Frequently Asked Questions
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Will I get clear title to the property?
No, while the Tax Deed gives you ownership, it does not guarantee clear and marketable title.
To obtain marketable title, you may file for a "Quiet Title Action" in the civil court system.
Anticipate a quiet title suit to cost anywhere from $800 to $1500 and to require the services of a qualified real estate attorney.
The suit generally takes about 60 to 90 days to complete. Upon completion, you will have clear title to the property.
The purpose of the suit is to do just what it says - "quiet the title". All lienholders that have an interest in that property (i.e. mortgage holders, judgment holders, IRS, state liens) will be served and notified through the suit.
Typically, you would be responsible for all government municipal liens. (i.e. county, city, state, and federal). But, each case is different. Always consult with a real estate attorney for advice on liens that may or may not attach.
What happens with most of these properties?
Most of the time, the certificates are redeemed prior to sale. This means that the owner pays the taxes current to prevent the property from going to sale.
What liens or encumbrances survive against a property after it is sold at a tax deed sale?
Governmental liens and judgments survive the issuance of a tax deed sale and are satisfied to the fullest extent possible with any overbid monies from the sale. Governmental liens not satisfied in full, survive and remain against the property. By researching the Ownership and Encumbrance Report filed in each tax deed file will reveal any liens. The Clerks office is not responsible for any discrepancies or omissions on the report. Should you have any questions concerning what liens and judgments survive the tax deed sale, consult an attorney, we cannot advise you.
Can the property owner stop the sale of the property?
The owner or mortgage company can "redeem" the property from the tax deed sale by paying the amounts owed to the Tax Collector and Clerk of Circuit Court. The tax deed clerk will make every effort to keep this list updated for any last minute redemptions.
How is the base bid determined?
If the property is not homestead, the opening bid is the total of unpaid taxes that are delinquent or became due prior to tax deed application, interest, and the administration fees of the Tax Collector and fees of the Clerk of Circuit Court (Fl Dept of Rev. 12D-13.063 paragraph 3). If the property is homestead, half of the assessed value from the tax roll is added to the above amounts.
If I am the highest bidder at the sale, what do I need to do?
You are required to remain until the auction is complete and then come into the clerks office. You will be given a slip with the exact figures, including the amount for recording and documentary stamps as this is also an additional cost that the successful bidder is responsible for. You will also fill out a form with the correct name/names and address to be placed on the deed. The amount due must be brought back to the Clerks office within 24 hours, being paid in cash or cashiers check.
What if I am the highest bidder and fail to return with payment or choose not to purchase the property for any reason?
If full payment is not made within 24 hours (either in cash or cashiers check) your deposit will be forfeited.
If you are the highest bidder and you do not honor your bid for any reason, you may be barred from bidding at future tax deed sales.
If I am the successful bidder, can I take immediate possession?
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 upon payment of successful bid amount.
However, it is possible you will have to take legal action to get possession of the property. Until possession is granted by the Court, you may not have access to the property; without permission of the prior owner. The Clerk's Office assumes no responsibility for the availability of any property offered for sale.
When considering tax deed properties, please be advised that ALL PROPERTIES ARE SOLD BUYER BEWARE.
How long does the property owner have to "redeem" the property?
The property owner may redeem the property until the time the successful bidder renders payment AND a tax deed is recorded or issued. All current and delinquent taxes and other costs associated with the tax deed sale must be paid in full to the County Tax Collector by cash, cashier's check or money order.
What if I need additional information regarding a tax deed sale?
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 can be viewed via the clerk's website by clicking here. 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-13.030.
What happens if the property is Homestead property?
If the property is assessed on the latest tax roll as homestead property, the opening bid will be increased to one-half of the assessed value of the property as listed on the current year's tax roll.
If there are no bids higher than the opening bid, the land will be sold to the applicant provided that one-half of the assessed value is made. If there are bids higher than the opening bid, the land shall be sold to the highest bidder, provided that payment of one-half of the assessed value is made. If the applicant is not the successful bidder all monies will be refunded to the applicant. A title holder of record of the property shall have the right to redeem the property prior to the sale date by making payment to the Tax Collector. Upon payment, the Tax Collector shall post all records to indicate that an Application for Tax Deed has been redeemed. The Collector shall refund to the applicant all funds received for the redemption of the Tax Deed Application as soon as possible.
If I am the highest bidder at a sale, how long do I have to pay for the property?
If you are the successful bidder for property at a tax deed sale, full payment must be received by the Clerk's Office within 24 hours of the sale. Accepted forms of payment are cash and cashier's checks.
What does it mean for an owner to redeem a tax deed property?
To redeem a tax deed property means that the owner pays all current and delinquent taxes to the Tax Collector's Office and the property will no longer be going to sale.
How do I contact Customer Service?
to contact the Realauction Customer Service Center.