Clerk Brings More Services Online
With more than 15,000 foreclosures filed in Pinellas County last year, and an average of 1,000 more filed each month this year to-date, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Ken Burke, recognized the need to find a more efficient method for holding mortgage foreclosure and tax deed auctions.
Recent changes to Florida Statutes have enabled Clerks of the Court to hold electronic sales. The Pinellas County Clerk's office has contracted with Realauction of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to conduct the sales via two separate websites, Pinellas County Foreclosure for foreclosure sales and Pinellas County Tax Deed for tax deed sales, according to Burke.
"Realauction has designed the sites and the sales to ensure fairness to all bidders while increasing the number of potential buyers for each property or tax deed which benefits bidders and property owners alike," said Burke. "The Clerk's Office will save time with the new online process by uploading documents once so all bidders will have simultaneous access to complete information for each case."
Realauction will be supplying the software, hosting the websites and providing customer service. The interactive websites will enable potential bidders to make deposits, place bids, monitor auctions and pay for winning bids from the convenience of their home, office or public terminals in the Clerk's office locations. Proxy bidding is enabled when bidders register in advance. Registration is free.
"The software will provide ease-of-use, enabling people to register for free, review property information and enter bids at any time until the auction closes," said Burke. "Once the auction closes, winning bidders can make payments by electronic wire transfer or certified funds directly to the Clerk's office through the Realauction websites."
The system also protects bidders from "sniping" or last-second bids intended to beat the clock in order to win the bid, according to Burke. Any late bids add time to the auction giving all bidders more time.
Pinellas County's online daily (Monday through Friday) foreclosure sales are set to begin on October 4th and the monthly tax deed sales are set to begin on October 20th. Realauction will conduct training and orientation sessions for bidders prior to the sale during September, with complete instructions on how to participate in online sales. Realauction also provides a toll free number to their customer service team to answer questions during a sale.
Return to Current Edition