A Case Study: Florida Tax Liens Part II
-Turning the lien into a deed
Continuing from last week’s article, Florida Tax Liens Part I, the following steps take place once the investor has obtained a tax lien certificate. These steps explain how an investor can collect their funds or obtain ownership to a property.
Step1: Time Frame
In Florida, from the date of the tax lien auction an investor must wait at least 22 months before they can take any action against the property. If the property owner has not repaid the funds within this time period the certificate holder can initiate a tax deed auction or a tax foreclosure sale.
Step 2: Tax Deed Application
After the allotted time, the investor then submits what is called a tax deed application to the county tax collector’s department. The tax lien holder must pay any other outstanding liens on the property and any given auction fees. The full investment, plus fees will be reimbursed with interest after the tax sale.
Step 3: The Tax Deed Auction
Tax deed auctions are held on a monthly basis and are usually conducted at the county court’s office or the local government center. The opening bid is normally the amount of the unpaid taxes. This however, may not include all liens (such as IRS or mechanic’s liens) but only the amount of the certificate holder’s investment. All liens against the property are the responsibility of the highest bidder at the auction.
If the lien certificate holder would like to bid on the property they must be present at the auction and bid amongst the other investors. Unlike the tax lien sale, the tax deed sale is won by the highest bidder. If an investor is the highest bidder, they must pay the bid in full by the following morning. A deposit would be due at the time of auction.
Step 4: Redemption Period
The property owner will only have about 24 hours to pay the delinquent taxes after the sale has been conducted. After the redemption period the winning bidder will be issued a tax deed.
Important Note: A title search is always recommended when bidding on a tax deed property as the tax deed does not guarantee a clear title.
Step 5: Ownership
Once the investor has been issued the tax deed, they legally own the property and are free to either move-in or start repairs. If there are residents inhabiting the property, the deed holder should contact the Sheriff’s Office.