Delinquent Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes become delinquent each year on April 1st. Delinquent taxes may be paid by online or in person with personal check, cash, or money order, up to the delinquent tax certificate sale. After the tax certificate sale, taxes must be paid by cashier's check, certified check, cash, money order, wire or credit card . The date the payment is received in the office determines the amount due. Florida Statutes require the Tax Collector, to advertise the delinquent parcels in a local newspaper, once a week for three consecutive weeks, prior to the tax certificate sale.
Beginning on or before June 1st, the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a tax certificate sale. The certificates represent liens on all unpaid taxes on real estate properties. The sale allows citizens to buy certificates by paying off the owed tax debt. The sale is conducted in reverse auction style with participants bidding downward on interest rates starting at 18%. The certificate is awarded to the lowest bidder. A tax certificate earns a minimum of 5% interest to the investor until the interest has accrued to greater than 5%, with the exception of "zero" interest bids, which always earn "zero" interest.
A tax certificate, when purchased, becomes an enforceable first lien against the real estate. The certificate holder is actually paying the taxes for a property owner in exchange for a competitive bid rate of return on his investment. In order to remove the lien, the property owner must pay the Tax Collector all delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, penalties, and advertising fees. The Tax Collector then notifies the certificate holder of any certificates redeemed and a refund check is issued to the certificate holder.
A tax certificate is valid for seven years from the date of issuance. The holder may apply for a tax deed as of April 1st of the second calendar year from the date of purchase. If the property owner fails to pay the tax debt, the property is sold at public auction. For further information regarding tax certificates refer to Florida statutes, Chapter 197.
Certificates/County Held Certificates
Certificates are an interest bearing lien against the property, and do not give you any ownership rights to the actual property. If a certificate has not been redeemed by April 1, two years later after the sale, the certificate holder may apply for a tax deed. At that time the applicant is required to pay off (through the Tax Collector's office) any and all other certificate holders on the same piece of property, the current year's taxes, a title search fee, the Tax Collector's tax deed application fee. When the search is returned to our office, the file is sent to the Clerk of the Courts Tax Deed Sales Department. The clerk fees will then be added and it will be scheduled for online auction to high cash bidder.
The purchase price of County-held certificate is the face value, plus interest at the rate of 1.5% per month, beginning on June 1 of the certificate year (normally the calendar year following the tax year), plus a purchase fee of $6.25 per certificates. This then becomes the new face value of the certificate, and bears interest at 18.00% per annum.
If you wish to purchase one or more County-held certificates click here.
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