General FAQ

Category: General FAQ

Sure but you are not done. They will give you a “list” of information that you can easily pull right off a county website for free but you still need much more information before you can even begin to use that record. 

Please take note, we are talking about Florida Only! There are different laws and statutes regarding tax deed surplus in other states and counties. There may be a list provider for another state that does not require lienholders to be paid first. We are not talking about them. Our training and surplus lists pertain to Florida.

Although Florida Surplus Asset Recovery can seem intimidating with the statutes and liens, the state also has the most open public record laws in the country. You are able to get your hands on every document and piece of information you need concerning the property, owners and liens.

If you want to work other states besides Florida, we highly recommend

Category: General FAQ

100% no! There was a time when I personally thought of doing it. However, at the time, there was practically NO information online and trying to figure out all of the processes and systems of each and every county was mind-boggling. I began gathering the information for myself, keeping notes, making lists and charts. Microsoft Excel and Access became my best friends. As I began to see how massively spread out and ridiculous all the information and links were, I decided THIS was a way better method for me to conduct my business. As it turns out, I am quite an introvert and the ‘salesman’ part of claiming surplus was not for me. I am far better working behind the curtain.

There is NO cherry-picking of records. Everyone receives them all!

Category: General FAQ

Counties in other states are harder for us to produce surplus lists because other states/county auctions do not work currently like Florida (Live auctions, Property Information Reports online, No redemption period after the auction). 

However, we occasionally provide “Special Lists” from counties outside of Florida. We also provide the Claim Form, Claim Process and County Contact Information whenever possible. There are no subscriptions for this, you just go there and purchase lists whenever you want.

Category: General FAQ
  • First and most importantly, no matter how many people have access to good surplus records, the ultimate question is not “How many people have this record”… It is “How can I win this client?“. There are multiple strategies of competition: Lower percentage fees, visiting potential client in person, developing a good relationship over the phone, constant contact, services beyond surplus recovery, etc.
  • Second, with surplus records, there is a new set of records 4-5 Days a week / every week. Each surplus record is a brand new person/possible client. There is no repeat of potential clients (well, sometimes there is since a person can own more than one property that goes to a tax deed auction). Also, now with the new Florida Statute in effect, lien holders have only 120 days to put in a claim or are barred forever, therefore there is a big push to gain the lien holders as clients as well.  So it isn’t as if ALL Asset Recovery Businesses are fighting over a set amount of 100 clients and once the clients are all chosen, there are no more.
  • If you are looking at other methods of obtaining surplus records, they ALL create competition. We win by supplying the records the FASTEST way possible.

So while the short answer is ‘yes, you will have competition’, the correct answer is “if you are going to be in this business at all and have any chance of success, you HAVE TO get to the surplus records long before the county releases them and our website is the answer’.

If YOU found a county’s old surplus list laying around somewhere, you can’t think you are the only one who found it. Our method has a lot less competition that those surplus lists given a month or year after the auction.

Also, people will subscribe one month, take a break to process all those records, then re-subscribe in another month, etc. We have NO contracts or term limits. You are free to come and go as you please.

Once you receive your surplus records, there is a LOT of other work you have to still do: Locate potential client(s), gather necessary paperwork, submit claim to the county, track the claim, etc.  Therefore, having a new set of fresh records every auction day can quickly become overwhelming. With all this in mind, we believe there are plenty of surplus records and potential clients to go around.

We guarantee that our method is the fastest way of locating great surplus records.

One thing we can tell you for sure: If you cannot succeed with tax deed surplus recovery in Florida using our records, our methods… you will not succeed at all because there is no way to get records faster. Plus we give you the Property Information Reports, which is a tremendous time-saver for you. 

Category: General FAQ

Update 03-10-2024: We no longer use the separate website, All content from that website has been moved over to and so there is no confusion from having multiple websites.

Florida Overbids contains the Step-by-Step training for each Florida County as well as the County Claim Forms and Client forms. There is also a Q&A Section where you can ask county-specific questions. In short, Florida Overbids is for Training and Resources you need. You can purchase a subscription to this website alone OR if you join, a subscription to Florida Overbids is included free.

Tax Auction Surplus is where we keep the Surplus Lists and Property Information Reports. You would log in and retrieve the fresh surplus lists each time we notify you there is a new on (typically every Monday through Friday).

Category: General FAQ

When we began this service, we had never heard of them and some did not exist yet. However, this has ultimately become one of our most asked questions.

We are not affiliated with any other ‘tax deed surplus’ business out there.

We own the following:


and a few other domain names that we are currently not using.

We get asked to compare ourselves with their service or review them but we cannot since none of us here use their services.  The only thing we can offer in comparison is that we supply our clients with daily (Lien researched) surplus lists we create from the auctions we watch live.  We also supply the property owners name and mailing address as well as the Property Information Reports from the counties.

Nick Fullmer was a client for years but branched off to do his own thing and is doing very well. 

There is no other company in the U.S. that does this currently.

We HAVE spoken with Wallace of and think very highly of him.

Category: General FAQ

Once you receive our surplus lists on, the work is not complete. You would still need to download the Property Information Report, determine if any liens are on the property that may take the surplus and then research those liens to see how much is owed and to whom.

On, we do all of that for you. Once our records are in your hands, you can begin your work of locating and signing the client. Plus, with SurplusDatabasePro, you receive the records much faster than on

With, you also would receive our “Monday Reports”. This is a report that we upload every Monday in which we take all records where any liens on them expired in the previous week and therefore, all surplus remaining is due to only the previous property owner. We then re-research those records to see IF claims were made, WHO put in claims and how much surplus is remaining (if any).

If you would like to see on of the Monday Reports as an example, here is a link to one:


Category: General FAQ

You can but the first issue is that our clients have already had their hands on those records since the actual auction date. Then there are other problems:

First, not all counties put a list up on their website. In fact, most do not. Some will put a PDF list up once a year, others have a search form to search records.

However, the information the county provides on their “lists and records” is not user-friendly to asset recovery companies.
The lists they provide are meant for the previous owners to look and see if they have surplus.

There is not enough information to be helpful to asset recovery companies.

For example, the county list will provide something like:

Case#                Auction Date             Parcel ID                  Surplus Amount

2017-4515TD      08/20/2016                00012854J62A4           $25,621.55

If you were the previous owner of that property, you know that is the Parcel Number of your property and therefore, you found surplus for yourself. However, as an Asset Recovery person, the above information doesn’t help you. Using what the county gives, you will need to:

  1. Look up the Parcel ID on the Property Appraisers website and find out who the owner was at the time of the auction. So you have to look back at the sale date (8/20/2016). If you look at the Property Appraisers site, it will show you who owns it now, NOT the person who owned it at the time of the sale… so you have to go deeper and look at the sale date that matches the auction date to find the correct owner who is entitled to the surplus.
  2. Locate the Tax Deed documents pertaining to the Case # and within those documents, find the Ownership & Encumbrance Report or Title Report that the county was obligated to create at the time of the auction so all owners and lienholders could be notified. Therefore, you are able to see if there are liens or mortgages on the property that would be entitled to the surplus before the previous owner. Plus you may find additional addresses for the owner to help you locate them because they highly likely no longer live at the property that was auctioned off. (We say ‘highly likely’ because it is possible the person who purchased the tax deed at auction allowed them to continue living at the property in exchange for rent)

Performing those tasks above takes a tremendous amount of time. Therefore, after you have spent so much time on the above, you STILL have to deal with convincing the previous owner to hire you and putting in a claim with the county. Meanwhile, a whole new batch of surplus records is ready and waiting for you to begin with. It can quickly overwhelm you.

Can you begin to see why we say there is no over-saturation? There are massive amounts of auctions, records, documents and more to where it can become too much to handle and people give up trying to keep up.

And THAT is why we also created Surplus Database Pro

You NEED help in keeping up with the tax deed surplus cycle. We have a team that is laser-focused on the tax deed records in Florida. We provide the great, researched records, you relax and deal with the rest.

Specific to Florida Counties

No to both.  A lot of people are under the impression that you do. However, that is pertaining ONLY to unclaimed property being held by the STATE unclaimed property division shown on

Tax Deed Surplus is held by the individual counties and are governed by their own laws. You do not even have to have a business license (but we suggest you do).

No to both. There will come a time when your client (the person owed the surplus) will need to sign documents and have them notarized, so being able to go in person to them is a big plus. However, unless you live within driving distance, it doesn’t matter if you are 100 miles or 1200 miles from them, the process would be the same. You would need to mail documents to them so they can sign and return them to you. Or, better yet, we highly recommend hiring ‘Mobile Notaries‘ to visit the person.

When determining the opening bid, a county takes into account if the property is homestead. If it IS, then 1/2 of the Assessed value of the property is added to the Opening Bid. That shows BIDDERS what they need to start the bidding. However, for the purposes of collecting surplus after the auction, that ‘1/2 of the assessed value’ also goes to the previous owner/lienholders/mortgage company (whoever is claiming the surplus).

No matter what the starting bid and ending bid is, the county only recovers their past due property tax and that’s it. The rest is surplus.


Late Property Taxes: $5,000
Homestead Property Value: $100,000
Starting Bid will be: $55,000 (Amt of Taxes PLUS 1/2 assessed value)
Property sells at auction for: $55,100 <Likely MUCH more since the assessed value is $100k

You may glance at that and see Starting Bid $55,000Ending Bid $55,100 so the surplus is only $100 – definitely not worth pursuing

However, the surplus is actually $50,100 because THAT is the amount the property sold for over and above the amount due in property taxes.


At the top, there is a screenshot of a tax deed auction result. Below that is the Notice of Surplus the county mailed out.

I find that each county interprets the Florida Statues about tax deed sales differently and when one county may answer that question one way, the next county has a different answer.

However, in general terms, the county will hold the unclaimed surplus for a year and then turn it over to the state of Florida. The Property Owner can still claim it when it goes to the state, there is never a deadline for the property owner, only lien holders.

ALL lienholders (except the IRS) will have just 120 Days (from the date the surplus notice was mailed) to put in their claim of they are forever barred from doing so and the entire surplus amount is owed to the previous owner.

To make completely sure the lien holder deadline has passed, consider 210 days (90 days for the county to ‘do their thing and get the surplus notice mailed’ + 120 Days) after the date of the auction to be the actual lien holder deadline.

Florida has VERY OPEN public record laws. You can call or email ANY of the counties Clerk of Court offices and they will answer your questions based on their own county. We have contact information in your Account Area

We would not be able to answer exactly because we have no idea how well YOU work or how soon YOU can locate a potential client from our surplus lists.
So however long that takes PLUS, what is written below:

Let’s say an auction ended yesterday and produced good surplus. If you located the previous owner tomorrow and had them sign your contracts this week, it would still be approximately 130-210 days before you receive a check from the county.

After the auction, the county has 90 days to deal with everything on their end and mail out a surplus notice.
Then all lien holders have 120 days to put in a claim.

So from the moment you sign a client, you could expect income in roughly 4-7 months.

That answer is for the new, fresh surplus records we send daily.

If you work older records where the lien claim deadline has already passed (like from the ‘Monday Reports’ we send out to subscribers), then you could see a check in as little as 2 weeks. More realistically it would be 30 days.

We collect records from most Florida counties (why not all? See another FAQ). When the week begins we collect the records from all the tax deeds that are supposed to go to auction that week. From that point on, several things happen that reduce the amount of surplus records we will have at the end of the week: Before the auction begins many of the tax deeds are redeemed as people are paying their back taxes before they lose their home so that takes a lot out of the auction. During the auction, some of the tax deeds will get no bids and therefore not sell Some of the tax deeds DO sell but for only a small amount over the starting bid. Therefore, not enough in Surplus to go after. We offer records where the surplus is over $1,000 Now we are left with “Tax Deeds that successfully sold AND the winning bid was high enough to produce at least $1,000 in surplus”. 

We produce an average of 125 good surplus records each week.

New counties are putting their auctions online all the time, so this number changes. You can always see a current list of counties we track here.

In order to produce accurate and complete surplus records, we need to know if there are liens or mortgages on the property because those liens are entitled to take the surplus money before the previous owner can.

To find out if there are liens or mortgages on the property, we have to see the Ownership & Encumbrance report that the county provides on every tax deed that is going up for auction.

Most Florida Counties provide their O&E Reports freely online, you just need to know where to find them. These are the counties for which we provide surplus records. The other counties either offer the O&E’s only in person at the Clerk of Court office or they will provide the O&E by email/fax if you ask, but they may charge a fee for them. If you are interested in those other counties, we do provide contact information for the Clerk of Court for every county so you can request the O&E.

We keep an updated list of the counties we track here.

We also need to know the start and end bid for the properties. If a county does not provide those online, we do not track the surplus. This does not mean YOU cannot go after the surplus…you would just need to do a little more work yourself (contacting the Clerk of Court)

Working the Records

For when using Contingency Agreements and Power of Attorney

On the surplus claim form you put the property owners name but then for mailing address you put
C/O Your Biz Name
Your Biz mailing address

There are banks that accept 3rd party checks, especially since its a check from a government entity (the county).

The following banks and credit unions are among those that currently accept third-party checks. However, before simply opening an account with a bank, tell them specifically what may happen and ask if they allow it. Tell them a county will send a check to you, but made payable to your client. Your client will endorse the check to you for deposit into your bank account.

  • Citibank
  • Navy Federal Credit Union (only when deposited to a business account)
  • Bank of America
  • Chase Bank
  • HSBC Bank
  • US Bank
  • Chartway Federal Credit Union
  • Connexus Credit Union
  • First National Bank

Now, instead of a Contingency Agreement + Power of Attorney Form, if you have the property owner sign an Assignment of Interest Form, then the county will put your name on the check because you are now the owner of the surplus funds.



This question falls more into the ‘salesmanship’ arena, which we do not teach. The methods you use to approach a previous owner will come to be customized by you and you will learn by doing. You will try, succeed or fail, learn and move on to the next. There is most definitely no ONE answer to how to handle this part. Over time you will get a feel for what to say to who by what they are saying to you.
There are some people who will receive a letter from you and be 100% in. They will call you and be ready for action. Then there are others who will have 20 questions before continuing and then others who will assume it is a scam the moment they hear your voice.

When we first began, our objective was to perform the actions of obtaining the good records of surplus and providing them to established asset recovery companies. We know how much work is involved in researching each record so we thought our service was a great time saver.
However, it soon became apparent that we needed to offer more in the way of training.
We do provide some information about the business part of it in the way of the forms needed for your clients, etc but Florida Overbids is mainly for training on “how to find and research the surplus records”.

We DO have 2 sample letters in our resources section that will give you ideas.

My adult son’s best friend was visiting and he asked me what work I do. I briefly explained the tax deed surplus recovery business and how I provide records to asset recovery businesses. He said his mother received a letter with something about that and that she called the number on the letter. She said she felt it may be a scam but really needed the money so she decided to call.

Knowing that there are so many types of unclaimed money floating around and the chances of her letter being about tax deed surplus were slim, I asked him if she’d be willing to let me have a look at the letter.

A week later, he brought the initial contact letter as well as a follow-up letter after her phone call to them and all documents needing to be signed and notarized. I quickly recognized this to be about tax deed surplus so I looked up the case online and sure enough, there was almost $30k to be claimed and the auction had happened in 2016.

I was able to let her know it was NOT a scam and that she should follow through with it.

The point is that this letter worked!

We have a copy of the letter in your Account Area (for our clients)

We create the list right after the auction, so at the point when we send the new records, you are guaranteed there has been no claim. However, the more time that passes after the auction, you ARE taking a chance that a claim was put in. This is why it is imperative you act fast on new records.

We do not go back and update our lists to show if a claim has been made or not. If you need to know if a claim was made on an older record, you can do that in one of two ways:

  1. Look up the Tax Deed documents using the methods on our website and some counties DO show you if a claim was made and by whom.
    • We created a document and videos to train you how to do this, available in the Resources Section of your account.
  2. Call the Clerk of Court for that county and ask them. They will need the Tax Deed # and Sale Date
    • We created a document with the contact info for all 67 counties, available in the Resources Section of your account.

The short answer is “ALL of the counties, ALL of the time”. If you limit yourself to one or two counties, you will quickly become disappointed and here is why:

All counties hold their auctions on different days and different intervals (weekly, monthly, every 2 months, etc). There are typically auctions every Monday through Thursday and occasionally some on Friday (but very few).

We provide surplus for every county that has their auctions online plus about 5 that hold auctions offline (Total of about 46 counties out of 67 … View which counties here) and here is a general outlook on how many records we get each week from ALL of those counties combined…

Starting each week, there are about 300-600 tax deeds headed to auctions.

Before an auction even starts, roughly 50% of them get redeemed by the owner (they pay their taxes and save their property from being auctioned).

So then, we watch the auctions that are left to get the ending bid and determine IF there is surplus money left over.

Within those, about 20% receive NO bids and therefore produce no surplus.
10% receive bids but the surplus is not over $1000 so we don’t bother.

That leaves 20% (The actual average is about 125/week) where:

  1. Auction actually happened AND
  2. Surplus is over $1000 (anything less is really not worth going after)

THOSE go on our Surplus List and this is pretty much the list you could buy anywhere else or that the county will put out themselves months later. It is a bare bones list that is almost useless if you do not know what you are doing. No information on the Property Owner or any liens.

We then we add the Owner and their mailing address, plus locate and download the Property Information Report for you

You then need to know if there are liens on the property that are so high, it will take all the surplus.

In short, the records get dwindled down so much that you need all you can get your hands on from as many counties as possible, to make an impact and do well in this business.

Trying to stick with just one county will not do you any good.

There is ONE exception to this rule. You can go after the records in counties where they hold their auctions in person and they do not provide their tax deed documents and claim information online. These would be the counties that are the least saturated with asset recovery companies because so much more work is involved and in-person visits to the Clerks office are needed. If you happen to live in or near one of those counties, I would highly recommend you digging in there.

New counties are going online with their auctions all the time.
However as of right now (5/2024) here is a list of the in-person auction counties that do not provide their documents online, therefore would be the least saturated by asset recovery companies who do not live near them.

Bradford County Hamilton County Monroe County (Coming Soon)
Columbia County (Coming Soon) Hardee County Seminole County (Coming Soon)
DeSoto County Holmes County Sumter County
Dixie County Jefferson County Suwannee County
Franklin County Lafayette County Taylor County
Gadsden County Liberty County Union County
Glades County Madison County Wakulla County

Your Tax Auction Surplus Account

You cannot pause your account, but you can simply cancel and re-join at a later date but please note that if you joined during a promotional sale, that deal goes away and you would start fresh at whatever the current pricing is.

If you would like to cancel your account, please submit a Help Desk Ticket.

For, the lien research is not included. 

For, Yes, all liens are researched with amount and type (for records that have at least $5,000 in surplus). Plus if it is a Judgment, we tell you to whom it is owed because you can pursue them as a client as well. Also, if the Property Owner is a business, we tell you the business owners name.

If you are logged in and want to change your password, here is the link

If you cannot get logged in and need to reset your password, here is that link

When you join, you have immediate access to all Surplus Records and Property Information Reports from the current year we are in, back to January 1.

You also have the option of purchasing older surplus records that go back to January 1, 2018. 

The normal price can be found here.

However, we do run discounts throughout the year so be sure to always check our Promotions Page.