Tax Deeds

Background Information

Property taxes become delinquent April 1st of each year. At that time, the Tax Collector begins preparing a tax certificate sale. A tax certificate is sold for all taxes not paid by June 1st. A tax certificate is a tax lien against the property. The certificate holder does not have any rights to the property. If no individual purchases a certificate on a piece of property at the June 1st sale, the county assumes the certificate. There are two types of tax certificates: individual and county. The owner or interested party may redeem the certificate at any time by paying to the Tax Collector the delinquent taxes and interest earned by the certificate holder. (Chapter 197 Florida Statutes). The tax certificate has a life of seven years (Chapter 197 Florida Statutes).

If a certificate is not redeemed, the certificate holder may force the issue by making an application for a Tax Deed. A certificate must be two years old to be eligible for Tax Deed application. (For certificates held by the county, the board of county commissioners makes application for the Tax Deed.) The application process must begin in the Tax Collector's office. The Tax Collector prepares the necessary paperwork (which includes Tax Collector's certificate and legal description of property) and forwards it to the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office then prepares the legal advertisement for the newspaper, the certified mailing of notices of the pending sale, the civil process to be served by the Sheriff's Office and the calculation of the opening bid. The Clerk’s Office also answers questions from the public and waits for the sale day. Please keep in mind that the owner or interested party may redeem that property right up until the very last minute prior to complete payment for the property at auction. All redemptions are made at the Tax Collector’s Office.

General Information

Tax Deed sales occur after the Tax Collector issues tax certificates for non-payment of the annual property taxes. They are held in keeping with Chapter 197 Florida Statutes. Tax Deeds are issued by the Clerk of the Circuit and County Court to the highest bidder, and the property owner then forfeits all rights by default.

The Florida Statutes governing Tax Deed sales Chapter 197 require high bidders to post with the clerk a nonrefundable deposit of five percent of their high bid or $200, whichever is greater. This must be done at the time of the sale, and the deposit will be applied to the sale price at the time of full payment. Please note that deposits paid in the Tax Deed office must be made before 4:00 p.m. the day before the sale, paid by cash or cashier’s check.

Successful bidders are required to make payment to the Clerk of the Court in cash, cashier’s check or payment by deposit via the bidder’s online account by 4:00 p.m. the following day. Failure to do so will result in being banned from future Tax Deed auctions and forfeiture of your deposit.

The City of Jacksonville/County of Duval cannot guarantee clear title to these properties. All properties are sold “buyer beware.” It is the bidder’s responsibility to search the title for any liens that may be recorded against the property. Governmental liens and judgments will survive the Tax Deed sale.

All parcels are sold in “as-is” condition and are conveyed by a Tax Deed. No guarantees are made about a parcel’s condition, title quality, accessibility or size. If you’d like other professional services, such as “Quiet-Title” suits, they are the responsibility of the buyer, as are the charges for these services.

Properties that are not paid for by the high bidder will be advertised for one time only, and a re-sale will be conducted no later than 30 days after the original sale date. This is governed by Florida Statute 197.542(3). Re-sales are held the Wednesday following the original sale unless otherwise stated by the Tax Deed office.

Deeds will be recorded in the name provided by the bidder on the Real Auction website under the name on the title. Please verify this information at the time of full payment to ensure that it is correct. It will be the bidder’s responsibility to make any corrections after the deed has been recorded. There is a $1.00 per-party indexing fee for deeds with more than four people or entities listed as titleholder.

 

Redemption

It’s important to understand that properties can be redeemed any time before the clerk has received full payment for the Tax Deed. The redemption amount can be obtained and payment may be made at any branch of the Tax Collector’s office. Please understand that the Clerk’s Office does not provide this information nor do we accept payments for the redemptions of properties from the sale.

 

Tax Deed Sale Rules

This is a “buyer-beware” situation. The bidding for each property will start with the opening bid, which consists of the delinquent taxes and fees associated with the sale.

In accordance with Section 197.542(2), Florida Statutes, the high bidder will be asked to post with the clerk a non-refundable deposit of five percent of the bid or $200, whichever is greater. This must be done at the time of the sale, and the deposit will be applied to the sale price at the time of full payment. This deposit must be placed no later than 4:00 p.m. the day BEFORE the sale.

Your bid amount and all fees for filing your deed must be paid by 4:00 p.m. the business day after the sale. Payments may be made by cash or cashier’s check in the Tax Deed Department, located in Room 1260 of the Duval County Courthouse.

Please keep in mind that bidders with cash transactions over $10,000.00 will be required to fill out IRS form 8300.

List of Lands Available

The List of Lands Available for taxes shows properties that were offered at a Tax Deed sale but were not purchased. Ninety (90) days after the sale, any person or governmental unit may purchase the land for the opening bid, plus the omitted years’ taxes.

Please understand that these properties are sold “buyer beware:” Any property that is the subject of a Tax Deed sale is sold on an "as-is" basis, without any warranties or representations of any kind or character, express or implied, regarding the property. This includes, but is not limited to, warranties or representations as to matters of title; land use; zoning; tax consequences; physical or environmental conditions; availability of access, ingress or egress; valuation; governmental approvals; governmental regulations; or any other matter or thing relating to or affecting the property.

Without limiting the foregoing, there are no warranties or representations concerning: (a) the ownership of the property; (b) whether the property is subject to any liens, easements or restrictions; (c) the land use, zoning, value, condition, merchantability, marketability, profitability, suitability or fitness for a particular use or purpose of the property; (d) whether any improvements, including buildings or mobile homes, are located on the property, or the value thereof; (e) the manner or quality of the constructions or materials incorporated into any part of the property; (f) the manner, quality, state of repair, or lack of repair of the property, or of any improvements thereon; or (g) whether utilities are available to the property.

If you would like the current-month purchase amount, please feel free to request it by contacting our office at ask.taxdeeds@duvalclerk.com to receive the Request for Statement. Lands Available Statements are processed and verified in a timely manner, however, auctions take precedence over Lands Available and statements will be set aside until auction work has been completed. Please note that Lands Available statements will not be calculated during auction week, but can be requested.

The purchase amount is payable by certified check, cashier's check or money order. You’ll also be asked to pay recording fees of $10.00 for the first page, $8.50 for each additional page and documentary stamps at $0.70 per hundred dollars. The recording fees and documentary stamps may be paid by certified check, cashier’s check, or money order. When we receive the funds to purchase a property from the list of Land Available for Taxes, we will issue a Tax Deed, as requested.

For more information, we invite you to view the FAQ’s or contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tax Deed sale?

A Tax Deed sale is a public auction in which real estate is sold to recover delinquent property taxes. (This is governed by Chapter 197, Florida Statutes, and Administrative Code 12D-13.060, Florida Department of Revenue).

Who conducts the Tax Deed sale?

Tax Deed sales are conducted monthly, except for November and December, on our auction website, duval.realtaxdeed.com in accordance with Section 197.542(4)(a), Florida Statutes.

Where can I get information about upcoming sales?

For your convenience, our office posts the sale date and a list of properties 30 days before the auction. You can find this list on the Tax Deed auction website under “auction calendar.” The Tax Deed sales are also advertised in the Financial News and Daily Record in the Public Notices section. The Clerk of the Circuit Court is required by Florida Statutes to advertise each sale once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the public auction (Section 197.512(1), Florida Statutes).

Can the property owner stop the property from being sold for taxes?

Yes. The owner or mortgage holder can redeem a property from the Tax Deed sale by paying the delinquent taxes and all costs associated with the process leading up to and including the Tax Deed auction. These payments should be made to the Tax Collector. A redemption can take place up until the time full payment for the Tax Deed has been received by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

How do I know which properties have been removed from the sale?

The Tax Collector sends a report of the redemptions to our office once a week. Those redemptions are uploaded to the auction site and are reflected in the “auctions closed or canceled” section.

Do I have to register to bid?

Yes, you do. You can register with the auction website, duval.realtaxdeed.com and place the required deposit in order to bid. Please see the website for further instruction about registration and placing a deposit.

How do I pay for my deposit? How do I pay for my winning bids?

Deposits can be made conveniently on the RealAuction website using the ACH (Electronic Check) payment wizard. Cash, cashier’s checks and money orders are also accepted, but please keep in mind that these forms of payment must be delivered to the Clerk’s Office in Room 1260 of the Duval County Courthouse. Also please note that deposits must be made by 4:00 p.m. the day before the sale.

Payments can be made in the Tax Deed Department by cash, cashier’s check or money order, made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A second method is also available, "Deposit Payment," which will only display if the bidder has sufficient funds to cover the remaining balance. Final payments must be made be made by 4:00 p.m. the day after the sale.

What liens or encumbrances survive against a property after it is sold at a Tax Deed sale?

It’s helpful to know that governmental liens and judgments survive the issuance of a Tax Deed and are satisfied to the fullest extent possible with any overbid monies from the sale. Governmental liens that are not satisfied in full will survive the issuance of a Tax Deed and will still remain against the property. We recommend strongly that you research the properties before the sale day so you will understand what you are purchasing. You should check for liens, zoning, restrictive covenants, etc. For your convenience, the Tax Deed file may be viewed at duvalclerk.com/Taxdeeds

If I am the successful bidder at the sale, what do I need to do?

If you are the successful bidder on a piece of property, your required non-refundable deposit will be automatically deducted from your online account, and the balance of your bid must be paid by 4:00 p.m. the following day. You may make this payment in Room 1260 of the Duval County Courthouse. The balance must be paid by cash or cashier’s check made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you’re the successful bidder, you will also be required to pay Recording, Proof of Publication and Documentary Stamp fees. The Recording fee is $10.00 for the first page and $8.50 for each additional page. Proof of Publication fee is $18.50. Documentary Stamps are based on the high bid. They will be calculated for you and should be included in the email sent to you by RealAuction. There is a $1.00 per-party indexing fee for deeds with more than four people or entities listed as titleholder

Deeds will be recorded in the name provided by the bidder on the auction website under the name on the title. We ask that you please verify this information when you make full payment to assure that it is correct. It will be the bidder’s responsibility to make any corrections after the deed has been recorded. Please note that deeds are recorded seven to 10 business days after the sale.

What if I am the successful bidder and fail to return with the payment?

As stated in Florida Statutes, Section 197.542(1), "the Clerk may refuse to recognize the bid of any person who has previously bid and refused, for any reason, to honor such bid". It’s important to understand that this means those individuals will lose their five-percent deposit and will no longer be allowed to bid at future Tax Deed sales.

Can other participants see my bids?

No, they can’t. Bids are treated confidentially.

How does the bidding work? What is a proxy bid?

It’s actually simpler than it may sound. People bidding in an auction enter their highest acceptable bid for a property. The auction system then checks all other bids and enters a bid on your behalf at $100 more than the next highest bidder (this is called proxy bidding). The system stops entering bids for you when your highest acceptable bid is reached. When an auction closes, each property is awarded to the participant with the highest bid.

What happens in case of a tie bid?

If identical bids are placed before the auction start date and time, the first participant to place the bid will be considered to hold the official high bid. Tie bids are not allowed once the auction begins.

Can I change or cancel my bid?

Yes, you can. Bids may be cancelled or modified (raised or lowered) at any time before the auction officially begins for that case. But once an auction begins, bids may only be increased. Please understand that cancelling or lowering a bid during a live auction is not permitted.

Do I get a clear title with a Tax Deed?

That depends. You see, Tax Deed properties are sold on a “buyer-beware” basis. The clerk will issue a Tax Deed to transfer ownership to the successful bidder, but it is not a guarantee of clear title. It is the bidder’s responsibility to determine whether there are any liens or other encumbrances that will survive the Tax Deed sale. The buyer should also investigate whether additional taxes may be due or if further legal action is necessary. To obtain clear title, you will have to file a “Quiet-Title” suit in the Civil Court system. The fees required to file this suit are above and beyond the bidder’s purchase price.

Can the former property owner get the property back even after it is sold at a Tax Deed sale?

The short answer is yes. As with many things, the purchaser of a Tax Deed should have a “buyer-beware” attitude. If the former owner disputes the sale and takes the case to court, the judge will decide the ownership of the property. It’s always best to consult an attorney regarding the purchase of any property.

It’s also a good idea to check the property thoroughly prior to the sale so you’ll know exactly what you are getting. The clerk is unable to make any warranty or representation regarding the quality or character of the title you receive. We hope you’ll understand that matters such as land use, access to the property, zoning, physical and environmental conditions, and the suitability of the lot for building are outside the scope of the duties and responsibilities of the Clerk’s Office. These and many other matters are issues that the high bidder accepts responsibility for. The obligation to resolve, investigate or determine them are not considered the duty of the clerk.

If I am the successful bidder at a Tax Deed auction, am I entitled to immediate possession of the property after a Tax Deed has been issued to me?

This can be answered by Section 197.542 of the Florida Statutes: "Any person, firm, corporation, or county that is the grantee of any Tax Deed under this law shall be entitled to the immediate possession of the lands described in the deed. If demand for possession is refused, the purchaser may apply to the circuit court for a writ of assistance upon 5 days' notice directed to the person refusing to deliver possession. Upon service of the responsive pleadings, if any, the matter shall proceed as in chancery cases. If the court finds for the applicant, an order shall be issued by the court directing the sheriff to put the grantee in possession of the lands."

How is the amount of the opening bid determined?

If the property is not homestead property, the amount of the opening bid equals the total of several items: the unpaid taxes and interest, the Tax Collector’s administration fees, the Clerk of Circuit Court administration fees, and the expenditure fees required by the Florida Statutes to bring the property to delinquent tax sale. On the other hand, if the property is homestead property, half of the assessed value from the tax roll is added to the above amounts to arrive at the total opening bid.

What happens to leftover deposit money?

Unused deposit money may be used to pay for winnings by clicking on “Make Payment” and following the steps indicated. A refund may be requested by clicking on “Request Refund” from the Home Page, under the Funds Transfer menu category. During this process you will select the refund method (ACH or check).

Refunds for deposits not made by ACH will be in the form of a paper check mailed from the Clerk's Office to the bidder's registered name and address. Requests for refunds are turned in once a week to the Finance Department. Please allow approximately 20 business days for the processing of refunds.

How do I request a refund?

To request a refund, simply click “Request Refund.” That’s all you have to do. And please remember that funds on deposit are returned only when requested.

What happens to property that is not sold?

If the applicant is a person or company and there are no bids, the property will be offered to the applicant. They will be responsible for paying the Recording, Proof of Publication and Documentary Stamp fees. If the applicant is the City of Jacksonville, the City will have 90 days to purchase the property. If the City does not purchase the property, it will then be placed on the List of Lands Available. After that happens, anyone may request a statement and purchase the property. The purchase price will be the minimum bid plus any taxes that are due at the time of purchase, plus interest. For your convenience, there is a list of these properties available for $1.00 per page in Room 1260 of the Duval County Courthouse or you may contact the Tax Deeds Department at ask.taxdeeds@duvalclerk.com and the list can be emailed to you.

For more information, we invite you to see the Lands Available FAQs

Office Information

Tax Deed Department

Office Hours

Monday through Friday (excluding holidays): 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mailing Address

Duval County Clerk of Courts

Attn: TAX DEED DEPARTMENT

501 West Adams Street, Room 1260

Jacksonville, FL 32202

Phone

(904) 255-1916

Contact the Tax Deeds department

Email:
Name:
Phone:
Case / Reference #:
Subject:
Message
 

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.