A tax deed sale is a public auction where property is sold to the highest bidder in order to recover delinquent property taxes.
A deputy clerk employed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court conducts the sale or public auction in accordance with Florida Statute 197.103
Tax deed sales are held as advertised at the County Courthouse.
Yes, the tax deed sales are advertised in one of the local newspapers which advertise public notices. The Clerk of Circuit Court is required by Florida Statute 197.402 to advertise each sale once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the public auction.
An ownership and encumbrance report is provided in the file maintained on each property to be sold at a tax deed sale. The files are available for the public to review in the Recording Department of the Clerk of Circuit Court.
Private Liens & Judgments do not survive the Tax Sale. Governmental liens & judgments survive the issuance of a tax deed and are satisfied to the fullest extent possible with any overbid monies from the sale. Governmental liens not satisfied in full survive the issuance of a tax deed. However certain State liens can be extinguished in a Tax Deed sale.
The property owner has up until the day of the sale to “redeem” the property, which is to pay to the Tax Collector all current and delinquent taxes and other costs associated with the tax deed sale. Payment must be made in full and payable to the County Tax Collector by cash or certified funds. The property owner may redeem the property up until the time the successful bidder renders payment and a tax deed is issued.
You may wish to research or seek legal advice on any property you are considering bidding for before the tax deed sale. Generally, when any lands are sold for the nonpayment of taxes, the title may not be a marketable title. If you are the successful bidder, you may need to file a quiet title suit to clear the title to the property. Quiet title suits are civil law suits and are not handled by the tax deed clerk. Information on this procedure and costs would be available from an attorney that handles these suits.
According to Florida Statute 197.562, the grantee of any tax deed shall be entitled to the immediate possession of the lands described in the deed.
If a demand for possession is refused, the tax deed owner may apply to the circuit court for a writ of assistance upon 5 days’ notice directed to the person refusing to deliver possession. If the person does not vacate the property the tax deed owner must file with the circuit court, if the filing is in order the court will direct the sheriff to put the tax deed owner in possession of the property.
The opening bid of each property to be sold is determined by adding together the sum of all the outstanding tax certificates, delinquent taxes paid, fees, costs of the sale and interest, all as specified in the Florida Statutes. The opening bid is usually determined approximately ten days to two weeks prior to the sale date. It is available in the file maintained in the recording department of the Clerk of Circuit Court.
You may need to “pre-register” or check in with the deputy clerk before the sale. After the sale, if you are the successful bidder, you will receive instructions from the deputy clerk.
You may need to report to the Recording Department of the Clerk’s office immediately after the sale to receive information from the deputy clerk. You will be given the total payment due, which includes the bid amount, recording fees and documentary stamps. You will be asked to provide to the deputy clerk the name(s) in which you wish the tax deed to be issued. Your total payment must be made within 24 hours from the date and time of the sale. Payment must be in the form of cash, cashier’s check or money order payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court. Remember, the property owner can redeem the property at the Tax Collector up until the time the successful bidder makes full payment and a tax deed is issued. Once the deputy clerk issues the tax deed, the property cannot be redeemed. At the conclusion of the bidding, the high bidder is required by law to pay the Clerk $200.00 cash or 5%, whichever is greater.
According to Florida Statutes 197.542(1), the Clerk may refuse to recognize the bid of any person who has previously bid and refused, for any reason, to honor such bid. In other words, you would not be allowed to bid at any future tax deed sales in this county. The property would be re-advertised and offered for sale again at a later date.
The Property Appraiser’s Office can provide you with information on any structural improvements on the property. Additional information is provided in the tax deed file which is located in the Recording department of the Clerk of Circuit Court. The laws governing tax deed sales can be found in Chapter 197 of the Florida Statutes. The rules of the Florida Department of Revenue regarding tax deed sales can be found in their administrative code beginning at 12D-13.060.
From time to time, I do choose a select number of students who will get further training on how to buy Tax Deeds and make a Profit from Tax Deed Sales by attending a 2 Day Field Trip or getting the Home Study course. Sign up for our free monthly Tax Deed Newsletter to stay up to date on tax liens and tax deeds. We also offer a Master Mind Program for those who want coaching.