Florida law allows mortgage lenders to sell Tampa properties when the property owner goes into default on a mortgage loan. Lenders file for a foreclosure in the county circuit court. Each time the court approves the sale of a Tampa foreclosure, the court then has it listed publicly so members of the public can bid on the foreclosed homes and land in Tampa. Individuals can buy Tampa foreclosures by placing the highest bid at the foreclosure sale.
Find the circuit court websites in the Tampa area. Tampa, Florida is a large area that covers many different counties. The place you go to find Tampa foreclosure listings depends on where the particular Tampa real estate being foreclosed is located.
Example: Pinellas County is in the Tampa area. In this county, you can visit the Pinellas County Circuit Court’s website to find information about foreclosures and foreclosure notices in that Tampa-area county. Visit the court’s foreclosure page at Clerk.co.pinellas.fl.us/aspinclude2/ASPInclude.asp?pagename=mforeclosures.htm. It is very common nowadays for Florida auctions to be conducted online. In this case, you can find Tampa foreclosure notices by going to Pinellas. RealForeclose.com. Follow the individual county’s instructions to access Tampa foreclosure listings.
Note that you may have to look at a website other than the circuit court’s website. In some cases, you may find county foreclosure information on the main county website. It will not necessarily say “circuit court” at the top of the page.
Look at the foreclosure listings to get the address, amount due, auction date, etc. You should then check out these Tampa foreclosed properties in person before deciding on a list of properties on which to bid. When visiting a foreclosure in Florida, you do not have a right to inspect it. However, you can ask neighbors or Tampa-area real estate agents of appraisers to help you come up with the property’s approximate fair market value.
Using the property’s fair market value, you should then come up with a maximum bid. Stick to that bid if you want to ensure a good or at least reasonable price on a Tampa foreclosure.
Refer to each county’s registration and deposit requirements. For example, you will often have to register and deposit money with the RealForeclose online foreclosure auction site. The website has instructions for how to do this.
Attend the auction as directed by the county. When bidding online, you log in to participate and can watch the bids go up in real time. Bid on the properties. If you win, you will then get instructions about completing the foreclosure sale. The general procedure is to wire payments or to go to the county clerk’s office and pay any amounts still due.
Warning: You generally must pay by the next day after winning an auction to buy a Tampa foreclosure. Make sure you have enough money on hand to pay for your max bid. You will not usually have time to raise the funds.
Get a Florida deed once you have completed the sale. You need to take this deed and file it in the recording office in the county where your new Tampa foreclosed property is located. This is necessary to protect your ownership interest in the Tampa property (and all other Florida real estate).
Pinellas County, Florida Circuit Court Foreclosure Information