Effective August 17, 2015
The Walton County Clerk of Courts and County Comptroller will no longer process the publication of Notices of Sale in foreclosure proceedings. A review of the functions performed by the Clerk’s Office, shows there is no authority for the Clerk’s Office to coordinate, send to the newspapers, track, and or account for notices required to be published by parties in a court case. Please be advised of the following:
Effective August 17, 2015, the Plaintiff will be responsible for furnishing a publisher/newspaper with the completed Notice of Sale in accordance with a Final Judgment or Order scheduling a foreclosure sale, per Section 702.035, Florida Statues.
Here’s How It Works
- Determine the foreclosure sale date via the e-served copy of the Final Judgment or Order scheduling sale.
- Prepare the Notice of Sale pursuant to sale requirements in Section 45.031(2), F.S.;
- Check the progress docket on the Clerk’s website (www.clerkofcourts.co.walton.fl.us/) for documents that would prevent occurrence of the foreclosure sale, such as a Suggestion or Notice of Bankruptcy or an Order Vacating Sale;
- Provide the completed Notice of Sale to your publisher/newspaper of choice ensuring the newspaper is published in Walton County;
- File the original Notice of Sale with the Clerk’s Office; and
- Submit the original Proof of Publication to the Clerk’s office at least three business days prior to the date of the foreclosure sale.
Foreclosure sales are sales of properties ordered sold pursuant to final judgments in foreclosure actions. The properties are offered for sale to the highest bidder in order to satisfy the judgment. The Clerk’s office conducts the sale or public auction in accordance with Florida Statutes. The information below offers a general overview of the foreclosure process; however, these proceedings are governed by Florida Statutes and appellate case law interpreting these statutes. Anyone participating in these auctions should research not only the properties involved but foreclosure court cases and all the laws governing the process.
Notices about foreclosure sales are published in a newspaper with local circulation, once a week for two consecutive weeks. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to forward the Notice of Sale to the newspaper for legal publication. Foreclosure court files and official records for the county are located in the Office of the Clerk of Court, Walton County Courthouse, 571 U.S. Highway 90 East, DeFuniak Springs, Florida and the Courthouse Annex located at 31 Coastal Centre Boulevard, Suite 500, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The court file contains information about the amount owed on the property, as well as the legal description of the property. However, the street address of the property will probably not appear in the court file. You may also visit our website at www.clerkofcourts.co.walton.fl.us for further information on any case file you may be interested in bidding on. To determine the status of the property tax on the property contact the Walton County Tax Collector. To check on property improvements contact the Walton County Property Appraiser’s office. Both offices are located at 571 U. S. Highway 90 East, DeFuniak Springs, Florida and also at the Courthouse Annex located at 31 Coastal Centre Boulevard, Suite 500, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
FORECLOSURE SALE PROCESS
In actions to foreclose mortgages or liens on real property, the court, in its final judgment will order a judicial sale of the property. The Clerk conducts the sale in accordance with statutes governing judicial sales set forth in Chapter 45, Florida Statutes. The plaintiff is entitled to a setoff bid up to the amount of the judgment plus any additional amounts due the plaintiff by court order. While foreclosure judgments foreclose the interest of inferior mortgages, lien holders and any other persons or entities named as parties to the action, title issued by the clerk after a judicial sale is not warranted to be free of any potential claims. BUYERS BEWARE!! All properties are sold “AS IS”. Bidders are responsible for conducting their own research as to the property being sold, its location or condition, the condition of any structures or fixtures thereon, its marketability, potential uses, zoning, or whether any other potential liens or other defects in title that may exist.
The Clerk’s office is not authorized to give legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should obtain it from an attorney or some other source. The Clerk’s office makes no representation about the condition, marketability, existing or potential uses, title, or encumbrances (judgments, mortgages, taxes, and other liens), or existence of any condition, zoning regulation or law that may affect current or future use of the property, any property structures or fixtures thereon offered for sale by the Clerk. It is in your best interest to have a title search done by an attorney or title company. If the property is occupied, it is possible you may have to take legal action to get possession of the property. You may not have access to the property without permission of the owner. The Clerk’s office assumes no responsibility for the availability of any property offered for sale.
LOCATION OF SALE
Effective March 4, 2009, foreclosure sales will be held online via the internet at www.walton.realforeclose.com pursuant to the foreclosure judgment and Chapter 45, Florida Statutes.
DATE AND TIME OF SALE
Sales are held Monday through Friday beginning at 11:00 A.M. CST, on the specified date, (except legal holidays).
If a sale is shown as cancelled, the bidder should monitor the sale until the sales start at 11:00 a.m. C.S.T. Some sales are shown as cancelled, for example if the Clerk's fees are not paid or if the proof of publication is not filed. If the fees are paid and the proof of publication is filed prior to 11:00 a.m. C.S.T, the sale may go forward.
Anyone may bid on a property; however, they must register on the www.walton.realforeclose.com website and place a deposit prior to the sale. The site provides information for each pending sale, including the court case number and legal description. The Clerk and Realauction are not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information on this site.
The following procedures for Chapter 45 sales apply unless the Final Judgment directs otherwise: Prior to participating in the sale, you will be required to place a deposit equal to 5% of your estimated final bid(s) per Florida Statute 45.031, either on this site via electronic check (ACH) or in person by cash or cashier’s check. If you are paying by cashier’s check, the check should be made payable to Clerk of the Circuit Court. If you choose to place your funds on deposit by ACH deposit, PLEASE NOTE: Deposit payments made via ACH require 3 full working days to arrive (settle) in the Clerk’s account. Deposits made by ACH must be settled and cleared in the Clerk’s account prior to the start of a sale in order to be able to bid on the property.
If a bidder is successful, the funds initially deposited will be deducted and credited toward the total amount due. The successful bidder must pay the balance of the final bid plus the registry of court service charge and the foreclosure sale fee in person at the Clerk’s office no later than 4:00 P.M. CST on the day of the sale. The Certificate of Sale will not be issued until good funds are received by the Clerk’s office.
COURT SERVICE CHARGES
Pursuant to S.S. 28.24 (10) the Clerk will charge the successful bidder a registry of court service charge on the full amount of the successful bid. The charge assessed is 3% of the first $500.00 of the bid and 1.5% of the remaining balance. This charge must be paid at the time of final payment as well as a $70.00 foreclosure sale fee.
DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAXES
Documentary stamp taxes for the transfer of title to the successful bidder are due to the State of Florida. Prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Title, the successful bidder is required to pay the Clerk all documentary stamp taxes due. The amount due is $.70 per $100 of the final bid. Successful bidders will be informed of the amount of documentary stamp taxes due in the email confirming a successful bid. This amount is paid along with the sale amount balance, registry of court service charge, and foreclosure sale fee.
FORMS OF FINAL PAYMENT
Payment must be made in the form of cash or cashier’s check payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court. Wire transfers are an acceptable payment method as well.
FAILURE TO PAY
Failure to pay the balance due of the final bid and required service charges, no later than 4:00 P.M. CST on the day of the sale, will result in the sale being declared VOID, and the sale will be rescheduled. The bidder’s deposit is forfeited, non-refundable, and will be used to pay all costs of rescheduling the sale. Any remaining funds will be applied toward the judgment.
CERTIFICATE OF SALE AND TITLE
A Certificate of Sale will be issued by the Clerk provided all amounts due are paid in full. Objections to the sale may be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court in the Circuit Civil Division. If an objection to the sale is filed before the title is issued, the Clerk will not issue a Certificate of Title until the court enters an order on the objection.
A Certificate of Title may be issued by the Clerk after ten (10) full days have elapsed from the issuance of the Certificate of Sale provided there is no objection or other action pending relating to the proceeding.If you have additional questions concerning the procedures for foreclosure sales held by the Clerk of Court, please contact our office at (850) 892-8115 or (850) 267-3066.