Effective July 1, 2008, Florida Clerks of the Courts can conduct foreclosure and tax deed sales online. Governor Charlie Christ signed into law House Bill 773, sponsored by Representative Chris Dorworth, authorizing Clerks of the Courts to conduct online auctions of foreclosure and tax deed sales and to accept deposits and payments electronically. In today’s age of online services and e-commerce, the “courthouse steps” have become a less than ideal place to conduct foreclosure and tax deed sales. The dramatic increase in foreclosure filings in Florida has resulted in many counties having to add staff and hold sales three to five days a week in order to keep up with the increase.
“With the change in state law, Florida Clerks have a great opportunity to lead the way for their counterparts across the country – setting a new standard of efficiency and competition through online auctions,” said Ian Yorty, Director of Florida Business Development for Grant Street Group.
To facilitate online sales, Grant Street Group has developed ClerkAuction™, a powerful online auction system designed specifically for Florida Clerks. This system will enable Clerks to replace their current tedious, labor-intensive live auctions with an automated online sale. Using ClerkAuction, Clerks will no longer have to dedicate staff, or pay for facilities and security when conducting their sales. The ever-growing volume of cases can also be scheduled for sale faster, putting the inventory of foreclosures back into the market, or tax deeds back onto the tax roll. “The benefits of an online sale will also extend to the customers,” continued Mr. Yorty. “Its a win-win situation.”
ClerkAuction provides strict internal controls with audit trails of all website activity and keystrokes entered by bidders (bidder activity logs). This will eliminate the bidding discrepancies or bidder interference present in today’s live auctions. Sale results are stored automatically, eliminating transcription errors, and the site stores official records in a secure and retrievable format.
The process is simple and radically reduces the amount of work involved in a sale. First, Clerks customize the look and feel of their ClerkAuction website. Bidders then access ClerkAuction from the Clerks home page, register for the sale, and bid online. The system provides useful information for bidders by linking to available case information, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and GIS maps and images available on existing public websites.
Real-time updates notify bidders when properties are removed or cancelled prior to the sale. After the sale closes, online forms are created and managed on the website and auto-populated with sale results. ClerkAuction generates sale results in seconds and allows deposits and payments to be submitted online, eliminating bidders’ multiple trips to the courthouse.
For more information, please contact Ian Yorty, Director of Florida Business Development, at 305-710-8926, or Ian.Yorty@GrantStreet.com.