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Florida

Summary: Per (Sec. 197.432), “On the day and approximately at the time designated in the notice of the sale, the tax collector shall commence the sale of tax certificates on those lands on which taxes have not been paid, and he or she shall continue the sale from day to day until each certificate is sold to pay the taxes, interest, costs, and charges on the parcel described in the certificate. In case there are no bidders, the certificate shall be issued to the county. The tax collector shall offer all certificates on the lands as they are assessed.”
Law: Florida Statutes, Title XIV, Chapter 197, “Tax Collections, Sales, and Liens.”
Contact: County tax collector (Sec. 197.332). “The tax collector has the authority and obligation to collect all taxes as shown on the tax roll by the date of delinquency or to collect delinquent taxes, interest, and costs, by sale of tax certificates on real property and by seizure and sale of personal property. The tax collector shall be allowed to collect reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs in actions on proceedings to recover delinquent taxes, interest, and costs.”

Interest Rate: 18% per annum, 5% minimum (Sec. 197.172). “Real estate property taxes shall bear interest at the rate of 18 percent per annum from the date of delinquency until a tax lien certificate is sold.”

Auction Type: Tax Lien Certificate (Sec. 197.432) and Tax Deed (Sec. 197.502). “On the day and approximately at the time designated in the notice of the sale, the tax collector shall commence the sale of tax certificates on those lands on which taxes have not been paid, and he or she shall continue the sale from day to day until each certificate is sold to pay the taxes, interest, costs, and charges on the parcel described in the certificate.”
Furthermore, (Sec. 197.502). “(1) The holder of any tax certificate, other than the county, at any time after 2 years have elapsed since April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate and before the expiration of 7 years from the date of issuance, may file the certificate and an application for a tax deed with the tax collector of the county where the lands described in the certificate are located. The application may be made on the entire parcel of property or any part thereof which is capable of being readily separated from the whole. The tax collector shall be allowed a tax deed application fee of $75.”
In addition, (Sec. 197.502). “(5) (c) The clerk shall advertise and administer the sale and receive such fees for the issuance of the deed and sale of the property as are provided in s. 28.24.”\

Bidding Procedure: Bid down interest rate. (Sec. 197.432). “Each certificate shall be struck off to the person who will pay the taxes, interest, costs, and charges and will demand the lowest rate of interest, not in excess of the maximum rate of interest allowed by this chapter. The tax collector shall accept bids in even increments and in fractional interest rate bids of one-quarter of 1 percent only. If there is no buyer, the certificate shall be issued to the county at the maximum rate of interest allowed by this chapter.”

Going on (Sec. 197.472 (2) ), “(2) When a tax certificate is redeemed and the interest earned on the tax certificate is less than 5 percent of the face amount of the certificate, a mandatory charge of 5 percent shall be levied upon the tax certificate. The person redeeming the tax certificate shall pay the interest rate due on the certificate or the 5-percent mandatory charge, whichever is greater. This subsection applies to all county-held tax certificates and all individual tax certificates except those with an interest rate bid of zero percent.”
Costs: The tax collector shall receive $2.25 as a service charge for each endorsement (Sec. 197.462). The tax collector is allowed to charge a tax deed application fee of $15 (Sec. 197.502).

Redemption Period: Two (2) years (Sec. 197.502). “The certificate holder is entitled to initiate a judicial foreclosure proceeding any time after two years from April 1 of the year the certificate was purchased; however, the proceeding must be commenced within seven years of the certificates date of issuance.”

Deed Assigned at Foreclosure to: The holder/owner of the Tax Lien Certificate. (1) The holder of any tax certificate, other than the county, at any time after 2 years have elapsed since April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate and before the expiration of 7 years from the date of issuance, may file the certificate and an application for a tax deed with the tax collector of the county where the lands described in the certificate are located. The application may be made on the entire parcel of property or any part thereof which is capable of being readily separated from the whole. The tax collector shall be allowed a tax deed application fee of $75 (Sec. 197.502).

Notes: Florida is unique in that no matter what the winning interest rate is, the investor will, at least, receive a
5% penalty.

(2) When a tax certificate is redeemed and the interest earned on the tax certificate is less than 5 percent of the face amount of the certificate, a mandatory charge of 5 percent shall be levied upon the tax certificate. The person redeeming the tax certificate shall pay the interest rate due on the certificate or the 5-percent mandatory charge, whichever is greater (Sec. 197.472 (2)).

In Florida, once the 2 year redemption period has elapsed and the homeowner had not redeemed, the investor must file an application for the tax deed with the county. Next, the county will attempt to sell the property at the tax deed auction.
The opening bid on an individual certificate on nonhomestead property shall include, in addition to the amount of money paid to the tax collector by the certificate holder at the time of application, the amount required to redeem the applicant’s tax certificate and all other costs and fees paid by the applicant. Sec. 197.502 (6)(a).

The opening bid on property assessed on the latest tax roll as homestead property shall include, in addition to the amount of money required for an opening bid on nonhomestead property, an amount equal to one-half of the latest assessed value of the homestead. Payment of one-half of the assessed value of the homestead property shall not be required if the tax certificate to which the application relates was sold prior to January 1, 1982. Sec. 197.502 (6)(c).  The money collected from the sale of the property will satisfy the tax lien including interest. (1) The holder of any tax certificate, other than the county, at any time after 2 years have elapsed since April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate and before the expiration of 7 years from the date of issuance, may file the certificate and an application for a tax deed with the tax collector of the county where the lands
described in the certificate are located. The application may be made on the entire parcel of property or any part thereof which is capable of being readily separated from the whole. The tax collector shall be allowed a tax deed application fee of $75 .

Florida Contacts
number of Counties: 67

Brevard County
400 South Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Titusville, FL 32780-7683
Phone: (321) 264-6942
http://countygovt.brevard.fl.us

Broward County
201 SE 6th St.
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3303
Phone: (954) 357-7585
www.co.broward.fl.us

Duval County / City of Jacksonville
330 East Bay Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Jacksonville, FL 32202-2921
Phone: (904) 630-2039
www.coj.net/default.htm

Hillsborough County
P.O. Box 1110
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Tampa, FL 33601-1110
Phone: (813) 272-5750
www.hillsboroughcounty.org\

Lee County
P.O. Box 398
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Fort Myers, FL 33902-0398
Phone: (941) 335-2259
www.lee-county.com

Miami-Dade County
111 NW First Street, Suite 220
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Miami, FL 33128-1916
Phone: (305) 375-5124
http://miamidade.gov

Orange County
P.O. Box 1393
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Orlando, FL 32802-1393
Phone: (407) 836-7350
www.orangecountyfl.net

Palm Beach County
P.O. Box 1989
Delinquent Property Tax Division
West Palm Beach, FL 33402-1989
Phone: (561) 355-2001
www.co.palm-beach.fl.us

Polk County
PO Box 9005, Drawer BC01
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Bartow, FL 33831-9005
Phone: (863) 534-6000
www.polk-county.net

Volusia County
123 W. Indiana Ave.
Delinquent Property Tax Division
De Land, FL 32720-4612
Phone: (386) 736-5920
www.volusia.org