Florida Tax Deed Surplus Funds – What Does it Mean When the Clerk of Court Intervenes in Your Surplus Case?

Representing Homeowners

On occasion, I take on a Florida Tax Deed Surplus Funds case where the Clerk of Court has filed a Motion to Intervene. Why does the Clerk of Court have any say at all in who receives the funds and what does this mean to my client? And most important, what needs to be done in order to make sure my client gets the most of their surplus funds?

The Clerk of Court is required by Florida Statute 197.582, to disburse surplus funds from Florida Tax Deed Sales to the property owner immediately preceding the sale if there are no other liens. The Clerk of Court will look at the case and may do a bit of research into the ownership history to determine whether there are other parties who could potentially have a claim to the Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds. The Clerk of Court may also intervene if there is some question as to the heirs to a deceased party. On occasion, the judge in the case may require a probate to be filed based on the recommendation of the Clerk’s office and their motion to intervene. This is especially true if the Clerk of Court is not able to determine if the person is deceased, who all of the heirs are, or if there is a question as to who the owner is or should be.

Sometimes this can all be determined in an evidentiary hearing where I can present evidence to the judge as to the questions posed by the Clerk of court. On other occasions a probate is necessary. I currently have a few cases that I have had to file a probate in order to determine the proper owners of the Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds. It is my goal to get my clients the surplus funds without going through probate, but sometimes I have a Clerk’s attorney that says I have to do probate “just in case”. Some of the ones I must do a probate for are very simple and other times they are quite complex with more than a dozen heirs to the funds. But the good thing is that if there are other assets, like bank accounts, that should also be distributed to the heirs, they can be included in the probate case. If the amounts in question are less than $75,000 or if it has been more than two years since the former owner’s death, only a summary administration is necessary, and it can be done relatively quickly. But if I am probating funds that are over $75,000 where the property was not homestead exempt and it has been less than two years since the person died, then a formal probate would be necessary.

Another scenario is if there are multiple heirs to the property who don’t necessarily agree as to who gets the Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds, I have filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in order to force the court to look at all of the evidence and make a decision. In this case, the other family members hired their own attorney, and we were able to come to an agreement that the court ultimately agreed with and signed off on. It wasn’t the easiest of ways to get the case done, but it prevented us from having to do a probate.

No matter what the scenario in dealing with your Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds, it is always best to hire a qualified Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus or Foreclosure Sale Surplus Attorney. If you sign over your rights to a third-party surplus recovery company, they won’t have the same skillset as what I have.

If you have received a notice from the Clerk of Court dealing with a Tax Deed Sale Surplus case in any County in the State of Florida, give me a call for a Free Consultation. I will discuss your case with you and help you decide what is the best course of action to take. If the Clerk of Court has filed a motion to intervene, I can help you to determine how to respond and whether a probate is necessary, and if so what kind of probate. I handle Tax Deed Sale Surplus and Foreclosure Sale Surplus Cases in every County in the State of Florida. And I don’t get paid unless you do.

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