Registration, printouts, and deposits will be available through BidEscambia.com
Prior to the certificate sale, new buyers must register online at BidEscambia.com. All buyers must be registered! Upon electronic completion of Federal Form W‑9, buyer information is entered into the secure web site and a bidder number is assigned. Previous buyers must activate their existing bidder registration at this web site prior to the beginning of the sale and must not register as a new bidder.
BidEscambia.com, the certificate sale website, will be available beginning May 5, 2020. The availability of the site begins the bidding process. The list of properties also will be advertised on May 7, 14, and 21 in the Pensacola News Journal newspaper. Prior to the sale, you may pick up the Pensacola News Journal at 213 Palafox Place or a copy can be mailed upon request.
All buyers are required to make a 10% deposit for anticipated purchases or they will not be awarded the certificates for which they prevailed at the bidding. Deposits must be made by ACH as specified in the county’s Bidding Rules online at BidEscambia.com by the close of the last batch. Deposits are forfeited if full payment of certificates is not made by 3:00 p.m. CDT on June 3, 2020.
Certificates are auctioned by the item numbers listed in the newspaper. Each certificate is bid individually, and no certificate is issued out of sequence. Bids must be placed prior to the sale and may be adjusted as groups of tax certificates are awarded during the sale. Buyers bid on the certificate according to the interest rate they are willing to accept. The maximum interest rate possible is 18%. The lowest rate is 0%. Bidders may bid in 1/4% increments. The buyer bidding the lowest interest rate will be awarded the certificate as it is auctioned. All certificates earn an automatic 5% interest, except for those bid at 0%, which earn no interest. After overcoming the automatic minimum 5% interest, the interest is prorated monthly, based upon the percentage rate bid at the sale. Buyers are responsible for keeping up with purchases and funds on deposit.
Upon completion and verification of the sale results, you will be notified by email of the balance due. The balance due for your purchases will automatically be debited from the bank account you designated as your “Final Payment Account” if payment of certificates is not received by 3:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. If you wish to manually make your payment prior to the final payment deadline, please go the “Payments and Budget” page under “My Account” and click “Pay for Certificates.” The button is activated once the last batch in the sale closes and any final data updates are complete. If your final payment is returned as invalid for any reason, you will forfeit your security deposit and certificate purchases.
Printouts of bidder purchases may be obtained through BidEscambia.com. Upon request, verified printouts for new purchases and all other outstanding certificates will be issued within two weeks of the conclusion of the sale and the balancing of all monies. If requested, one additional free updated printout per year will be provided. Further printouts will be provided for a $50.00 fee upon written request to the tax collector.
Taxpayers redeem certificates through the tax collector’s office. Registered buyers receive redemption funds by ACH after the redemption payment is processed.
Certificates may be corrected or canceled if errors, omissions, or double assessments are made. A correction causes the partial or full cancellation of the certificate face. The interest rate on such cancellation is 8% per year, simple interest, or the rate of interest bid at the tax certificate sale, whichever is less. Interest is earned at the bid rate for any face amount remaining after the correction or cancellation.
EXPIRATION OF CERTIFICATES
Certificates expire seven years from the date of issue. The certificate holder’s protection against the expiration of unredeemed certificates is to file a tax deed application. This action may be initiated online at Escambia.DeedExpress.net no sooner than two years from the delinquency date and no later than the certificate expiration date.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
- Tax certificates with face amounts less than $250 on homesteads shall be struck to the County per Florida Statute 197.432(4).
- A few certificates offered for sale will be auctioned for amounts that differ from the newspaper listing. This is the result of the property being divided and taxes being paid on the portions that have been sold.
Certificates that elicit no bids and are “struck to the County” will be available for direct assignment purchasing online at Escambia.LienExpress.net at a later date.
- Tax certificates are not risk-free investments.
- Bidders are not buying property at this sale! Bidders are buying a tax certificate, which acts as a superior lien.
- Interest earnings are reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Acquiring certificates by bidding an extremely low or 0% interest rate is not illegal.
- Florida Statutes prohibit certificate holders from sending warning letters before two years from the delinquency date.
- Certificate holders acquiring property by tax deed may be required to register with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes.