Tax Deeds and Auction Process is Fair

Post Office Renovations….will this eventually be an auction property?

So, you’re interested in buying a property at auction?  The process is often misunderstood, but the bidding is actually the simple part.  Consider the title and other debt potentially remaining after the sale.   One part of the process, often misunderstood, is the purchase.  Tax sales come after the sale of a tax certificate for unsold taxes.  After a period of time, the investor has the right to ask to be repaid.

If someone buys a certificate on a property, the certificate holder has no claim on the property, however, two years after taxes became delinquent, the certificate holder can place a Tax Deed Application on your property. (Example – 2017 unpaid taxes which had a certificate sold by June 1st of 2018, can have a Tax Deed Application made on it beginning on April 1st, 2020). After a tax deed is made, the property will be scheduled for auction and sold to the highest bidder.  The process insures a property cannot be sold immediately after taxes are unpaid, but the tax collection does move forward in a timely manner.  The clock is ticking when you fail to pay and everyone should take unpaid taxes seriously.  Typical reasons a property might actually be auctioned for unpaid taxes can include a death of an owner without heirs, unpaid liens exceeding the value of the property, loans exceeding the value or even environmental issues.  An owner, in my opinion, rarely chooses to lose a property for unpaid taxes without years of warning and that same time to seek a buyer on the open market.

The Clerk’s office is not authorized to give legal advice or assist in the research of properties. All properties are sold “as is,” and bidders are responsible for conducting their own research as to the condition of the property and the state of the title of the property being sold. If you require legal advice, you should obtain it from a licensed attorney.   For each piece of property purchased, the successful high bidder is required to pay a non-refundable deposit equal to 5 percent of the final bid or $200, whichever is greater, at the time of the sale. If the successful bidder fails to immediately post the deposit, the bid is deemed invalid and the bidding starts over.Once the bidding starts, it cannot be interrupted. If you win the bid, you can pay only with cash.In accordance with state law, the highest bidder has 24 hours to pay any costs associated with the sale. However, the Clerk’s Office encourages payment be made the same business day as the sale in an attempt to expedite the processing of sale.This is a sale of the Clerk’s interest in the property, not necessarily a clear and marketable title to the property.For more information on Tax Deed Sales, call the Recording Department at 904-548-4604.Tax Deed Sale Information is now available at the following link: Tax Deeds   Source: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS & COMPTROLLER

The red text above is why a client buying at auction often calls my office.  I may not be able to assist with title issues, but I do have access to market information.  I’m usually able to give an opinion of market value, discuss repairs needed and offer an opinion of time to sell.  I typically provide automated estimates of value and “Net to Seller” estimates to give a buyer a better feel for their potential profit if they are the successful bidder.  I also know local attorneys willing to research the title and offer their opinion prior to a purchase.  I would always recommend a good look at any available surveys, environmental information and thorough research of the debt potentially remaining after a purchase.   Auctions can be profitable or an expensive mistake and even professionals can make a mistake without the proper research.

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