First, not all counties put a list up on their website. In fact, most do not. Some will put a PDF list up once a year, others have a search form to search records.
However, as stated above, the information the county provides on their “lists and records” is not user-friendly to asset recovery companies. The lists they provide are meant for the previous owners to look and see if they have surplus.
There is not enough information to be helpful to asset recovery companies.
For example, the county list will provide something like:
Case# Auction Date Parcel ID Surplus Amount
2017-4515TD 08/20/2016 00012854J62A4 $25,621.55
If you were the previous owner of that property, you know that is the Parcel Number of your property and therefore, you found surplus for yourself. However, as an Asset Recovery person, the above information doesn’t help you. Using what the county gives, you will need to:
- Look up the Parcel ID on the Property Appraisers website and find out who the owner was at the time of the auction. So you have to look back at the sale date (8/20/2016). If you look at the Property Appraisers site, it will show you who owns it now, NOT the person who owned it at the time of the sale… so you have to go deeper and look at the sale date that matches the auction date to find the correct owner who is entitled to the surplus.
- Locate the Tax Deed documents pertaining to the Case # and within those documents, find the Ownership & Encumbrance Report or Title Report that the county was obligated to create at the time of the auction so all owners and lienholders could be notified. Therefore, you are able to see if there are liens or mortgages on the property that would be entitled to the surplus before the previous owner. Plus you may find additional addresses for the owner to help you locate them because they highly likely no longer live at the property that was auctioned off. (We say ‘highly likely’ because it is possible the person who purchased the tax deed at auction allowed them to continue living at the property in exchange for rent)
Performing those tasks above takes a tremendous amount of time. Therefore, after you have spent so much time on the above, you STILL have to deal with convincing the previous owner to hire you and putting in a claim with the county. Meanwhile, a whole new batch of surplus records is ready and waiting for you to begin with. It can quickly overwhelm you.
Can you begin to see why we say there is no over-saturation? There are massive amounts of auctions, records, documents and more to where it can become too much to handle and people give up trying to keep up.
And THAT is why we also created https://www.SurplusDatabase.com
You NEED help in keeping up with the tax deed surplus cycle. We have a team that is laser-focused on the tax deed records in Florida. We provide the great, researched records, you relax and deal with the rest.