Tax Deed sales in Florida provide safe guards for investors

Tax Deed sales in Florida provide safe guards for investors that simply do not exist for investors purchasing foreclosure sales.  Investors purchasing properties at traditional foreclosure sales run the risk that the foreclosing party and attorney failed to name all subordinate lienholders, other parties of interest, or that the foreclosing party failed to properly serve process upon all parties.  When this happens, the foreclosure investor buys the property subject to those remaining liens or interests.  For example, Homeowners and Condominium Association liens are foreclosed on a regular basis, resulting in foreclosure sales where title is passed to an investor by Certificate of Title.  However, Associations often fail to name second mortgage holders in these actions, even though their interests are eligible to be foreclosed out.  The investor receiving the Certificate must then pay an attorney to perform a re-foreclosure action naming the omitted interests, bearing all the fees and costs involved.  In the worse-case scenario, if the Association failed to name the proper owner of the property in the foreclosure action, the entire action is considered null and void, including the Certificate of Title and the investor has no standing to even attempt to correct it.

 

With Tax Deed sales, investors can have confidence that the sale is protected by Florida Statutes.  With few exceptions, the interests of former owners and other parties are extinguished by the issuance of the Tax Deed.  The Tax Deed itself is considered prima facie evidence of its regularity, as provided in Section 197.552, Florida Statutes.  Chapter 197 even includes protections against a challenge to the validity of the Tax Deed on the basis that interested parties were not named in the title search prepared for the Tax Collector and provided to the Clerk for the sale.  It provides further protection even if they were included, but the Clerk failed to provide the statutory notification prior to the sale.  If, in an extreme circumstance, an interested party is able to have the Tax Deed sale declared invalid, Florida Statute 197.602 provides that the challenger must pay the Tax Deed purchaser the entire amount he paid at the Tax Deed sale and all taxes paid since, plus 12% interest on those amounts from the date of the sale, plus the amount spent to improve or maintain the property during the time since the sale.

 

After an investor purchases a tax deed, a simple quiet title action can be filed to extinguish any redemption rights and provide the tax deed investor with marketable and insurable title.  Our firm handles hundreds of quiet title actions each year and we typically complete such actions within 60-90 days.

 

If you would like to discuss tax deed sales and purchases, please contact us by phone or email at your convenience for a free phone consultation.

Call our team @ Hicks | Knight, P.A.  (813) 876-3113 or info@hicksknight.com