What Happens After the Purchase of A Tax Lien Certificate?
In accordance with Florida Statutes, a tax certificate holder shall not contact the owner of the property until two (2) years have elapsed from April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate. Such contact may result in costly legal action. Upon redemption of the delinquent taxes, the Tax Collector’s office will then pay the certificate holder the total taxes due including interest earned.
Certificates can be sold and transferred to another buyer by submitting a completed registration, if applicable, and endorsement form must accompany the transfer fee of $2.25 per certificate, payable to the Tax Collector. The holder of a tax certificate may apply for a tax deed after two (2) years have elapsed from April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate.
Prior to applying for tax deed foreclosure it may be advisable to check for any existing liens against the property. Sec 197.552, Florida Statutes, provides that unsatisfied governmental liens shall survive the issuance of a tax deed. To apply for a tax deed, the tax deed applicant shall do the following: (a) submit a signed tax deed application (b) pay all amounts required to redeem all outstanding tax certificates not owned by the applicant (c) if due, pay current taxes (d) pay a fee of $150 for a title search fee (e) pay a $75 application fee. Note: Fees can change without notice.
At a later date, the Clerk of the Circuit Court will notify the applicant of the sale date and additional cost, which the applicant must pay. These costs include the advertising cost, mailing cost and Sheriff’s fee. The property will be sold to the highest bidder at a public sale. For properties without homestead exemption on the current tax roll, the opening bid will include all cost and delinquent taxes plus interest.
For properties with homestead exemption on the current tax roll, the opening bid shall include, in addition to all cost and delinquent taxes plus interest, an amount equal to one-half (1/2) of the assessed value of the homestead property as listed on the current year’s tax roll. In the event the non-homestead property does not sell, the applicant is required to take deed to the property. If the homestead property does not sell, the applicant must pay the additional one half (1/2) assessed value in order to take deed to the property. If the applicant elects not to pay the additional amount, the property will be entered onto the List of Lands Available for Taxes. Property not purchased from the List of Lands within 3 years will escheat (revert) to Leon County and the applicant’s investment is lost.