Tax Deed Sales FAQ

Who conducts the tax deed sale?
The tax deed sale will be conducted online at in accordance with Section 197.502(5), F.S.
When and where are these tax deed sales held?
In addition to the Clerk’s website, Tax Deed sales may be advertised in one of several different newspapers in Okaloosa County but are normally published in the Crestview News Bulletin. The Clerk of the Circuit Court is required by Florida Statute to advertise each sale once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the public auction, Section 197.512(1), F.S. In addition, you can view the legal notice of any pending Tax Deed Sale on this website. You may also visit the Clerk of Circuit Court’s office at the Courthouse Annex Extension.
What liens or encumbrances survive against a property after it is sold at a tax deed sale?
Government liens and judgments (federal, state, county or municipal) survive the issuance of a tax deed and are satisfied to the fullest extent possible with any overbid monies from the sale.  Government liens not satisfied in full survive the issuance of a tax deed and will remain against the property.  Records can be researched on our Official records website.
Can the property owner stop the property from being sold for taxes?
The property owner or mortgage holder may redeem the property from the tax deed sale by paying the amount owed. The total redemption amount is collected/paid to the office of the Tax Collector. (Most of the properties advertised for sale will be redeemed and will not be auctioned.)
If I am the successful bidder at the sale, what do I need to do?
According to office policy, as the successful bidder you must remain until the auction is complete and then report to the Deputy Clerk who conducted the sale. You will be required to post a 5% or $200.00, whichever is greater, cash (or certified funds) deposit for each property you purchase. You will be given calculations for your total amount due. This total will include your bid amount plus the fees to record your Tax Deed. The total amount due must be brought back to the Clerk of Court’s office no later than 10:00 a.m. of the business day following the sale. (Payment may only be made by cash or certified funds. Our office’s preferred payment method is certified funds.)
How do I become a registered bidder?
In order to participate in the sale, bidders must register on the site to get a Username and Password and place a valid deposit for your bids to be considered. You will need to place a deposit in the amount of $200.00 or 5%, whichever is higher, (a $200 deposit will be sufficient for up to a $4,000 bid) for each item you anticipate winning at the sale. If you are the successful bidder for property at a tax deed sale, full payment must be received by the Clerk’s Office within 24 hours of the sale. Acceptable forms of payment are a wire transfer, cash, cashier’s check or money order.
Do I get a clear title with a tax deed?
All properties sold at a tax deed sale qualify under “buyer beware”. The purchase of a Tax Deed does not warrant or guarantee clear and marketable title. Note: Most title insurance companies require the property to go through a quiet title action for the property to be able to have title insurance issued on property purchased by Tax Deed. Consult your attorney for more information on Quiet Title actions.
What are some things I should know before the sale?
Section 197.542, F.S., states: “Any person, firm, corporation, or county that is the grantee of any tax deed under this law shall be entitled to the immediate possession of the lands described in the deed. If demand for possession is refused, the purchaser may apply to the circuit court for a writ of assistance upon 5 days’ notice directed to the person refusing to deliver possession. Upon service of the responsive pleadings, if any, the matter shall proceed as in chancery cases. If the court finds for the applicant, an order shall be issued by the court directing the sheriff to put the grantee in possession of the lands.” Consult your attorney for more information on writ of assistance actions.
If I am the successful bidder at a Tax Deed Auction, am I entitled to immediate possession of the property after a Tax Deed has been issued to me?
Government liens and judgments (federal, state, county or municipal) survive the issuance of a tax deed and are satisfied to the fullest extent possible with any overbid monies from the sale.  Government liens not satisfied in full survive the issuance of a tax deed and will remain against the property.  Records can be researched on our Official records website .
How is the amount of the opening bid determined?
If the property is not homestead property, the amount of the opening bid equals the total of unpaid taxes and interest, the Tax Collector’s administration fees, the Clerk of Circuit Court administration fees and expenditure fees required by Florida Statute to bring the property to delinquent tax sale. If the property is homestead property, one half of the assessed value from the tax roll is added to the above amounts for the total opening bid amount.
How long does it take to receive the Tax Deed?
You should have your Tax Deed within 7 to 10 days from the sale date.
What happens to any overbid surplus funds after the sale?
Overbid surplus funds are held by this office and are paid to satisfy any government lien(s) to the extent possible. Notices of Surplus Funds are mailed to all interested parties in accordance with ch. 197. After expiration of the claim period, either an assignment of claim priority is determined, and disbursements made, or, if no claims have been received, the funds (or any remaining balance thereof) are transferred to the State of Florida, Department of Revenue. In some cases, if priority is unable to be determined, an “interpleader action” must be brought before the judiciary for a court determination or declaratory judgment. All court costs for processing an interpleader action are debited from the surplus funds. Each online file contains specific overbid surplus fund information. Please review the online file for details.
Where may I obtain information regarding the sale of Tax Certificates?
Tax certificate information can be obtained from the Tax Collector’s Office located at 1250 N. Eglin Parkway, Suite 101, Shalimar, FL 32579. The phone number for the Tax Collector’s Delinquent Tax department is 850-651-7604.

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All public records request should be directed to the designated Records Custodian, Don Allgood.

Don Allgood, D.C., RMO, RMLO, CPM
Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547