I have been contacted by people who have discovered they might have some Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Surplus Funds available, but don’t know if it is worth going through the trouble of trying to get those funds from the Clerk. Many will ask, “what happens to the funds if I don’t request them?” There is also a question as to whether or not other parties can request the funds.
For starters, there are many liens on a property that don’t survive the Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale. This can include liens from personal loans, credit card judgments, homeowner’s association (and Condo) assessment liens, child support liens, mechanics liens, and even mortgage liens. This assessment is based on Florida Statute 197.522, which states, “Except as specifically provided in this chapter, no right, interest, restriction, or other covenant shall survive the issuance of a tax deed, except that a lien of record held by a municipal or county governmental unit, special district, or community development district, when such lien is not satisfied as of the disbursement of proceeds of sale.”
This means that for the most part, the majority of the liens that do survive a Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Sale will be Governmental Liens. As long as you hire a qualified Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Surplus attorney, you will be able to recover more of the Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Surplus funds you have coming to you. But let’s say that you decide to not receive those funds. What happens to them?
If those funds due to you go unclaimed, they will be sent by the County Clerk to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Unclaimed Property after a period of five years (mortgage foreclosure surplus funds can be sent after one year). Once they are with the division of unclaimed property, it doesn’t mean you are entirely out of luck. Even though those funds are eventually disbursed to help the Florida School System, you can potentially still make a claim.
Under Florida Statute 717.117, once the unclaimed funds have been sent to the State, these funds can still be claimed (there is no statute of limitations on unclaimed property), but you need to follow very specific rules in order to claim these funds. This means that even if the sale was many years ago, you may still be able to claim those surplus funds. According to the Florida Division of Unclaimed Property, run by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, the State of Florida currently holds unclaimed property in excess of $1 billion.
If you are unsure how much time you have to retrieve your Florida Tax Deed Foreclosure Surplus Funds, please give me a call for a free consultation. We can discuss whether any potential lienholders’ claims are extinguished or may still have to be paid from those funds. I can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have time before the funds go to the state division of unclaimed property. I handle Foreclosure Surplus Funds and Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds in every County in the State of Florida. And I don’t get paid unless I successfully retrieve those funds for you.