Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
Miami Dade is now the largest County and the 12th using on-line auctions for its foreclosures. The move is expected to save the county $750,000 annually. with over 110,000 open foreclosure files and an additional 7,000 coming in each month (before the foreclosure crisis, Miami-Dade's court was receiving about 5,000 foreclosure filings each year), the new systme should be able to handle four times as many auctions per week as the courthouse. Other sources note now being able to handle as many as 2,000 properties per week, compared to the 450 homes the courthouse procedures regularly logged.
Miami is using the same software now used in nine counties, with three more to be added by March. Broward County is expected to launch an online auction system before March. The state has sold more than 20,000 homes this way since 2008 when the Legislature changed the law to allow for online public sales (Jacksonville and Bradenton both started in 2008).
Registration can be done at http://www.miamidade.realforeclose.com. Registration is free. To bid requires a refundable 5 percent deposit - which can be paid online or in person. After entering a maximum bid, users can let their computer take over and bid on their behalf, or monitor the auction and bid manually. The auctions usually last one minute. Winning bids are immediately recorded and payment can be processed in minutes. The winner pays a fee to Realauction.com, which is how the company makes its money. Fees vary by county but can't be more than $70 per transaction under Florida law. The court pays nothing.
Pros for the new system include cost savings, getting properties off the market quicker (those in abandoned in neighborhoods may become centers of crime and other things that blight those communities), availability to more bidders, which could raise the prices (Statewide, foreclosures have driven down prices by a third or more since mid-2006), and convenience to bidders. Now anybody in the world can bid, and they can do it on their own time and in their own place.
A record 3.5 million to 4 million U.S. households are expected to receive a foreclosure notice this year,