About Florida Tax Liens
Florida tax collectors are directed by statute to sell tax certificates as part of their process to collect delinquent real estate taxes.
A tax certificate is an enforceable first lien against the property for unpaid real estate taxes.
There are several ways to acquire tax certificates:
- In the annual tax certificate sale
These sales are conducted by tax collectors in May and June each year in a reverse auction process with participants bidding downward on interest rates starting at 18%. Each certificate is awarded to the bidder who will pay the taxes, interest and costs and accept the lowest rate of interest. If there are no bidders, the certificate is issued to the county at 18% annual interest. In most cases, a large majority of the certificates issued each year are sold to third-party buyers (not the county) in the annual sale.
- By purchase from the county
The tax collector may sell certificates held by the county at any time of the year.
- By transfer from another certificate holder
A certificate holder (other than the county) may transfer a certificate to another party. The transfer fee charged by the tax collector is $2.25 per certificate.
If the taxes remain unpaid, the certificate holder may file a tax deed application with the tax collector two years after the date of delinquency. The property may be sold at a public auction conducted by the clerk of the circuit court should the property owner fail to pay the tax debt.
Tax certificates last for seven years, as long as no other administrative or legal proceedings exist.
LienHub.com is a web portal built to handle sales and management of tax certificates.
If a county is listed on LienHub, this is the tax collector's official method to sell tax certificates and allow certificate holders to perform additional actions including reviewing the status of certificates, filing tax deed applications and accessing tax reporting documents.
For more information about how to use the portal, see our User Guide.
If you are unfamiliar with tax certificates you can learn more by reading the Florida Statutes pertaining to tax collection and liens. Many tax collectors will also make information about tax liens available on their web sites.
Please note that there are risks associated with the purchase of tax certificates. It is the sole responsibility of the buyer to research any tax certificates before participating in an auction or making purchases.