§1578.  Cancellation of lien, privilege, and mortgage; compromises

A.  In any case where the tax, penalty, or interest secured by a recorded lien, privilege, and mortgage have been paid, the  secretary or his authorized assistants or attorneys may authorize the cancellation thereof.

B.  In other cases, the secretary may authorize the cancellation or release of a lien, privilege, or mortgage subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1)  The secretary, upon application of a taxpayer, may authorize the cancellation of any lien, privilege, or mortgage or other encumbrance recorded by virtue of this Subtitle, provided the taxpayer furnishes a surety bond in favor of the secretary executed by a surety company duly qualified to do business in this state in an amount of not less than one and one-half times the amount of the obligation due, including penalties, interest, and other costs incurred.

(2)  The secretary may authorize the release of any immovable property from the effect and operation of any lien, privilege, mortgage, or other encumbrance, recorded by virtue of this Subtitle, provided, that the  secretary is satisfied that the remaining immovable property belonging to the tax debtor and upon which the lien, privilege, and mortgage bears, is valued at not less than the amount of the remaining tax obligation, including all penalties, interest and other costs incurred, and the amount of all prior liens upon such property.  In determining the value of the remaining property, due consideration shall be given to prior ranking encumbrances, if any exist on the property.

(3)  The secretary may issue a certificate of release of any part of the property subject to any lien, privilege, mortgage, or other encumbrance recorded by virtue of this Subtitle, if there is paid over to the secretary in partial satisfaction of the liability an amount determined by the secretary, which shall not be less than the value, as determined by the secretary, of the interest of the state of Louisiana in the part to be released, or the secretary determines at any time that the interest of the state of Louisiana in the part to be released has no value.  In determining the value of the interest of the state of Louisiana in the part to be released, the secretary shall give consideration to the value of the part and to all prior ranking liens or other encumbrances existing on the part to be released.

(4)(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, the secretary, with the approval of two assistant secretaries, may compromise any judgments for taxes of five hundred thousand dollars or less exclusive of interest and penalty, including assessments for such amounts which are  equivalent to judgments upon a determination that any of the following apply:

(i)  There is serious doubt as to the collectibility of the outstanding judgment.

(ii)  There is serious doubt as to the taxpayer's liability for the outstanding judgment.

(iii)  The administration and collection costs involved would exceed the amount of the outstanding liability.

(b)  This authority is wholly discretionary, and no taxpayer shall have a right to a compromise under the provisions of this Paragraph.

(c)  A complete record of all such compromises shall be kept by the secretary, shall be open to public inspection, and, notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 47:1508 and 1508.1, each such compromise shall be published in the department's annual report.

C.  The certificate of release or cancellation of lien, privilege, or mortgage herein provided shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary and shall be accepted by all filing officers.  Nonstandard form penalties shall not be applicable to such filings presented pursuant to this Section.

D.  All fees or costs associated with the cancellation or release of a lien, privilege, or mortgage provided for herein shall be assessed against the taxpayer.

E.  The secretary shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement this Section under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Amended by Acts 1958, No. 307, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1383, §1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 2004, No. 56, §1, eff. May 21, 2004; Acts 2014, No. 198, §1, eff. July 1, 2014.