LienAuction User Instructions
USER INSTRUCTIONS
The most recent Amendments to these User Instructions were posted on April 8, 2014.

Please read these User Instructions carefully. These instructions are by no means exhaustive and Users are advised to practice using the site with the assistance of the online Self Demo and Trial Auction in order to learn and understand the Web Site functionality. In addition, Users are advised to read carefully all other instructions, warnings and advice provided on the Web Site (and elsewhere as indicated), all of which are essential to understand the process. Bidder Support representatives are available at 800-410-3445 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on business days to assist Users and answer questions.

Capitalized terms not defined in these User Instructions shall have the meaning set forth in the User Agreement, or if not defined therein, the terms will have their plain English meaning based on their context.

Access to Web Site:

Prior to using this Web Site, Users must:
  1. in order to access publicly available data:
    1. register on the Web Site or any other LienAuction web site and accept the terms of the User Agreement.
  2. in order to submit bids:
    1. complete and transmit a conforming online IRS Form W-9 (or Form W-8, if permitted by Seller) to the Seller,
    2. authorize a deposit electronically on the Web Site, as required by the Seller,
    3. submit a Budget on the Payments & Budget page, and
    4. receive a Bidder Number assignment from Seller.
Deposit requirements are established by Seller. Sellers may require advance deposits from Users who intend to bid for certificates.

Notwithstanding any of the above, permission to access the Web Site by Users is ultimately granted by Seller. Access to certain Web Site Pages and features may be denied on Auction Days to Users who have not completed the IRS Form W-9 and/or submitted the required deposit.

Certain Web Site Pages, Details and Functionality
:

The Auction Summary Page provides:
  1. confirmation of your name, Login ID, and Bidder Number, if assigned;
  2. important information about:
    1. Seller's next upcoming or most recently completed tax certificate sale (Auction Details section),
    2. data associated with the Seller's next upcoming or most recently completed tax certificate sale (Last Data Updates section),
    3. the order and schedule of Batch closings in upcoming and recently completed sales of selected tax certificates (the "Batch Schedule" section),
    4. contact information for Seller and GSG
  3. a segue to other Web Site pages via tabs at the top of the page (i.e., tabs for: Auction Summary, My Account, Search, Reports, Bid, Upload, and Results) and links.
  4. a gateway to other tax certificate auction and data web sites that may be of interest to Users.
  5. a list of steps that must be taken before Bids can be submitted
  6. a summary of your bidding activity (Bidding Activity section)
Information provided on the Auction Summary Page is subject to change at any time at the Seller's discretion. To receive the most current information, the User can click the Reload button in the menu at the top of their browser page or the "refresh it now" link at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, the Auction Summary Page refreshes itself automatically and at regular hourly intervals to display the most current information.

The My Account Page has the following tabs, default settings, and functionality:
  1. Payments and Budget
    1. Users must authorize payments for deposits or purchases of certificates awarded on the Payments and Budget page. Users are permitted to increase their deposit by submitting additional payment authorizations. Users are required to pay the aggregate face amount of certificates purchased using the electronic payment functionality on the Payments Page. Acceptable forms of payment and deposit requirements are determined by Seller.
    2. Users must enter an amount in the Budget Input cell and click the 'Submit Budget' button before being permitted to submit Minimum Acceptable Rates. From time to time before and after the auction commences, Bidders may add to their Budgets, provided they have authorized sufficient deposit amounts, which may be increased before and after auctions commence.
    3. The Submitted Budget limits the maximum value of certificates that a Bidder can be awarded, as described in the Awards section below.
    4. Users may specify additional contacts that should receive email notices related to payments.
  2. Registrant Info
    1. The Registrant Info tab contains most recent registration information and allows changes to personal registration information, including personal passwords.
    2. Users may change their password at any time on the Registrant Info tab. Neither the Seller nor Grant Street Group has access to User passwords. Users are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of their own passwords. If Users forget their password, they should use the "Forgot your password?" link on the Home Page to obtain a temporary password that will enable them to enter the site and choose a new, replacement password.
  3. W-9 or W-8*
    1. The W-9 tab allows Users to complete and submit the IRS Form W-9 online. Users are required to electronically sign the W-9 by typing in their User ID and password prior to submission. Changes to a User's submitted W-9 require an additional electronic signature and submission. Seller may require completion of changes to W-9s some minimum period of time in advance of auction commencement.
    2. If User has participated in an Auction by Seller in the past, User can look up the information on file with the Seller by entering the TIN and Bidder Number associated with the previous registration.
    3. *Some Sellers permit foreign bidders to submit a W-8 form; therefore, any reference to a W-9 form may also apply to a W-8 form.  Users can determine whether Seller permits submission of a W-8 by seeing if that option appears at the bottom of the first page under the W-9 tab.
  4. Manage Bidding Groups
    1. Users planning to submit bids under more than one Taxpayer Identification Number may choose to include some or all of their bidding entities in a Bidding Group.
    2. For more information, see Bidding Group Guidelines.
Note: Users are responsible for keeping their Registration Information current and accurate. The same is true of the information provided on the IRS Form W-9 and electronic payment instructions.
Search Page:
  1. The Search Page allows Users to search the underlying property and tax information to create custom Certificate Lists. Saved Certificate Lists can be accessed from the Search, Reports, Bid and Results pages.
  2. The "Search Criteria" table is where Users select the data field(s) for the search and enter their constraints.
  3. Once data fields and constraints have been entered, Users can search all of the certificates in the Certificate List and Batch specified at the top of the page by clicking on the "Run Search" button.
  4. Search results will appear at the bottom of the screen. Certificates can be removed from the results by un-checking the "Select" box to the left of the certificate.
  5. Search results can be saved to a custom Certificate List by clicking on the "Save List As..." button and entering a name for the list. The saved Certificate List will then appear in the Certificate Lists drop-down menu on the Search, Reports, Bid and Results pages.
  6. Search criteria can be saved by clicking on the "Save Criteria As..." Saved search criteria can be recalled by selecting the criteria from the "Saved Search Criteria" drop-down menu.
Please note that when you move from "Search" to the "Bid" page, the list of certificates displayed in "Certificate Lists" is maintained. You should always check the Certificate List and Batch you are viewing before submitting rates or when viewing results.

Reports Page:
  1. The Reports Page allows Users to view and/or download underlying property and tax information to a Microsoft Excel or comma-separated values (CSV) file.
  2. Users can select which data fields should be included in the report by clicking on the "Choose Columns" button and moving the desired fields from the "Available Columns" box to the "Selected Columns" box. This can be done by highlighting the field name and clicking the "Add ->" button. Columns can be removed from the report by selecting them and clicking the "Remove ->" button.
  3. The order of the columns in the report will match the order that they are listed in the "Selected Columns" box. To change the position of a column in the report, simply highlight the column name and click the "Move Up" or "Move Down" buttons.
  4. Once the User clicks the "Save" button, the report will be generated. The report will contain only those certificates in the Certificate List and Batch specified in the drop-down menus.
  5. The format of the report can be saved and reused by clicking the "Save Format As..." button and entering a name for the report format.  Saved report formats can be recalled by selecting the appropriate format from the "Saved Report Formats" drop-down menu.
  6. The report can be downloaded into a Microsoft Excel or CSV file by clicking the Excel or CSV icon in the top right-hand corner of the report results.
Bid Page:
  1. Information displayed on the Bid Page is current as of the "Last Update" time displayed on the Bid Page. The Bid Page does not automatically update itself. Users must click the Refresh button each time they want to update the Bid Page.
  2. Certificates displayed on the Bid Page correspond to the Certificate List and Batches displayed in the drop-down boxes near the top of the Bid Page. The Bid Page can display up to 100 Certificates at any one time. Users can choose the number of certificates to display per page by selecting a value from the 'Number of Certificates to Display' drop-down box at the bottom of the Bid Page.
  3. Any selected Certificate List and Batch combination with more Certificates than the number selected in the 'Number of Certificates to Display' drop-down box will result in the display of one or more page number links (e.g., Page: 1 2 3 4 ...). Clicking any page number link enables Users to access additional Certificates on those pages.
  4. Users may see additional property and tax information for any particular certificate by clicking on the Account Number.
  5. Bidders establish Minimum Acceptable Rates for proxy bidding purposes by first inputting a rate in the 'Min. Rate' input boxes available for every certificate on the Bid Page, and then clicking either the "Submit" button for the corresponding Certificate or, to submit all entered rates simultaneously, clicking the "Submit All" Button near the top of the Bid Page. By clicking the "Submit All" button, Bidders submit all inputs that then appear in the 'Min. Rate' input cells related to the Certificate List and Batch displayed in the drop-down boxes at the top of the Bid Page at the time of submission. Correspondingly, rates may be submitted for certificates that are not displayed on the page being viewed by the Bidder if the list of certificates receiving rate submissions is longer than one page.
  6. Bidders must resolve Error message(s), if any, before erroneous submissions can be successfully retransmitted. Even when error messages are generated with respect to some submissions in a group (resulting from use of the Submit All feature, for example) and are consequently not transmitted, the portion of the submissions without errors are transmitted.
Information submitted on the Web Site is subject to the terms of the Privacy Policy.

Upload Page:
  1. The Upload Page allows Users to upload Minimum Acceptable Rates from a comma-separated values (CSV) file. These rates are not considered submitted until the User clicks the appropriate "Submit" or "Submit All" button on the Bid Page. Please see the section titled "Bids" for more information.
  2. Users must create a file in the required format for it to be uploaded and processed successfully. Users may create a file on their own, or use the Bid File provided.  A User may click the "Download Bid File" button to download a formatted CSV file containing five columns: Adv No., Batch No., Account No., Face Amount, and Bid. Each certificate in the auction will be listed in this file.
  3. Bids must be entered in the Bid column. The completed file must be saved to the User's computer or local network in CSV format.
  4. To upload the completed Bid File, a User must click on the "Select File to Upload" button, locate the completed Bid File, then click the "Upload and Save" button.
  5. The system will process the completed Bid File and transfer the User to the Bid page, where the User's successfully processed rates will be entered in the appropriate "Min. Rate" cells. As noted previously, rates will not be considered submitted until the appropriate "Submit" or "Submit All" buttons have been clicked on the Bid page.
Results Page:
  1. Results for auctions conducted on the Web Site can be viewed on the Results Page after each Batch closes.
  2. Bidders can filter the certificates shown on the Results Page by making selections from the following drop-down lists:
    1. Certificate Lists
    2. Batches
    3. Bidder
    4. Results
  3. The Bidder's winning bids will be highlighted in green.
  4. All bids submitted for a particular certificate can be viewed in a separate window by clicking on the rate in the "Winning Bid" column.
  5. Results can be downloaded in an Excel or CSV file by clicking the Excel or CSV icons located on the page.
All results displayed on the Web Site are unofficial until certified by Seller.

General Information
:

Batches:
  1. A Batch is a group of two or more tax certificates to be auctioned that are grouped together and displayed in sequential order and that share the same bid submission deadline.
  2. Batches are a means of organizing tax certificates in a tax certificate sale. Each tax certificate in a Batch is auctioned off independently of every other tax certificate.
  3. The number of Batches and bid submission deadline for each Batch are disclosed on the Auction Summary Page, and can also be found in the Batch drop-down on the Bid Page.
  4. The number of certificates in any Batch and the interval between Batch closing times are disclosed on the Auction Summary Page.
The number of certificates in each Batch and the interval between Batches are determined by Seller.

Bids:
  1. In order for Minimum Acceptable Rates (MARs) to be recorded, and used as the basis for bid submissions, rates must be entered by Users and received by the auction server on or before related and published Batch closing deadlines.
  2. Bidders' most recent MAR transmissions are displayed in the Submitted column.
  3. As explained above, Bidders may submit rates to purchase certificates with an aggregate face amount in excess of Bidders' Submitted Budget. However, at the point in time when the aggregate face amount of a Bidder's bids exceeds such Bidder's Submitted Budget, the remaining bids in excess of the Submitted Budget will be disregarded for purposes of determining a winning bidder.
  4. The Web Site includes a Proxy Bidding feature that permits users to enter the minimum interest rates they are willing to accept (which is entered in the 'Min. Rate' column of the Bid Page) for tax certificates they are bidding to purchase. The Web Site software (the "Software") will serve as Users' agent, or proxy, for submitting their bids. When bidding for a particular certificate ends (i.e. a Batch closes), the Software compares Bidder's MAR for a particular certificate with the best bid for that same certificate made on behalf of all other bidders. If a given Bidder's MAR is lower than the best bid submitted on behalf of all other bidders for the same certificate, the Software will automatically generate a bid on such Bidder's behalf that is .25% less than the next best bid. Zero percent bids, however, will not be treated as proxy bids.  They will be awarded at zero.  If there is a tie at the winning bid rate, the certificate will be awarded by the Software to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using commercially available random number generation software.
  5. As it relates to Proxy Bidding requirements:
    1. Bidders may increase or decrease rates at any time prior to related Batch bid submission deadlines.
    2. Bidders may withdraw rates at any time prior to related Batch closing times by clicking the related "Withdraw" Button(s) on the Bid Page.
    3. Bidders may withdraw all Rates any time prior to the end of an auction by clicking the "Withdraw All" Button on the Bid Page and then clicking on the subsequent pop-up page to confirm the withdrawal of all bids.
    4. At no time before a Batch closing time will Bidders be permitted to see any other Bidder's bid. After Batches close, Bidders may view bidding results as explained above.
Errors and Messages:
  1. Any time the Software detects a Bidder error, the Bidder will receive:
    1. a brief description of the error in a yellow highlighted box near the top of the page, and
    2. if applicable, a yellow shaded identifier in the cell or area of the page in which the error occurred
  2. In order to remove an error description and, if applicable, yellow shaded identifier, the Bidder must either:
    1. correct the error and click the appropriate button on the page, or
    2. delete the error and click the appropriate button on the page, as applicable.
Erroneous entries and results are not successfully transmitted. Errors must be corrected before transmissions associated with such corrected error can be successfully completed. When a submission or transmission by a User contains errors, the portion of the transmission or submission, if any, that is unassociated with the error may be successfully transmitted or submitted.

Awards:

Bids are processed in sequential order by Advertising Number instantly after each Batch closes and unofficial awards are made to Users with the lowest bid, provided the face amount of the certificate next to be awarded would not cause that User's cumulative award amount for all winning bids to exceed that same User's Submitted Budget. If a User's Submitted Budget would be exceeded by the award of a given certificate, the MAR entered by User will not qualify as a valid basis for Proxy Bidding on that certificate and hence will not result in a submitted bid or award under any circumstances. In other words, the associated Proxy Bid will be disregarded.

Awards displayed on the Results Page are unofficial until certified by the Seller.

Definitions
:

Advertised List: The list of properties having delinquent property taxes that is published by Seller in conjunction with the annual sale of tax certificates.

Bidder: A User who has completed an acceptable Form W-9 and authorized payment of a deposit from a legitimate checking or savings account that permits ACH debits.

Bidder Number: The numeric identifier assigned by Seller to a User that has completed an IRS Form W-9, submitted the required deposit and complied with all other bidder qualification requirements, including, among others, the requirement that all of the registration information supplied by the User be accurate, complete and verifiable.

Bidder Support: Grant Street Group's technical and user support team. Bidder Support is available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Business Days by calling 800-410-3445.

Bidding Group:  A tool used to allow one Bidder to submit MARs on behalf of more than one related bidding entity.

Affiliated Bidder:  One member of a Bidding Group, represented by a Taxpayer Identification Number and assigned a Bidder Number by the County.  An Affiliated Bidder utilizes the Master Bidders Deposit, Budget and Payment for purchases in the auction.

Master Bidder: Bidder who creates a Bidding Group by submitting a W-9 form for each Bidding Group member.  Rates submitted by the Master Bidder are also submitted by each Affiliated Bidder.

Certificate List: A subset of the Advertised List. All Users are given three Certificate Lists, by default, for their convenience: All Certificates, My Certificates and Removed Certificates. Additional Certificate Lists can be created on the Search Page.

LienAuction: The generic name Grant Street Group attributes to any web site it hosts or services it provides in connection with tax certificate auctions and information.

Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR): The lowest rate at which a given Bidder is willing to purchase a given tax certificate. This is the rate entered by a User into the 'Min. Rate' cell on the Bid Page and the basis for establishing the minimum acceptable proxy bid to be submitted by the Software on the Bidder's behalf.

Registration Info Page: The web page that contains information supplied by registrants during the registration process and subsequent modifications, if any.

Seller: Public entity sponsoring the Web Site and primarily responsible for conducting the tax certificate sale.

Session: Period of time from the time a User logs in to Web Site to the time that same User logs out of or is disconnected from Web Site.

Software: The LienAuction application software that is designed to automatically operate LienAuction web sites and the auctions that are conducted thereon.

Submitted Budget: The maximum aggregate face amount of tax certificates a single User has authorized for purchase in an auction.

User: A person who has truthfully and completely provided all information required on any LienAuction Registration Information Page (which may require phone verification), received a User ID, and accepted the terms of the User Agreement.

User ID: The alphanumeric identifier assigned to a User upon successful completion of the registration process on any LienAuction web site.

Winning Bidder: The Bidder with the lowest submitted bid rate for a particular certificate; except in the case of ties, in which case, it is the bidder that has received the award by random selection.

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