Florida tax certificate auctions are annual events with exact dates determined by each county tax collector. The tax collector will make a list of properties with unpaid tax bills available for review in early to mid-May. Bidders can register to participate in the auction and submit bids between that time and the period when bidding ends, typically on or before June 1. Auction participants can complete auction registration requirements, research items included in the auction, submit bids, view auction results and pay for purchases in LienHub.
The Cert Sale Schedules page in LienHub is available from March 1 to July 1 and provides a single view of Florida tax certificate auctions hosted on LienHub. Auction information will not be populated until the county Tax Collectors make it available. All information displayed on the Cert Sale Schedules page is provided by the county Tax Collectors and is subject to change. All times are displayed in Eastern Time. To view the Cert Sale Schedules page:
- Go to LienHub.com,
- Click Cert Sale Schedules on the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page.
Accessing the Auction Module in LienHub
To access the tax certificate auction:
- Go to LienHub.com and Sign In.
- Select the county from the list in the left-hand navigation bar.
- Click Tax Lien Auction link in the left-hand navigation bar.
- If you have not previously accessed the auction, you may be prompted to agree to the terms of the LienHub User Agreement.
- Click Enter next to the active auction under Current Auctions on the Auction Selections page. If you wish to view results of a previous sale, click Enter next to the auction in the Completed Auctions Archive.
Viewing Auction Information
Once you have entered the auction per the instructions above, you can review more information on the Auction Summary Page including:
- Your Auction Registration Status: a visual indicator letting you know whether or not you have completed the registration steps for this auction. There is a link available that will take you to the list of steps that must be taken before Bids can be submitted.
- Your Bidding Activity: a summary of your submitted and winning bids in the auction.
- Auction Details: basic information including the bidding format, auction format and sale requirements.
- Batch Schedule: the time bidding ends and when results will be generated for each group of items in the auction.
- Contacts: how to get in touch with Grant Street Group for technical support or the County Tax Collector for questions pertaining to specific properties or tax bills.
Registering to Participate in an Auction
If you wish to submit bids in an auction, you must first complete all the registration steps required by the Tax Collector. To view and complete the steps:
- Click the Complete Registration Steps link in the Auction Registration Status area on the Auction Summary Page.
- You will be presented with an overlay detailing the registration steps with the date and time (Eastern Time) by which each step must be completed. Click on the name of each step to view and complete. Once you complete a step, the system will record the date and time completed and change the status indicator to completed.
- To return to the Auction Summary Page, click Back to Auction Summary Page.
When the auction is open and accepting new registrants, but you have not completed all of the registration steps, your Auction Registration status will remain as "Incomplete" and the indicator will be yellow. If you complete all steps by the registration deadline, your status will say "Complete" and the indicator will be green. If you fail to complete all steps by the registration deadline, the indicator will be red and you will not be able to complete any further registration steps. The registration steps and deadline for each auction are set by the Tax Collector.
Searching the List of Auction Items
To view the list of auction items, click on the Search tab at the top of the page.
To search for and save a list of auction items:
- Under Search Criteria, choose data fields you would like to use as filters on the list of auction items.
- Once you have selected a field, set a constraint. Constraint options are matched to the field type. For example, your options for the Face Amount field, which is a dollar value, would be: is greater than, is less than, is equal to, is not equal to. A text-based field may have options such as: is or is not. You can combine multiple fields as your search criteria.
- Once you have set your criteria, click Run Search.
- The system will return the auction items matching your search criteria. Any fields which were part of your criteria will be displayed for items returned.
- If you want to save the list of items matching your criteria, click Save List As, enter a name for your list and save it.
- If you want to save your search criteria for future use, click Save Criteria As, enter a name for the criteria and save it.
You can also limit searches to certain saved Certificate Lists, Batches or Results using the menus at the top of the Search page.
Creating and Downloading a Report Containing Auction Items
To create and download a custom report containing auction items, start by clicking on the Reports tab at the top of the page.
Choosing the Columns to Include in Your Report
- To pick the columns you would like to include in your report, start by clicking Choose Columns.
- In the Choose Columns menu, click on any column you'd like to include in your report, then click Add →.
- Once you have finished selecting columns, click Save.
- You will see the column you added appear in the list of auction items at the bottom of the page.
Choosing the Auction Items to Include in Your Report
- You can create a report containing all auction items or you can limit the items included using the menus at the top of the Reports page.
- To limit items included to those meeting criteria for search results you saved on the Search page, select a list from the Certificate Lists Menu.
- To limit items included in the report to those in a specific batch, select a batch from the Batches menu.
- To limit items included in the report to your submitted or winning bids, select an option from the Results menu.
- Your selections from these menus will be combined to limit the items included to only those matching all criteria.
Downloading a Report
Once you have set the columns and items you would like to include in your report, you can download as either a CSV or an Excel file by clicking the icons on the right-hand side of the page.
In order to view auction items and submit bids, begin by clicking the Bid tab at the top of the page.
Viewing Information About Auction Items
Once you're on the Bid page you can see the following information about auction items:
- Basic information including the advertised number, batch, face amount, tax year, number of bids submitted (if displayed by the Tax Collector) and item status are available on the row for each item.
- If an item has been removed from the sale, the Min. Rate input cell and Submit buttons will be removed and a message indicating the reason the item has been removed will be displayed.
- In order to see even more information about an item, including property data, delinquent tax history and links to other resources including Property Appraiser and GIS records, click the Account No. or Parcel No. for any item.
Submitting a Bid for One Item
- Locate the item on which you wish to submit a bid. If you know the Advertised Number, Account or Parcel Number, Folio Number, Address or Owner Name for the item, you can search for it using the 'Go to' tool at the top of the list of auction items.
- Once you have located the item, enter your Minimum Acceptable Rate in the 'Min. Rate' input field.
- Click the Submit button for the item.
- Once your bid is submitted a message will appear at the top of the page, and the rate you submitted will appear under the Submitted column on the list of auction items. A Withdraw button will also appear.
- Once you have submitted a bid for an item, you can change or withdraw your bid any time prior to the close of the batch containing that item.
- To change your bid, enter a new rate in the Min. Rate cell for the item and click Submit.
- To remove your bid, click the Withdraw button.
Submitting Bids for Multiple Items
To submit the same rate for multiple auction items:
- Select a list of auction items from the Certificate Lists menu at the top of the page. This can be a list you created using a Search or Bid Upload, or by selecting items using the My List check boxes where auction items are displayed.
- Select the Batch for which you want to submit bids, or 'All Batches' if you want to submit bids for all items in your list in all batches.
- Once you have selected the list, type a rate next to 'Enter a rate to autofill' above the list of auction items.
- Click Autofill.
- Click Submit All.
- You will receive a message at the top of the page indicating the number of bids submitted. If there are errors in any of your bid inputs a message concerning the errors will also be displayed.
If you wish to input bids using a file upload you should take the following steps:
- Click the Upload tab at the top of the page.
- Click Download Bid File to get a CSV template you can use for bid entry.
- Enter your rates in the Bid column in the CSV file, then save to your local machine.
- On the Upload page click Choose File, select the template containing your bids, then click Upload and Save.
- Once you click Upload and Save, the rates from your template will be entered and saved in the system but not yet submitted. In order to submit your bids, click Submit All.
- You should note that when you upload a bid template, a Certificate List will be created for the items with bid inputs. You can use that list on the Search, Reports, Bid or Results pages as you would a Certificate List created through a saved search.
Viewing Auction Results
Once batches close in an auction, you can view results. To see information on the winning bids and bidders for each item, click the Results tab at the top of the page.
- You can view results for specific Batches and Certificate Lists using the menus at the top of the page.
- You can also view only the winning or submitted bids for any auction participant using the Bidder and Results menus.
- The winning bids and winning bidder numbers for each item will be displayed in the Winning Bid and Winning Bidder columns.
- To see details of all bids submitted for an item, click the link on the winning bid percentage.
Viewing and Editing Your Account Information
Click the My Account tab at the top of the page in order to take any of the following actions.
Adding a Deposit
If the auction you are participating in requires a deposit (and deposits are paid electronically through LienHub), after you've paid your initial deposit as part of the registration process, follow the steps below to make an additional deposit. Please note: some Tax Collectors will have pre-sale deposit deadlines. You can find the deposit deadline on the Auction Schedule. No deposits will be accepted after the deadline.
- Click the Payments and Budget tab.
- Click Add Deposit.
- Enter the amount of the deposit you want to make in the Payment Amount box.
- Select the bank account from which you wish to make your payment. You can use an account you have already saved in LienHub or enter the payment information for a new account.
- Check to agree with payment rules and click Authorize Payment.
- Verify your payment information. When you have confirmed the information for your bank account is correct, click Submit Payment.
- If you wish to update your Budget based on the additional deposit, enter the new amount in the Budget Input and click Update Budget. Otherwise, simply click Continue.
- If you increased your Budget, you need to re-authorize the post-sale debit for your balance due at the end of the sale (which can be any amount up to your Budget). To do so, enter your password, select the bank account to be debited and click Designate Account.
Changing your Budget
You are required to set a Budget amount as part of the registration process before submitting bids. You can take the following steps to change your Budget any time prior to the close of the last batch.
- Click the Payments and Budget tab.
- Enter your new Budget amount in the box next to Budget Input.
- Click Submit Budget.
- Re-authorize the post-sale debit for your balance due at the end of the sale (which can be any amount up to your Budget): enter your password, select the bank account to be debited and click Designate Account.
Reviewing Bidding Group Information
If a Tax Collector has Bidding Groups enabled in their auction, you can review your Group's status (if you are using a Primary and Affiliate Bidders) and Bidding Group Guidelines by clicking Manage Bidding Group under My Account.
Updating the Bank Account to be Debited for Your Final Payment
If you need to change the bank account you designated for payment of your balance due at the end of the auction you can:
- Click Auto-Debit Payment Account under My Account
- Enter your password where prompted.
- Select the account to be debited. You can use an account you have already saved in LienHub or enter the payment information for a new account.
- Check to agree with payment rules and click Designate Account.
Paying the Balance Due for Your Purchases
If you have a balance due for purchases at the end of an auction it must be paid by the date and time indicated on the Auction Schedule. There are two options for payment:
- Allow your Designated Final Payment Account to be debited automatically at the deadline.
- Submit payment prior to the deadline. To make payment:
- Click Payments and Budget under My Account.
- Click Pay for Certificates; this button will not be activated until after the final batch in the auction closes. You may only pay the full amount due for your purchases after deducting your deposits.
- Select the bank account from which you would like to make payment, authorize the payment, confirm your bank information and submit.
Bids are processed in sequential order by Advertising Number instantly after each Batch closes and unofficial awards are made to users with the lowest bid, provided the face amount of the certificate next to be awarded would not cause that user's cumulative award amount for all winning bids to exceed that same user's submitted Budget. If a user's submitted Budget would be exceeded by the award of a given certificate, the bid entered by user will not qualify as a valid bid on that certificate and hence will not result in an award under any circumstances. In other words, the associated bid will be disregarded.
Awards displayed on the Results page are unofficial until certified by the Seller.
- A Batch is a group of two or more tax certificates to be auctioned that are grouped together and displayed in sequential order and that share the same bid submission deadline.
- Batches are a means of organizing tax certificates in a tax certificate sale. Each tax certificate in a Batch is auctioned off independently of every other tax certificate.
- The number of Batches and bid submission deadline for each Batch are listed on the Auction Summary page, and can also be found in the Batch drop-down on the Bid page.
The number of certificates in each Batch and the interval between Batches are determined by the Tax Collector.
LienHub supports two different bidding formats, Proxy Bidding and Direct Bidding. The bidding format is selected by the Tax Collector in each county. You can find the format for any auction on the Auction Summary page.
Bid submission details for sales with Proxy Bidding:
- In order for Minimum Acceptable Rates (MARs) to be recorded, and used as the basis for bid submissions, rates must be entered by users and received by the auction server on or before related and published Batch closing deadlines.
- Bidders' most recent MAR transmissions are displayed in the Submitted column.
- As explained above, Bidders may submit rates to purchase certificates with an aggregate face amount in excess of Bidders' submitted Budget. However, at the point in time when the aggregate face amount of a Bidder's bids exceeds the Bidder's submitted Budget, the remaining bids in excess of the submitted Budget will be disregarded for purposes of determining a winning bidder.
- The web site includes a Proxy Bidding feature that permits users to enter the minimum interest rates they are willing to accept (which is entered in the 'Min. Rate' column of the Bid page) for tax certificates they are bidding to purchase. The web site software will serve as users' agent, or proxy, for submitting their bids. When bidding for a particular certificate ends (i.e. a Batch closes), the software compares bidder's MAR for a particular certificate with the best bid for that same certificate made on behalf of all other bidders. If a given bidder's MAR is lower than the best bid submitted on behalf of all other bidders for the same certificate, the software will automatically generate a bid on such Bidder's behalf that is .25% less than the next best bid. Zero percent bids, however, will not be treated as proxy bids. They will be awarded at zero. If there is a tie at the winning bid rate, the certificate will be awarded by the software to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using commercially available random number generation software.
- As it relates to Proxy Bidding requirements:
- Bidders may increase or decrease rates at any time prior to related Batch bid submission deadlines.
- Bidders may withdraw rates at any time prior to related Batch closing times by clicking the related "Withdraw" Button(s) on the Bid page.
- Bidders may withdraw all Rates any time prior to the end of an auction by clicking the "Withdraw All" Button on the Bid page and then clicking on the subsequent pop-up page to confirm the withdrawal of all bids.
- At no time before a Batch closing time will Bidders be permitted to see any other bidder's bid. After Batches close, bidders may view bidding results as explained above.
- In order for bids to be recorded, and used as the basis for awards, rates must be entered by users and received by the auction server on or before related and published Batch closing deadlines.
- Bidders' most recent bid transmissions are displayed in the Submitted column.
- As explained above, bidders may submit rates to purchase certificates with an aggregate face amount in excess of bidders' submitted Budget. However, at the point in time when the aggregate face amount of a bidder's bids exceeds such bidder's submitted Budget, the remaining bids in excess of the submitted Budget will be disregarded for purposes of determining a winning bidder.
- If there is a tie at the winning bid rate, the certificate will be awarded by the software to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using commercially available random number generation software.
- As it relates to bidding requirements:
- Bidders may increase or decrease rates at any time prior to related Batch bid submission deadlines.
- Bidders may withdraw bids at any time prior to related Batch closing times by clicking the related "Withdraw" Button(s) on the Bid page.
- Bidders may withdraw all bids any time prior to the end of an auction by clicking the "Withdraw All" Button on the Bid page and then clicking on the subsequent pop-up page to confirm the withdrawal of all bids.
- At no time before a Batch closing time will bidders be permitted to see any other bidder's bid. After Batches close, bidders may view bidding results as explained above.
Errors and Messages
- Any time the software detects a Bidder error, the user will receive:
- a brief description of the error in a highlighted box, and
- if applicable, an identifier in the cell or area of the page in which the error occurred
- In order to remove an error description and, if applicable, identifier, the user must either:
- correct the error and click the appropriate button on the page, or
- delete the error and click the appropriate button on the page, as applicable.
Erroneous entries and results are not successfully transmitted. Errors must be corrected before transmissions associated with such corrected error can be successfully completed. When a submission or transmission by a User contains errors, the portion of the transmission or submission, if any, that is unassociated with the error may be successfully transmitted or submitted.