Be sure to check back for more FAQ as we will continue to add your frequently asked questions
Working the Records
The short answer is “ALL of the counties, ALL of the time”. If you limit yourself to one or two counties, you will quickly become disappointed and here is why:
All counties hold their auctions on different days and different intervals (weekly, monthly, every 2 months, etc). There are typically auctions every Monday through Thursday and occasionally some on Friday (but very few).
We provide surplus for every county that has their auctions online plus about 10 that hold auctions offline (Total of about 37 counties out of 67) and here is a general outlook on how many records we get each week from ALL of those counties combined…
Starting each week, there are about 300-600 tax deeds headed to auctions.
Before an auction even starts, roughly 50% of them get redeemed by the owner (they pay their taxes and save their property from being auctioned).
So then, we watch the auctions that are left to get the ending bid and determine IF there is surplus money left over.
Within those, about 20% receive NO bids and therefore produce no surplus.
10% receive bids but the surplus is not over $1000 so we don’t bother.
That leaves 20% (an average of about 75/week) where:
- Auction actually happened AND
- Surplus is over $1000 (anything less is really not worth going after)
THOSE go on our Surplus List and this is pretty much the list you could buy anywhere else or that the county will put out themselves months later. It is a bare bones list that is almost useless if you do not know what you are doing.
We then we add the Owner and their mailing address, plus locate and download the Property Information Report for you
You then need to know if there are liens on the property that are so high, it will take all the surplus.
In short, the records get dwindled down so much that you need all you can get your hands on from as many counties as possible, to make an impact and do well in this business.
Trying to stick with just one county will not do you any good.
There is ONE exception to this rule. You can go after the records in counties where they hold their auctions in person and they do not provide their tax deed documents and claim information online. These would be the counties that are the least saturated with asset recovery companies because so much more work is involved and in-person visits to the Clerks office are needed. If you happen to live in or near one of those counties, I would highly recommend you digging in there.
New counties are going online with their auctions all the time. However as of right now (12/2020) here is a list of the in-person auction counties that do not provide their documents online, therefore would be the least saturated by asset recovery companies who do not live near them.
On the surplus claim form you put owners name but then for mailing address you put
C/O Your Biz Name
Your Biz mailing address
There are banks that accept 3rd party checks, especially since its a check from a government entity (the county).
Here is a list that do accept 3rd party checks.
Now, instead of a Contingency Agreement + Power of Attorney Form, if you have the property owner sign an Assignment of Interest Form, then the county will put your name on the check because you are now the owner of the surplus funds.
Each county has their own Surplus Claim Form so the wording will be different, but for an example, here is a clip from Broward County Claim Form and how you fill it out.
This question falls more into the ‘salesmanship’ arena, which we do not teach. The methods you use to approach a previous owner will come to be customized by you and you will learn by doing. You will try, succeed or fail, learn and move on to the next. There is most definitely no ONE answer to how to handle this part. Over time you will get a feel for what to say to who by what they are saying to you.
There are some people who will receive a letter from you and be 100% in. They will call you and be ready for action. Then there are others who will have 20 questions before continuing and then others who will assume it is a scam the moment they hear your voice.
When we first began, our objective was to perform the actions of obtaining the good records of surplus and providing them to established asset recovery companies. We know how much work is involved in researching each record so we thought our service was a great time saver.
However, it soon became apparent that we needed to offer more in the way of training.
We do provide some information about the business part of it in the way of the forms needed for your clients, etc but Florida Overbids is mainly for training on “how to find and research the surplus records”.
We DO have 2 sample letters in our resources section that will give you ideas.
Something incredible happened recently that I want to share.
My adult son’s best friend was visiting and he asked me what work I do. I briefly explained the tax deed surplus recovery business and how I provide records to asset recovery businesses. He said his mother received a letter with something about that and that she called the number on the letter. She said she felt it may be a scam but really needed the money so she decided to call.
Knowing that there are so many types of unclaimed money floating around and the chances of her letter being about tax deed surplus were slim, I asked him if she’d be willing to let me have a look at the letter.
A week later, he brought the initial contact letter as well as a follow-up letter after her phone call to them and all documents needing to be signed and notarized. I quickly recognized this to be about tax deed surplus so I looked up the case online and sure enough, there was almost $30k to be claimed and the auction had happened in 2016 (today is 9/6/2018).
I was able to let her know it was NOT a scam and that she should follow through with it.
The point is that this letter worked!
Here is a redacted version of that initial contact letter. Anything in red is specific to this lady’s claim, so we left it out of the letter.
We create the list right after the auction, so at the point when we send the new records, you are guaranteed there has been no claim. However, the more time that passes after the auction, you ARE taking a chance that a claim was put in. This is why it is imperative you act fast on new records.
We do not go back and update our lists to show if a claim has been made or not. If you need to know if a claim was made on an older record, you can do that in one of two ways:
- Look up the Tax Deed documents using the methods on our website FloridaOverbids.com and some counties DO show you if a claim was made and by whom.
- We created a document and videos to train you how to do this
- Call the Clerk of Court for that county and ask them. They will need the Tax Deed # and Sale Date
- We created a document with the contact info for all 67 counties