The most recent Amendments to these User Instructions were posted on May 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
fully 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).
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 with personal instruction and answers to 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:
- in order to access
publicly available data:
on the www.BidBaltimore.com
Web Site or any other LienAuction web site and accept the terms of the User Agreement.
- in order to submit
and submit an online IRS Form W-9 to the City;
pay the $100 Registration Fee;
Attorney Information (optional);
a Budget on the Account Summary page; and,
a Bidder Number assignment from the City.
The Registration Fee is established by the City and is
non-refundable. The City requires a Registration Fee from all Users who intend
to bid for certificates.
Notwithstanding any of the above, permission to access the Web
Site by Users is ultimately granted by the City. 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, or paid the required Registration Fee.
Certain Web Site pages, details and functionality:
Auction Summary Page:
- The Auction Summary
of your name, Login ID, and Bidder Number, if assigned;
next upcoming or most recently completed tax certificate sale (Auction
Summary and Auction Details sections),
order and schedule of Batch closings in upcoming and recently completed
sales of selected tax certificates (the "Batch Schedule"
information for the City and GSG
- 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.
- a gateway to other
tax certificate auction and data web sites that may be of interest to
Information provided on the Auction Summary Page is subject to
change at any time at the City'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 intervals to display the most current information.
My Account Page:
- The My Account Page
has the following tabs, default settings, and functionality:
Account Summary tab displays information on submitted and awarded bids,
payments and budgets.
must preauthorize a debit of their bank account up to their Budget
Amount when submitting a Budget on the Account Summary Page. After
the last Batch in the auction, the UserĂs designated bank account will
be debited for the Aggregate Amount Due, which includes the lien values
and any applicable high bid premiums. Users are permitted to
increase or decrease their Submitted Budget at any time prior to the
close of the last Batch in the auction
must enter an amount in the Budget Input cell and click the 'Submit
Budget' button before being permitted to submit bids. From time to time
before and after the auction commences, Users may modify their Submitted
Budgets. Any change to a UserĂs Submitted Budget requires the
authorization of a post-auction debit up to the Submitted Budget amount.
Submitted Budget limits the maximum value of certificates that a Bidder
can be awarded, including high bid premiums, as described in the Awards
may specify additional contacts that should receive email notices
related to payments.
Registrant Info tab contains most recent registration information and
allows changes to personal registration information, including personal
passwords. Users may change their password at any time on the Registrant
Info tab. Neither the City 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.
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. The City
may require completion of changes to W-9s some minimum period of time in
advance of auction commencement.
User has participated in an Auction on another LienAuction web site
powered by Grant Street Group, User can recall any of the previously
submitted W-9s by clicking the "Use this W-9" button to the
right of the associated W-9.
Email tab has selection buttons that allow Users to initially choose,
and subsequently change, events that will generate automatic and
customized email messages addressed to them at the email address on
their Registration Info tab.
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.
- 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.
- The "Search
Criteria" table is where Users select the data field(s) for the
search and enter their constraints.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Search criteria can
be saved by clicking on the "Save Criteria As..."
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 bids or when viewing results.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
report formats can be recalled by selecting the appropriate format from
the "Saved Report Formats" drop-down menu.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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
- 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.
- Users may see
additional property and tax information for any particular certificate by
clicking on the Address.
- The City has elected
to utilize a separate Save Period and Submit Period for the auction.
During the Save Period, bids can be entered for certificates on the Bid
Page but cannot be submitted. Once the Submit Period has begun,
previously saved bids or new bid entries can be submitted. The
beginning of the Submit Period is listed in the Calendar of Events under
"Auction Schedule" on the Home Page. Bids that are entered or saved
but not submitted will not be considered for award.
- Bidders enter bids
using the 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 bids 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 'Bid' input cells related to the Certificate List and Batch
displayed in the dropdown boxes at the top of the Bid Page at the time of
submission. Correspondingly, bids may be submitted for certificates that
are not displayed on the page being viewed by the Bidder if the list of
certificates receiving bid submissions is longer than one page.
- 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 Upload Page
allows Users to upload bids from a comma-separated values (CSV) file.
These bids 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.
- 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
User may click the "Download Bid File" button to download a formatted
CSV file containing five columns: Adv No., Address, Assessed Value, Lien
Amount, and Bid. Each certificate in the auction will be listed in this
must be entered in the Bid column. The completed file must be saved to
the User's computer or local network in CSV format.
- 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.
- The system will
process the completed Bid File and transfer the User to the Bid page,
where the User's successfully processed bids will be entered in the
appropriate "Bid" 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 for auctions
conducted on the Web Site can be viewed on the Results Page after the
auction ends, and for participating Bidders, after each Batch closes.
- Bidders can review
Results by Saved Certificate List, Bidder and/or by Batch using one or
more of the following criteria and by selecting the appropriate categories
from the associated drop-down box:
My Submitted Bids
My Winning Bids
- The Bidder's winning
bids will be highlighted in green.
- All bids submitted
for a particular certificate can be viewed in a separate window by
clicking on the rate in the "Winning Bid" column.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- In order for Bids to
be recorded, and used as the basis for Bid submissions, Bids must be
entered by Bidders and received by the auction server on or before related
and published Batch closing deadlines.
- Bidders' most recent
bid transmissions are displayed in the Submitted column.
- As explained above,
Bidders may submit bids to purchase certificates with an aggregate lien
value and high bid premium amount in excess of Bidders' Submitted Budget.
However, at the point in time when the aggregate lien value and high bid
premium 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.
Errors and Messages:
time the Software detects a Bidder error, the Bidder will receive:
brief description of the error in a yellow highlighted box near the top
of the page, and
applicable, a yellow shaded identifier in the cell or area of the page in
which the error occurred
order to remove an error description and, if applicable, yellow shaded
identifier, the Bidder must either:
the error and click the appropriate button on the page, or
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.
Bids are processed in sequential order by Advertising Number
instantly after each Batch closes and unofficial awards are made to the Users
with the highest bid, provided the Total Due of the certificate next to be
awarded would not cause that User's Aggregate Amount Due for all winning bids
to exceed that same User's Submitted Budget.
In the event of a tie at the Winning Bid, the Bidder whose bid was
recorded first, as determined by the auction system, shall be named the Winning
Awards displayed on the Results Page are unofficial until
certified by the Seller.
Advertised List: The list of
properties having delinquent property taxes that is published by Seller in
conjunction with the annual sale of tax certificates.
Aggregate Amount Due: The sum of lien
values and high bid premiums for the certificates purchased by a specific
Bid: The value entered in a bid input
cell and submitted online. Bids entered represent the amount the User
would be required to pay to the property owner as part of a foreclosure proceeding.
Bidder: A User who has completed an
acceptable Form W-9, paid a registration fee and preauthorized payment for
certificates from a legitimate checking or savings account that permits ACH
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
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
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.
Registrant Info Page: The web page that
contains information supplied by registrants during the registration process
and subsequent modifications, if any.
Save Period: Period of time when
the auction site is open and bids can be entered and saved for advertised
certificates but not submitted.
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 total of
lien values and high bid premiums a single User has authorized for purchase in
Submit Period: Period of time when
bids can be entered and submitted using the ĂSubmitĂ or ĂSubmit AllĂ buttons on
the Bid Page.
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 CityĂs 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
highest submitted bid for a particular certificate; except in the case of ties,
in which case, it is the bidder with the earliest submission at the highest bid