My New South Carolina Tax Liens E-Book on Kindle

My New South Carolina Tax Liens E-Book on Kindle

As my e-mail newsletter subscribers know, I’ve recently completed my second Kindle e-book.  My first one was a strategic look on how to buy Florida Tax Lien Certificates including where to focus your efforts to boost your yields and maximize the safety of your investment. Although the title suggests it’s just a beginner’s guide, I’ve included specific advice for more ‘seasoned’ Florida tax lien investors.

Now, I recently completed the second of my tax lien investing guides.  This one is on investing in South Carolina tax liens and you can find it here on Amazon.  South Carolina is one of my favorite states to buy tax liens in–the rates are decent at 12%, the real estate market is fairly strong, and the overbid style of the auction keeps alot of your competition away.  Because you might be investing more than 50% of the value of the property, it’s a higher risk state and you absolutely must perform good due diligence before you attend the auction.

The first auction begin during the first week of October and continues in the different counties for the next three months.  As always, if you have any questions, you can subscribe to my newsletter for free and email me anytime directly from there.



Can you REALLY get Properties via Tax Lien Certificates?

Can you REALLY get Properties via Tax Lien Certificates?

I recently came upon a great opinion piece from the Denver Post entitled “What Tax Liens Really Mean” by Diane Holbert and John Lefebrve.  It’s an article I wanted to write but they sum up the points I was going to make pretty well.  

It’s rare to get a deed out of buying tax lien certificates.  Very rare.  All the hype out there about buying properties at pennies on the dollar is really misleading new investors and brings a bad name to investors who buy tax lien certificates.  In fact, tax liens are one of the few markets out there that isn’t controlled by large institutions, marketing budgets and crony capitalism.  Plus, individual investors can make a reasonable return compared to the volatility of the stock market and/or bank accounts.

Here are a couple great points from the article focusing on Colorado tax lien certicates but this could be applicable anywhere:

In Colorado, one is more likely to be struck by lightning than lose one’s home to a tax lien investor.

Douglas County sells approximately 1,275 tax liens annually, yet has has issued only four treasurer’s deeds involving a structure over 14 years. Two may have been occupied, one was a carport, and the fourth was a cabin on public land.

Arapahoe County sold 20,000 tax liens over the past 11 years, yet has issued only 11 treasurer’s deeds (condition and occupancy unknown).

Jefferson County sells about 2,087 tax liens annually, and has issued only five treasurer’s deeds involving a structure. Those were: an uninhabited, boarded-up, four-unit multifamily dwelling; a home that had to be gutted due to excessive animal waste; a mountain property crushed by a tree; a dwelling scheduled for demolition by the city, once the wild animals were removed; and one which housed an occupant whose family was unwilling to help her maintain her residence.

Weld County sells an average of about 4,000 tax liens a year. In the past 30 years, it has issued only four treasurer’s deeds on improved property (condition unknown).

Pueblo County has issued only 17 treasurer’s deeds with improvements over the past 19 years. All were uninhabitable or the owners were uninterested in keeping the property.

Broomfield County has never issued any treasurer’s deeds on property with structures.

Rio Blanco County issued one deed in 12 years which contained a structure and was condemned for health reasons.

Rio Grande County has no record of a treasurer’s deed being issued.

Ouray County has issued one on a property unoccupied since 1985.

Lincoln County transferred six properties with structures on them in the past 11 years. Most did not contain any humans, doors or windows.

Phillips County transferred five properties by treasurer’s deeds with improvements over the past 10 years. They were uninhabitable (unless you count the 125 cats), and the others were already condemned.

 Read more: Guest Commentary: What tax liens really mean – The Denver Post



Three Strategies for the Florida Tax Certificate Auction

Three Strategies for the Florida Tax Certificate Auction

With the Florida tax certificate auctions about to kick off, I wanted to discuss three strategies to employ that should get you higher risk-adjusted rates.

First, the tax certificates on the best properties in the auction usually are picked up by larger institutional buyers and the minimum bid.  This means that the bid all the way down to a .25%.  By statute, the certificate holder will earn the larger of the 5% penalty (earned from the day you purchase the certificate) or the bid rate.  So, these institutions are able to accept the 5% rate and they are betting that the majority of the liens they buy will redeem in less than a year.

If you’re looking to earn more than 5% yourself, you’ll need to bid on properties that these larger players don’t bid or or bid higher rates on.  I’ll discuss three possible strategies that will give you an advantage over these buyers and possibly earn you up to 18% on your investment.

You can also find a much more detailed discussion about strategies and FL tax lien certificate investing from my new E-Book exclusively on Kindle: A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Florida Tax Lien Certificates 

Top 10 Questions about the 2015 Florida Tax Lien Certificate Auction

Top 10 Questions about the 2015 Florida Tax Lien Certificate Auction

With the 2015 Florida Tax Lien Certificate auctions coming up shortly, I’ve compiled a list of most frequently asked questions from my newsletter subscribers about the Florida tax certificate auction. If you haven’t subscribed yet, click here! Florida hosts the largest tax lien auctions in the United States and it’s easy for just about anyone to get involved in since most of the auctions are online.

Top 10 FAQs about the 2015 Florida Tax Auction

1. How does the penalty and interest rate work?

Bidding starts at 18% and works in .25% increments until the lowest bidder is reached.  If there is a tie, then the winner is chosen at random.

You’ll actually earn the higher of 5% of the tax amount (the penalty) or the total accrued interest at your bid rate.

So, if you win a bid at 12% and the lien redeems in the first month, you’ll earn your 5% penalty.  If the lien redeems in the seventh month, you’ll earn your accrued interest (which is 7%) and the penalty drops out.

2. What are the typical rates that the liens sell for at the tax auction?

The Florida tax lien certificate auctions are very competitive.  There are lots of banks and funds bidding on these liens such that all of the decent property are bid down to a .25% (thus, they are counting on earning the 5% penalty and the lien redeeming quickly).

Commercial properties and viable land parcels tend to be bid down to between 6-12%.  Risky properties will go in the mid to high teens.  If you win a bid at the max rate of 18%, you probably did a poor job in your due diligence.

3. What is proxy bidding?

In the internet tax auctions, you can put your minimum acceptable bid in.  The system will automatically compare your bid to all of the other bids in the batch.  If you’re the lowest bidder, you’ll win the bid at .25% below the next highest bidder.  Thus, if you bid 5% and someone else bids 7%, you’ll win the bid at 6.75%.

4. When can I file for a tax deed application?

Two years after the taxes are due (typically, 22 months after the sale), you can file for the tax deed application also known as a TDA. Thus, you can file in April, two years after the year of the sale.

5. Can I contact the property owner or go on the property?

No, Florida statutes explicitly state that you cannot contact the owner of the property within 2 years of April 1st of the year of the sale.  Also, you have no possessory rights on the property until you have a deed issued.

6. What is a clerk sale?

If the tax certificate does not redeem after you file the tax deed application and the county clerk has made all of their required notices, the clerk will auction off the property publicly to the highest bidder above the total delinquent tax amount.  If the property is not purchased at this clerk sale, then the tax certificate holder will be issued a tax deed to the property (unless it’s a homestead property, see next).

7. What is the lands available list?

If a homestead property does not sell at the clerk sale, the tax certificate holder has the option to send it to a second sale.  If it does not sell then, the tax certificate holder has the right to purchase the property at half the assessed market value minus their investment.  If the certificate holder chooses not to purchase the property, it goes onto the county lands available list where it is available to the public for half the assessed value.

8. What liens are ahead of the tax certificate?

Municipal liens and fines are ahead of the certificate.  Also, a new law passed recently allows HOA fees to not be eliminated upon issuance of a tax deed.

9. Can I really compete against the corporate buyers?

It’s very tough nowadays to get a good rate–gone are the days when you could win liens on decent properties in the teens or high single digits.  Plus, the corporate entities put hundreds of online bidders into the mix so that they have a better chance at winning any ties.

10. Where can I find out more information on the auction?

Here, of course!

You can, however, find decent rates on commercial properties, some land parcels and the more rural counties where there is less competition.  Or, you can just be content with earning the 5% penalty on good properties–it’s better than what you can earn at the bank!


2013 Arizona Tax Lien Certificates Auctions

2013 Arizona Tax Lien Certificates Auctions

The 2012 Arizona tax lien certificate auctions are just around the corner!  You should start preparing now.  In fact, the Maricopa tax lien list is already out.  The Maricopa tax lien auction is the largest in the state and one of the largest in the US (it comprises of Pheonix and the surrounding area).

See below for a list of Arizona tax lien auction dates and links to the Arizona Tax Lien Sale Websites

I’ve added a schedule of each Arizona tax lien certificate auction (in Arizona, they call tax liens Certificates of Purchase).  Most of the larger counties sell their tax liens online.  However, the Pima County Tax Auction is a live auction (Tucson).  

2013 Indiana Tax Lien Auctions

2013 Indiana Tax Lien Auctions

I wanted to point everyone to a quick guide I created last year to give you an overview of Indiana tax liens.  Indiana is a very lucrative state to purchase tax liens in; however, it’s not without risk because the bidding prices can well exceed the amount of taxes owed–this is called an overbid auction.  Find our more on my page dedicated to the Indiana tax sale.

You can also find great information about a specific Indiana tax lien auction by going directly to the auction or tax collector sites for the counties you are interested in.  The largest auction is held in Marion County, the county seat for Indianapolis.  It’s a public auction and the Marion County Treasurer provides great information about bidding procedures and requirements on their tax sale webpage.

If you’re interested in the smaller counties in Indiana, I’ll direct you to the website of SRI Incorporated.  They manage the delinquent tax certificate auctions for a large number of counties.  Be sure to click on their FAQ guides about Indiana tax certificates if it’s your first time to one of these tax auctions.