Tax Lien State Delinquent Lists in Florida

I’m looking for a new state for my next mailer and Florida is on my radar, since my first deal ever was there and I’ve heard a lot of success stories there. However, I’ve never sent any mail in the state, the deal I made there came from a lead someone sent my way. I prefer getting my lists straight from the county so I started by calling the tax collectors from different counties and quickly found out that FL is a tax certificate/lien state. The couple counties I talked to also sell the liens very quickly, within a month or two of the tax due date. Obviously this is a little more complicated than a state that just keeps a tally on what’s due until it becomes too much and then eventually sells it at a tax sale.

My question is: What’s the best way to approach this type of state and get a quality list? Should I ask for everything that has a lien? Or just lien’s past 2-3 years, which is my strategy with non-lien states. Also, how does it work if someone buys a lien/certificate for a property with delq taxes and the owner continues not to pay taxes. Does the lien holder pay the additional accumulation of taxes while they hold the lien, or does the county sell another lien on the new delq taxes?

Sorry if some of these questions are dumb, but I have zero experience in lien states. Any advice from those of you that have had success is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

@tjcooley ciao!

I attended to some tax liens auctions in 2-3 States in the recent past so, even if relatively new also in that field, I can probably tell you something on that.

FL is an hybrid state. This means that delinquent taxes (property or utilities, doesn’t really matter) go into the tax liens sales list (they’re normally held in Summer) and, if the lien is not redeemed, the property passes then into a tax deed sales list. More specifically, if I purchase the TL, the owner has 2 years to pay his debt since the date of the auction and I have NO right to pay further delinquent taxes (differently from NJ, for example…that’s a cool State for TL’s…). So, other new delinquencies will just become new certificates. Now, if the owner pays his debt within those 2 years, I get back my investment + accrued interest on that debt (bid down interest auction: the interest amount starts at 18%). If the owner doesn’t pay, I can “apply for tax deed”, which essentially means that I ask to the County to foreclose on the property and to pass it into a tax deed auction list. At the TD auction everyone can chase the property and I will have no more advantages than the other bidders.

According to my very limited experience with TD’s in FL (5 unsuccessful TD auctions: 1 in Orange, 1 in Brevard, 3 in Lee) competition seems to be pretty crazy. To give you an idea, I saw Res Land (mostly 0.25 Acres) with market value around 8.5k-10K $, sold at 17K $…one in Lee went at 34K $:roll_eyes:… absurd prices!! Plus, but you probably already know this, take into account that FL is a tricky State for what concerns the mechanical liens surviving to the TD auction and you risk to pay a high price (literally​:sweat_smile::sweat_smile:) if you don’t attribute the necessary attention to due diligence.

My 2 cents: if you aim to the property, sure TL’s in FL is not the way. You can give a shot yourself to TD’s and maybe they will work better for you. In any case, the good thing of tax sales is that "you win or you never lose":grin:…and experience is what you get in return.
Sorry for the long message, I just hope you will find something useful here.

Good luck!


@arturo Thanks for the reply! I really don’t have any interest in buying tax liens or going to auctions of any kind. I really just want to keep acquiring properties the same way I have been. That is, get a good quality delinquent list from the county if possible and mail to properties that are somewhere between1-3 years delinquent. I’ve had a ton of luck with this strategy in states that don’t do tax liens.
I just wanna figure out the best way to get a good list in a state like FL since there’s an extra wrinkle. I’ve already tried calling a couple counties and used the same spiel that usually works for me and they really have no idea what I’m asking for. So should I be asking for a list of properties that have liens already and then mailing to those property owners. Or should I be asking for properties that have delinquent back taxes (does the county even consider them delinquent if a lien holder has paid the taxes)? And then, when buying a property that has a lien, is it as simple as paying off the lien plus interest and having the lien holder release the lien? Just trying to wrap my head around it before spending too much more time or money. Thanks!

@tjcooley got it now​:grin::ok_hand:. For what I remember in FL taxes are due on 31 Mar. This mean that if owner X has not paid taxes from 2020 by 01 Apr 21, the property enters the tax liens auction, normally planned between May and Aug every year. Fact is that once the property get into the TL list, it’s seized and the owner cannot sell it or ask to finance his debt: he can only pay or wait for the property to arrive to the TD auction (after little more than 2 years). So, technically, until 01 Apr they are not delinquent yet, which means that if today you ask for delinquent taxes lists to the CTC the answer might be “NONE”, and once they become delinquent unfortunately there is not enough time to buy before they get into the tax liens auction list​:man_shrugging:t2:. Still, maybe a solution would be to ask for properties not delinquent but on which taxes 2020 have not been paid yet (better ask for that around late jan or feb i believe). Does this delirium I just wrote make any sense? Because I’m not sure​:joy::joy::joy:

@arturo said in Tax Lien State Delinquent Lists in Florida:

Fact is that once the property get into the TL list, it’s seized and the owner cannot sell it or ask to finance his debt: he can only pay or wait for the property to arrive to the TD auction (after little more than 2 years).

Hey Arturo, I’m trying to figure out how I can get these properties that have a TL on them. Have you done this? You said once the property is on the TL list the owner cannot sell it? Couldn’t you negotiate and make a contract with the property owner to pay off the lienholder and purchase the property?
or is there some law against this?
Sorry for all the questions, any help is much appreciated