BidBaltimore auction selection page
USER INSTRUCTIONS

USER INSTRUCTIONS
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:

  1. in order to access publicly available data:
    1. register on the www.BidBaltimore.com 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 submit an online IRS Form W-9 to the City;
    2. electronically pay the $100 Registration Fee;
    3. submit Attorney Information (optional);
    4. submit a Budget on the Account Summary page; and,
    5. receive 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:

  1. 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 Summary and Auction Details sections),
      2. the order and schedule of Batch closings in upcoming and recently completed sales of selected tax certificates (the "Batch Schedule" section),
      3. contact information for the City and GSG
  2. 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.
  3. a gateway to other tax certificate auction and data web sites that may be of interest to Users.

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:

  1. The My Account Page has the following tabs, default settings, and functionality:
    1. Account Summary
      1. The Account Summary tab displays information on submitted and awarded bids, payments and budgets.  
      2. Users 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
      3. Users 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.
        1. The Submitted Budget limits the maximum value of certificates that a Bidder can be awarded, including high bid premiums, 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. 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.
    3. W-9
      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. The City 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 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.
    4. E-mail
      1. The 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.

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..."
    1. 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 bids 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.
    1. 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 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 Address.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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 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.
  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.
    1. A 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 file.
    2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Page:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:
    1. Show All Certificates
    2. Show My Submitted Bids
    3. Show My Winning Bids
    4. Show Auction Summary
  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 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.
  2. Bidders' most recent bid transmissions are displayed in the Submitted column.
  3. 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:

  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 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 Bidder.

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.

Aggregate Amount Due: The sum of lien values and high bid premiums for the certificates purchased by a specific Bidder.

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 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.

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 the auction.

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 value.

 

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For a written description of how to operate this web site, read the User Instructions.
For questions related to operation of the web site, call 800-410-3445 or E-mail Auction Support.
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