Tax Sale, Certificates, and Tax Deeds

Tax Certificate Sale



Each year the Duval County Tax Collector conducts a tax certificate sale. The annual tax certificate sale is a public sale of tax liens on delinquent real property taxes. All procedures of this tax sale are in accordance with Florida Statutes.

To participate and purchase certificates in this sale you must register on the tax website and place a deposit pursuant to the procedures defined. Note, you are not bidding to purchase the property. A tax certificate is a lien on the property; It does not convey title to the land. Tax Certificates sold through this tax sale must be held two years before a tax deed application can be submitted. Bidding is based upon the amount of annual interest to be earned by the certificate buyer.

Risks:  A tax certificate may be cancelled if a pre-existing stay order from the Bankruptcy Court was in effect on June 1. In that situation, the amount paid for the certificate will be refunded.  If a bankruptcy proceeding is initiated after a certificate lien has been sold it is at the discretion of the United States Bankruptcy judge to determine the amount, if any, the certificate holder will receive. Corrections to the tax roll can result in decrease
s in assessed value, as can changes such as: fire, removal of a mobile home, or condemnation. As a tax certificate investor, you are responsible for researching the properties on which you purchase liens
 
Certificates will be awarded to the bidder willing to accept the lowest rate of interest on the investment. If there are multiple bids for the same lowest rate, the winner will be selected through a random, computer-generated process. It is the bidders' responsibility to ensure they are bidding on the correct parcels. Once a certificate has been awarded, it will not be canceled due to an error, or change of mind, by the bidder. The bidder will be required to pay for all the certificates they have won within 48 hours after the close of the tax sale. Pursuant to Florida law if a bidder fails to pay the amount due all bids for that bidder will be cancelled and the bidder's deposit will be forfeited.

Online Tax Certificate Sale
 

Bidders will be able to register online and bid from any computer that has access to the internet. Go to http://duvaltaxsale.com and login with the username and password that you registered with. Computers are available in the library as well as our downtown office for bidders. Call (904) 630-1916, press option four, to make an appointment or send a request to taxcollector@coj.net.

The Duval County Tax Certificate Sale uses a direct bid auction format.  A direct bid auction takes the lowest interest rate entered and awards the certificate at that rate. The auction is not proxy style in which a certificate is awarded at 0.25% less than the next lowest bid. In Duval County, if bidder one and bidder two are both bidding on the same property and bidder one puts his lowest bid at 12% and bidder two puts his lowest bid at 0.25%, bidder two will win the certificate with a rate of 0.25%. That is a direct bid auction. Note that is a zero percent bid is entered the certificate will be awarded at a zero percent rate. In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system determines the winner of the certificate using a random number generator. A bidder will never be awarded a certificate at a lower rate than his specified minimum acceptable rate. Certificates that do not receive any bids will be awarded to the City of Jacksonville at an annual interest rate of 18%. In addition, certificates valued at less than $250 with homestead exemption are awarded to the City of Jacksonville automatically and are not available to individual certificate holders.

Bidder Registration


The Duval County Tax Collector's Office is required by the Internal Revenue Service to obtain the tax identification number and a completed W-9 form at the time each buyer registers as a bidder. For individuals, the tax identification number (TIN) is the Social Security Number (SSN). The individual registering must be the actual "owner" of the SSN. (It cannot be a child's name with the parents SSN). For most "non-individuals" (i.e., trust, estates, partnerships, and similar entities), the tax identification number (TIN) is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the organization.

The TIN you use on the Bidder Information form must match the name shown on your social security card or Employer Identification form. Annually a 1099-INT (Interest Income) Tax Statement is mailed to the registered bidder who received redemption proceeds during that calendar year. This information is also transmitted to the Internal Revenue Service as required by law.  

Deposits
 


Bidders must place funds on deposit in order to participate in the tax sale. A deposit in the amount of 10% of the total value of certificates you wish to purchase must be received by the dates stated on the tax sale website. For example, if you wish to purchase $150,000 worth of tax certificates, you must place $15,000 on deposit. Instructions on how to send funds are on the tax sale website.  If you do not have the funds on deposit you will not be awarded any tax certificates, even if you have bid on them. If you place $10,000 on deposit you may be awarded up to $100,000 worth of certificates. If you win $100,000 in certificates any bids you placed on other certificates will not be considered. Deposits must be received 5 business days prior to the tax sale.

Amount to Purchase Certificate


Three consecutive weeks prior to the tax sale, an advertising list is run in the newspaper. This advertising list is also available on this website and the tax sale website. The total amount includes all unpaid taxes, assessments, and related costs and fees in accordance with Chapter 197, Florida Statutes. The amount listed is the amount required to purchase the certificate.

Payment for Certificates Awarded at Sale
 


Each bidder is required to pay in full less the deposit for all awarded certificates within 48 hours of the close of the auction. The exact date and time will be available on the tax sale website. If more money has been collected than certificates awarded, the excess funds will be refunded within 14 business days after the close of the sale. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Pursuant to Chapter 197.432(6), Florida Statutes, if a person to whom a tax certificate(s) have been sold fails to pay the amount due the tax collector will cancel all bids and the bidder's deposit will be forfeited.

Contacting the Property Owner


The holder of a tax certificate may not directly, through an agent, or otherwise initiate contact with the owner of property upon which he or she holds a tax certificate to encourage or demand payment until two years have elapsed since April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate.

Any holder of a tax certificate who, prior to the date two years after April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate, initiates, or whose agent initiates, contact with the property owner upon which he or she holds a certificate encouraging or demanding payment may be barred by the Tax Collector from bidding at a tax certificate sale. Unfair or deceptive contact by the holder of a tax certificate to a property owner to obtain payment is an unfair and deceptive trade practice, as referenced in s. 501.204 (1), regardless of whether the tax certificate is redeemed. Such unfair or deceptive contact is actionable under ss.501.2075-501.211. If the property owner later redeems the certificate in reliance on the deceptive or unfair practice, the unfair or deceptive contact is actionable under applicable laws prohibiting fraud.

County-held Certificates Available for Purchase

County-held certificates will be available for purchase at http://duvaltaxsale.com on September 8, 2014 at 10 a.m..  Each user must register online to purchase a County-held certificate. 

Florida Statute Chapter 197.432 provides additional information on holding tax certificates. Florida Statute Chapter 197.502 contains information if the tax certificates are not redeemed in a timely manner.

Tax Deeds
 

A bidder must hold the tax lien certificate for a minimum of two (2) years from April 1 of the certificate issue year to apply for Tax Deed to the property. The sale of a tax deed by the Duval County Clerk of Court will result in the issuance of a tax deed from the property owner to the tax deed applicant or the highest bidder for the deed. For an investor to obtain a Tax Deed to the property the investor must hold the tax lien certificate for a minimum of two (2) years from April 1 the year the certificate was first issued. As an example, a 2005 tax certificate purchased at the tax certificate sale on June 1, 2006, would have to be held until April 1, 2008, before the certificate holder could apply to bring the property to a tax deed sale.  Tax Deed applications are currently accepted online. To apply for tax deed the applicant must go to http://realtda.com and:
  • Complete an application
  • Pay all outstanding taxes due on the account that are not held by the applicant
  • Pay an application fee and title search fees
Please direct any questions regarding Tax Deed Applications to Taxcollector@coj.net.
Tax Deed sale are conducted by the Duval County Clerk of the Court and will result in the issuance of a tax deed from a property owner to a tax deed applicant or the highest bidder for the deed.

Please note: A Tax Deed is not the same as a warranty deed. It is the certificate holder's responsibility to ensure the legal status of the property. Likewise if it is determined that the process of "quieting title" would need to be done, it is the certificate holder's responsibility to complete and pay all associated fees.

Redemption of a Tax Certificate


Chapter 197.472(1), Florida Statutes states the following:
"Any person may redeem a tax certificate or purchase a county-held certificate at any time after the certificate is issued and before a tax deed is issued or the property is placed on the list of lands available for sale. The person redeeming or purchasing a tax certificate shall pay to the Tax Collector in the county where the land is situated the face amount of the certificate or the part thereof that the part or interest purchased or redeemed bears to the whole. Upon purchase or redemption being made, the person shall pay all taxes, interest, costs, charges, and omitted taxes, if any, as provided by law upon the part or parts of the certificate so purchased or redeemed."

Should the tax certificate be redeemed any time prior to the issuance of a tax deed, the investor will receive a refund for the purchase amount, plus the rate of interest bid at the time of the sale. Interest will accrue from the date the certificate was issued to the date it was redeemed. A minimum of 5% interest will be charged unless the certificate was bid a zero percent.

Expiraton of Tax Liens


Chapter 197.482(1), Florida Statues states the following: "After the expiration of 7 years from the date of issuance, which is the date of the first day of the tax certificate sale as advertised under s. 197.432, of a tax certificate, if a tax deed has not been applied for on the property covered by the certificate, and no other administrative or legal proceeding has existed of record, the tax certificate is null and void, and the tax collector shall cancel the tax certificate, noting the date of the cancellation of the tax certificate upon all appropriate records in his or her office."
 
For more information regarding the tax sale process, tax certificates, or tax deeds please contact the Tax Department at (904) 630-1916 option 4 or correspondence may be mailed to:
 
Michael Corrigan, Tax Collector
Attn: Tax Department
231 E Forsyth St Room 130
Jacksonville, FL 32202
 
For information regarding tax deed sales please contact the Duval County Clerk of Court by clicking here.
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