recommendations to strengthen Land Bank’s contract and deed of trust monitoring
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2016
Today, the City Auditor’s Office released an audit of the Land Bank’s contract and deed of trust monitoring procedures. The Land Bank’s purpose is to manage, sell, transfer, and dispose of real estate located within the city limits that did not sell at Jackson County’s annual tax foreclosure sale.
The audit concluded that while Land Bank has policies and procedures for acquiring and transferring properties, it does not have written policies and procedures for monitoring mowing contracts or compliance with deed of trust requirements. Deed of trust requirements can include paying property taxes, maintaining the purchased property, and completing promised improvements to the property.
Land Bank does not have procedures to identify and track deed of trust requirements, property code and nuisance violations, and corrective actions. In addition, it does not have a plan in place for how to address unmet deed of trust requirements when the deed expires. Auditors tested compliance with deed of trust requirements and determined that some property owners had property or nuisance code violations, had not paid their property taxes, or had not completed required property improvements.
Mowing contracts did not always contain accurate information, contractors did not always comply with contract requirements, and some contract monitoring requirements, are beyond Land Bank’s capabilities.
The audit also concluded that Jackson County is transferring taxes paid by purchasers of Land Bank property to Lank Bank as required by state law.
The audit includes recommendations to improve Land Bank’s practices for monitoring mowing contracts and deed of trust requirements. Management agreed with the recommendations.
View the complete report online at http://kcmo.gov/cityauditor/