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Frequently Asked Questions

The Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller cannot assist in researching properties, and is statutorily prohibited from giving legal advice. The Clerk sells property pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 197 and cannot guarantee a clear title. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to research the property prior to the sale date. For more information about the tax deed sales process, please visit the Clerk's Web site.
  1. What is a tax deed sale?
  2. Where can I find the address for a property in which I am interested?
  3. What is an online tax deed sale?
  4. How is an online tax deed sale different from a "live" tax deed sale?
  5. What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
  6. Will it cost me anything to participate?
  7. Who do I contact if I have a question about how to use the website?
  8. If I have questions about a specific tax certificate, who do I contact?
  9. When is the tax deed issued and how will it be sent to me?
  10. Does a tax deed sale eliminate all other liens on a property?
  11. How do I get started?
  12. When can I place my bids?
  13. What is proxy bidding?
  14. What is the "One Minute Rule"?
  15. How do I submit my deposit?
  16. What is an ACH debit?
  17. What happens if I win a property?
  18. When do bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?
  19. What form of payment is required for deposits and final payment?
  20. What happens if I fail to pay the balance within the period indicated?
  21. What happens to my deposit if I don't win any property?
  22. Where can I find additional tax deed FAQs?
  23. When are the tax deed sales conducted?
  24. Where can I get a list of tax certificates scheduled for upcoming tax deed sales?
  25. How can I download the sale list?
  26. Where can I find information on tax deed sales procedures?
  27. What are the required fees?
  28. Why is the opening bid subject to change?
  29. What happens with my deposit funds if I am bidding on tax deeds and foreclosures at the same time?
  30. Can I purchase a Lands Available property online?
  31. Do I need to register and enter a bid if I am the certificate holder?
  32. What happens if no bids are made above the opening bid?
  33. What do "Removed from Sale" and "Redeemed" mean?

  1. What is a tax deed sale?

    Property owners are required to pay property taxes on an annual basis to the County Tax Collector. If the owner does not pay his/her taxes, in June of the following year a tax certificate will be sold by the Tax Collector.

    Generally, if the tax certificate has not been redeemed within two years, the holder of the certificate can apply to force a public auction of the property. This auction is referred to as a "tax deed sale" and the monies collected from the sale are used to pay off the amount owed to the certificate holder.

    The Clerk holds tax deed sales pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 197.


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  2. Where can I find the address for a property in which I am interested?

    The Clerk's office does not provide the property address information to the auction site. However, if available, you can view the address on the auction web site by clicking the "+" sign next to the tax number. The street address of any listed property may only be an approximation.

    Neither the auction site nor the Clerk & Comptroller is responsible for the accuracy of any such address. The street address alone should not be relied on by a bidder to identify the property. It is your responsibility to do all the independent research regarding the property, including but not limited to, determining the property value and whether there are any liens, encumbrances or title defects.

    You may also visit the Tax Collector's website and the Clerk's free online database of Palm Beach County's Official Records found at https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/or to see what you can learn about the property.


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  3. What is an online tax deed sale?

    An online tax deed sale is an auction where bids are transmitted and received electronically through the Internet using a computer and a web browser. Florida Statute 197.542(4)(a) authorizes the Clerk to conduct electronic tax deed sales.


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  4. How is an online tax deed sale different from a "live" tax deed sale?

    Prior to online tax deed sales, bidders congregated in a large crowded room in the courthouse and called out their bids to an auctioneer. Online sales allow this process to be handled electronically. Each bidder will use a personal ID and password to log on to the website and enter bids for individual properties.


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  5. What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
    A bidder must have internet access and a web browser with the following versions:
    • Mozilla Firefox - version 27 or newer
    • Google Chrome - version 30 or newer
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - version 11 or Edge

    The Clerk Auction site will not support older browsers.

    Access to the electronic online auction will be available at public computer terminals located in the Records Services Department, Room 4.2500 in the Main Courthouse, 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida.


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  6. Will it cost me anything to participate?

    Registration on the website is free. However, you will need to abide by the Clerk's deposit rules. See FAQ #15 on how to submit a deposit.


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  7. Who do I contact if I have a question about how to use the website?

    Representatives of Grant Street Group are available via email (ClerkAuction@GrantStreet.com) or via phone at (877) 274-9320 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EDT on business days to provide instruction and answer questions regarding use of the website.


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  8. If I have questions about a specific tax certificate, who do I contact?

    Please contact the Clerk's tax deed department at (561) 355-2962 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EDT on business days. Please be aware that the Clerk's office is prohibited by law from providing legal advice.


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  9. When is the tax deed issued and how will it be sent to me?

    Upon receipt of final payment, the Clerk will issue and record a tax deed to the successful bidder. The original tax deed will be mailed via first class mail, U.S. Postal Service to the successful bidder at his/her address as shown in the Tax Deed. NOTE: THE PROPERTY CAN BE REDEEMED PRIOR TO TAX DEED ISSUANCE BUT CANNOT BE REDEEMED ONCE THE CLERK HAS RECEIVED FULL PAYMENT FOR THE TAX DEED. If the property is redeemed prior to the issuance of the tax deed or before the Clerk has received full payment for the tax deed, the successful bidder's deposit account will be automatically replenished.


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  10. Does a tax deed sale eliminate all other liens on a property?

    Some liens may be dischargeable and others may not. Tax and property laws are complicated and bidders should thoroughly research outstanding or potential liens, mortgages, encumbrances or title defects prior to placing a bid on a property in a tax deed sale. It is best to seek legal advice of an attorney who can provide you with information about liens on a given property. Be advised that you are solely responsible for researching tax deed properties and you assume sole responsibility for making any bid at the online tax deed sale. The Clerk's Office does not make any representations or warranties as to the status of the title or liens on property auctioned at a tax deed sale.


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  11. How do I get started?
    • Register on the website
    • Review the recorded Demo on the Home page
    • Read the Tax Deed Instructions documents
    • Submit the required deposit with the Clerk

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  12. When can I place my bids?
    All bidders may begin placing bids at 8: 00 a.m. EDT on the scheduled day of the sale. Refer to the auction calendar for upcoming sales.

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  13. What is proxy bidding?

    Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders input the maximum bid they are willing to pay for a property they would like to purchase. The system will then automatically enter bids on their behalf, as necessary, up to their maximum bid.

    If you enter a maximum bid that is the same as another lead bid, the first bidder to submit that amount would be deemed the leader. The trailing bidder would be notified with a message on the screen that "your bid was submitted successfully, but you trail an earlier bidder at the same price". The non leader would have to increase their maximum bid to become the leader.

    All bids submitted on this site are submitted as proxy bids. The bid you enter after you click the Enter Max Bid link will be executed using the proxy bid system.


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  14. What is the "One Minute Rule"?

    If a bidder becomes a leading bidder (as displayed by "leader" in the bid status column) in the last one minute of the sale, the Auction Clock will change to reflect a new Auction Close Time and the sale will be extended one (1) minute to allow additional bidding. This will continue until that bidder remains leader for one (1) minute (at which time the auction closes and the leading bid becomes the Winning Bid). Be aware that submitting a bid higher than the "best bid" may not trigger overtime due to the automatic proxy bid. The bid you submit must make you the "leader" in order to trigger overtime. When you submit your bid you will get a message on your screen that indicates your bid has been accepted and your status is now leading or you are now trailing.


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  15. How do I submit my deposit?

    Advance deposits may be made online through the electronic auction website via ACH/Electronic Debit or you may submit your deposit directly to the Clerk's Tax Deed Department.

    If you submit your deposit via ACH/Electronic Debit, it must be submitted at least three (3) full business days before the auction in which you intend to participate. Funds will clear on the fourth (4th) business day, which must be on or before the scheduled sale day. For example, to bid in a Wednesday auction, an ACH/Electronic Debit payment equal to five percent (5%) of the anticipated final bid (minimum $200) must be completed by 5:00 p.m. EDT on the preceding Thursday. A refund of unused ACH deposits will be automatically initiated on the 85th day following a deposit. If you are interested in bidding on a property beyond that time period, it is your sole responsibility to submit a new deposit at least three full business days before the auction in which you intend to participate.

    If you submit your deposit directly to the Clerk's Tax Deed department, it must be paid by cash, official bank check, or cashier's check. This type of deposit must be presented to the Tax Deed Department by 4:00 p.m. EDT the day before the scheduled auction.

    All checks must be drawn upon a U.S. or Canadian banking institution, made payable to Clerk & Comptroller Palm Beach. If drawn on a Canadian Bank, the funds must be in U.S. dollars. The Tax Deed Department is located in Room 3.2300, in the Main Courthouse located at 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401.

    Under no circumstances will the Clerk accept credit card, personal checks or third party checks. No deposits will be accepted on the day of the auction.

    Note: If a deposit is made at the Clerk's office by cashier's check or bank check, the name and address of the person or entity shown as the remitter on the check will be the person or entity that will receive the credit for the deposit online. That person or entity must be registered with the same name and address on the online system. For example, if the check shows a corporate name and address, that corporation must be the registered user on the online system under the same name and address to be given the credit for the deposit. If a bidder wishes to submit and receive credit for deposits from various sources, they must make their deposits via ACH.


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  16. What is an ACH debit?

    An ACH debit is an electronic funds transfer from your bank account, initiated by the Clerk with your prior authorization. For more information on ACH, please visit the NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, at www.nacha.org.

    Funds must be drawn from a US financial institution. Some types of money market, brokerage, and/or trust accounts cannot accept ACH debits. Please check with your financial institution prior to initiating payment on the website.


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  17. What happens if I win a property?

    Once an auction ends, the Bidding Summary shows the details of the auction and what you need to do to complete the sale. The Bidding Summary checklist includes:

    1. Entering the names that you wish the deed to the property be issued
    2. Submitting your final payment
      • Final payment deadline - see FAQ #18
      • Final payment form - see FAQ #19

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  18. When do bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?

    The difference between the successful bidder's deposit and the total amount due must be received by the Clerk by 2:00pm EST the business day following the sale. If payment is made by certified check, a separate check must be received for each property purchased. The Clerk cannot accept final payment for multiple properties on one check.


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  19. What form of payment is required for deposits and final payment?

    Deposits:

    Advance deposits may be made online through the electronic auction website via ACH/Electronic Debit transfer. Deposits made by ACH/Electronic Debit transfer will not be available for bidding until the 4th business day after the deposit is made. A refund of unused ACH deposits will be automatically initiated on the 85th day following a deposit. If you are interested in bidding on a property beyond that time period, it is your sole responsibility to submit a new deposit at least three full business days before the auction in which you intend to participate.

    In addition, the deposit may be paid by cash, official bank check, or cashier's check. The remitter on deposits made by official bank check or cashier's check must be the registered bidder with the same name and address on the online auction site.

    Final Payment:

    Final payment may be made by Cash, Official Bank Check, Cashier's Check, or wire transfer. Final payment must be received by the Clerk by 2:00pm EST the business day following the sale.

    Note: Any Deposit funds that are in excess of your minimum 5% deposit for each awarded property cannot be applied to offset your final 95% payment if you are awarded a property at auction.

    All checks must be drawn upon a U.S. or Canadian banking institution, made payable to Clerk & Comptroller Palm Beach. If drawn on a Canadian Bank, the funds must be in U.S. dollars. The Tax Deed Department is located at Room 3.2300, in the Main Courthouse located at 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. All wire transfers must be made from a U.S. banking institution.

    If payment is made by official bank check or cashier's check, a separate check must be received for each property purchased. The Clerk cannot accept final payment for multiple properties on one check.

    The following forms of final payment are NOT accepted:

    • Personal check
    • Credit cards
    • Third party cashier's check
    • ACH payment

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  20. What happens if I fail to pay the balance within the period indicated?
    If you fail to make the final payment by 2: 00pm EST the business day following the sale, you will forfeit your deposit. In the event of forfeiture, the Clerk assesses a non-refundable Clerk fee, a non-refundable electronic online auction fee and other costs (e.g., re-publication costs) from the forfeited deposit. Any remaining funds from the forfeited deposit shall be applied toward the opening bid on the rescheduled sale.

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  21. What happens to my deposit if I don't win any property?

    You may choose to keep your deposit on account with the Clerk to use for future auctions or you may request a refund of some or all of your remaining deposit. To request a refund, log in and go to "My Payments" and click the "Request Refund" link. If you funded your deposit account via ACH (electronic debit) you will be refunded via ACH (money will be returned to the same account from which it was paid). If you funded your deposit account directly with the Clerk you will receive a refund check issued by the Clerk. You can check on the status of your refund check by contacting the Clerk's office directly.

    A refund of unused ACH deposits will be automatically initiated on the 85th day following a deposit. If you are interested in bidding on a property beyond that time period, it is your sole responsibility to submit a new deposit at least three full business days before the auction in which you intend to participate.


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  22. Where can I find additional tax deed FAQs?

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  23. When are the tax deed sales conducted?

    Sales are scheduled once to twice per month on Wednesdays. See the Auction Calendar for the exact dates of upcoming sales. Bids are accepted beginning at 8:00 a.m. EDT on scheduled sale days.


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  24. Where can I get a list of tax certificates scheduled for upcoming tax deed sales?

    You can obtain a list of tax certificates scheduled for a particular tax deed sale on the online auction site. You may also obtain a list of tax certificates scheduled for a particular sale from the Clerk's public records: https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/records/tax-deeds/tax-deeds-public-search.


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  25. How can I download the sale list?

    After you have logged in you can download a list of each day's sale items by selecting the sale date from the Auction Calendar and then clicking View Auction on the left side navigation bar.

    You will find the Download icon at the bottom of the page; clicking it will create an excel file with the available details for each item in the sale.


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  26. Where can I find information on tax deed sales procedures?

    The Clerk's Administrative Policy, "Clerk's Tax Deed Sales Procedures," contains information on the tax deed sales procedures. The policy can be downloaded from the homepage of the online auction site or from the Clerk's website. The Clerk's tax deed sales page, https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/taxdeedsales, also contains general information on the Clerk's tax sales.


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  27. What are the required fees?

    There are no fees to participate in the online sale. If you are the winning bidder, you must pay in addition to your final bid the following costs: documentary stamp taxes ($.70 per $100 or fraction thereof of the amount bid) and recording fees. You may also be required to pay the cost of postage for the tax deed to be mailed to you. Recording fees will vary for each tax deed. For more information, visit the Clerk's website at: https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/resources/fees/public-records-fees/recording


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  28. Why is the opening bid subject to change?

    Pursuant to Florida Statutes 197.502 and 197.542, the opening bid shall include subsequently issued tax certificates and additional delinquent taxes. This information is provided to the Clerk shortly before the sale date.


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  29. What happens with my deposit funds if I am bidding on tax deeds and foreclosures at the same time?

    Deposit funds may be used to bid on multiple sales as long as funds are sufficient to cover 5% of the maximum combined bids. Deposit funds will be allocated to the properties in the order the bids were placed. The funds will be returned to your deposit account and will be available for additional bidding if you are not the successful bidder on a property.


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  30. Can I purchase a Lands Available property online?

    No, Lands Available properties cannot be purchased online. For more information regarding purchasing Lands Available properties please visit the Clerk's Tax Deeds page or call the Clerk's office at (561) 355-2962.


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  31. Do I need to register and enter a bid if I am the certificate holder?

    Certificate holders will not be required to register unless they intend to bid over the opening bid. If the certificate holder intends to bid over the opening bid, they must register prior to the auction and will be subject to the advance deposit requirements. See the Clerk's Administrative Policy, "Clerk's Tax Deed Sales Procedures," for additional information.


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  32. What happens if no bids are made above the opening bid?

    On individually held certificates, if no bids are received for a property above the opening bid at the public auction the property shall be struck off to the Certificate Holder who shall pay to the Clerk any amounts included in the minimum bid that the Certificate Holder has not already paid, including one half the homestead value (on homestead property), the documentary stamp tax and recording fees. Payment must be received by the Clerk within 30 days after the sale and must be made by Cash, Official Bank Check, Cashier's Check or Wire Transfer. Upon payment, a tax deed shall be issued to the Certificate Holder and recorded by the Clerk. If the amounts due for the issuance of a tax deed are not paid by the Certificate Holder, the Certificate Holder shall pay within 30 days of the notice that there were no bids at the public auction, the cost to resell the property. Upon receipt of the costs to resell the property, the Clerk shall re-advertise the property for sale and resell the property within 30 days of the re-advertisement. If the Certificate Holder fails to timely pay the costs due for the issuance of a tax deed or the costs to resell the property, the Clerk shall enter the property on the list of "Lands Available for Taxes".

    On county held certificates, if there are no bids higher than the opening bid, the property shall immediately be placed on the list of "Lands Available for Taxes".


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  33. What do "Removed from Sale" and "Redeemed" mean?

    Properties can be "Removed from Sale" for various reasons, and may or not be rescheduled for another auction. You can find out why something was removed by clicking on the Tax Number and reviewing the available documentation, or by contacting the Clerk's office.

    Properties can be "Redeemed" at any time prior to the sale if the outstanding taxes, interest, and fees are paid off by, or on behalf of, the property owner.


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