- 1 We can help you remove your Tax Liens Quickly and Easily
- 2 tax lien leads
- 3 Tax Liens: What They Are and How to Use Them In Your Business
- 4 Irs tax lien lists tax resolution leads federal tax lists
We can help you remove your Tax Liens Quickly and Easily
If you are delinquent in paying back taxes, you are subject to a serious collection action called a tax lien. You need to help of a qualified tax specialist to take action now to prevent having your finances restricted.
Tax liens are legal claims filed by the IRS against anything of value which you own. This can be your home, business, income, automobiles, jewelry, property, etc. It is basically a public announcement of your back tax debt and gives the IRS precedent over any other creditors. Our team here at ITS is experienced in tax law and will help you obtain a more affordable solution to pay your tax liability.
Before a tax lien can be filed against you, the following criteria must be met:
- The tax liability has been assessed
- A written “Notice and Demand for Tax Payment” has been sent
- You have refused or are unable to pay off your tax debt within ten days of receiving the notice
Once this criteria is met and a lien is established, it will appear on your credit report. Having record of an IRS attachment in your credit history can ruin your financial future. Your tax lien remains a public record until the amount is paid in full. This is a method used by the IRS to embarrass or intimidate you into accepting an impossible agreement.
Attempting to negotiate settlements for back taxes with the IRS on your own can lead to increased penalties and fines, additional financial stress, and missed opportunities. You need the help that an experienced tax lawyer can provide. Our professionals know your financial rights and what repayment options are available for what you owe. We will represent you in all negotiations to bring your problems to an end. Some of our most skilled areas include:
- Legal representation
- Prevention, Withdrawal and Release of IRS tax liens
- Repayment negotiations (such as debt reduction and installment agreements)
- Tax debt elimination
- Accurate submission of unfiled tax returns
Let Instant Tax Solutions relieve your stress and help you regain financial freedom!
Many taxpayers have made costly mistakes leading to unwanted scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service. Whether individual taxpayers or business owners, the rules are the same—you get behind on your taxes and you face a tax lien. Some are stunned, wondering what they should do next? You need the help of a qualified tax attorney to understand how these penalties operate and what can be done to ease the process of paying those back taxes and getting out of trouble.
A tax lien is an attempt by the IRS to collect a debt, and should not be taken lightly. The first part of answering the question can be summed up as follows: A lien is attached to all your property, including your house and your car, and all your rights to your property. Business owners take note—this includes accounts receivable. Before filing, the government must meet several legal requirements. After first assessing the liability, the IRS should then receive a deposit or acceptable bond in the amount equal to its interest in the property. If you are selling your primary residence, you may be entitled to a relocation expense allowance. You may instead want the IRS to subordinate its lien, which gives it a lower priority over liens filed by other creditors.
Subordination might be needed in cases where a creditor refuses to lend unless their lien is satisfied first. In turn, the government will allow this if it is reasonable, if you give them the dollar value of the lien, and if you prove how subordination would speed up the tax collection process.
But if the IRS chooses to enforce its collection authority, it does so through a levy, which allows the government to attach all monies held by a third party. While a lien is security for a tax debt, a levy goes one step further, seizing property to fully or partially satisfy the tax debt.
A levy is an execution of power to seize property, while the federal tax lien remains a dormant right of the government. That right can be awakened by events such as the taxpayer’s sale or attempted sale of the property, or the IRS seeking to foreclose on the lien through a judicial procedure.
A lien can lull the taxpayer into a false sense of security by allowing use of the property or the opportunity to derive income from it. Sometimes the taxpayer may even sell the property to a buyer who has no knowledge of the lien, without incurring any legal obligation. But forget it’s there and it may spring up out of the legal shadows when you least expect it.
The lien is authorized by the Internal Revenue Code, which states that if anyone liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay it after demand has been made, the amount—including interest, tax, penalties and any additional fees—shall be a lien in favor of the United States on all property and rights to property, whether real or personal. The IRS is required to give notice and demand payment 60 days after assessment of the tax debt. Three things must exist for tax liens to come into existence:
- the assessment of the tax liability
- the demand for payment and
- the refusal or neglect to pay it
Once the initial shock of receiving such a notice subsides, clients need legal representation from a qualified tax attorney before proceeding further. Navigating this area requires an understanding of the process. The most important things to learn include:
- How it arises
- Types property that can be attached
- Priority over other creditors
- How it lien can be removed
The notice of federal tax lien stems from failure to pay any tax after the IRS demands payment. It is retroactive to the date of assessment, and it remains in force until the debt is paid or becomes unenforceable due to the statute of limitations. The actual filing of the notice is not required. The real significance behind filing it is the establishment of the IRS’s priority over other claimants and creditors to the taxpayer’s property. For example, if the you owe several thousand dollars on auto loans, credit card debt or some other type of unsecured debt, those take a back seat to paying off the federal government.
The Internal Revenue Code gets very specific about how and where to file a notice of federal tax lien against both real and personal property. For real property, the notice should be filed in the office in the state where the property is located. In most states this means the notice is filed with the land records in the county where the land lies. The business property of a corporation or partnership is the place where the principal office is located. A notice for a taxpayer living abroad should be filed with the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.
Sometimes a lien must be refiled to remove any doubt over whether it is still enforceable when the notice shows the assessment is more than 10 years old. In this case, the IRS must file the notice of federal tax lien within a one-year period ending 10 years and 30 days after the date of the assessment. Sometimes taxpayers will look for a way out, pointing out minor errors in the information on the notices in the hopes that such mistakes would invalidate the lien. For example, if something other than the taxpayer’s legal name appears on the notice (such as a nickname), the question is whether it is sufficient to alert another creditor of the existence of the lien. Some courts have ruled that a minor misspelling voids the entire notice.
The scope of a notice is all-inclusive. To avoid confusion, the wording of the lien states it is attached to “ all property and rights to property” of the individual liable for the tax. Some interpret this broad, sweeping language to include real, personal and intangible property of widely varying natures, future interests, and even property the taxpayer acquires after the lien has come into existence. In Aquiline vs. U.S., the Supreme Court maintained that the key point was whether or not, and to what extent, the taxpayer had property or rights to property to which the tax lien could attach. The answer to that lies in state law, which controls the nature of the taxpayer’s legal interest. However, once the taxpayer’s property interest has been established under state law, federal law then determines the consequences of the existence of the notice of the lien.
You’ve done your best to pay your bills, your mortgage, and fulfill your tax obligations, then you started to struggle financially in today’s faltering economy. Maybe you lost your job or had some unexpected expenses arise. Now you are falling behind and in trouble. Sell your home? It’s not that easy, because now you are in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service and facing a lien against the house.
In a nutshell, liens are encumbrance against all of the taxpayer’s property and rights to property. It is similar to a bank’s mortgage or ownership of a car, with a few key exceptions. Federal tax liens encompass everything the taxpayer owns, including the cash in his wallet, the clothes on his back and the furniture in his house. It is non-consensual, meaning that while a person may choose to apply for a bank loan to purchase a home, it can arise without the taxpayer’s consent or permission.
One thing to remember is that when the taxpayer is transferring property ownership they may apply for a Certificate of Discharge. Each approved application releases the effects of the lien against one piece of property. Sometimes a third party can even request that they themselves file the certificate. But when money and taxes are involved the filing a federal tax lien can get sticky. Despite attempts to prioritize and place the government first, creditors can refuse to extend the taxpayer credit unless their lien is satisfied first, before the federal tax lien. When this happens, subordination is needed. Subordination is the process that makes the federal lien secondary to another lien.
But there is always a way to officially appeal the process. If a taxpayer believes a lien has been filed against them in error, they may request a Certificate of Non-attachment. This can happen when the taxpayer’s name is similar or identical to another person. There is a specific protocol in reversing the filing. The IRS may withdraw the lien if:
- Notice was filed too soon or not according to its procedures
- If the taxpayer had entered into an installment agreement to pay the debt
- If withdrawing the lien would speed up the collection process
- If withdrawal would be in the taxpayer’s and government’s best interest.
For the sake of efficiency, the IRS processes all notices electronically. Doing this enables the release of the data in a more cost-effective and timely way. With this in mind, the “E-lien” system actually benefits the interests of the taxpayer by streamlining the process. Because of all the paperwork involved, manually filing could significantly slow down the entire process. And remember, because of the sensitive nature of the documentation, any delays are counterproductive. Recording offices sometimes return documents unrecorded or set them aside, causing the IRS to lose priority status. Taxpayers may actually be harmed when certificates of release, revocations and withdrawals are not promptly recorded.
Requesting a Release - How to Finally Get Rid of It!
The Notice stays in place until you proactively take action to release it. Specifically, it will be released within 30 days if:
- The debt is paid in full.
- The amount owed is adjusted appropriately.
- An accepted bond guaranteeing payment is provided.
It can actually be withdrawn if:
- It is determined that the filing was not done according to procedure
- The taxpayer chooses to participate in a payment plan (this is more easily negotiated with the help of a qualified tax professional acting on your behalf), or
- It would be in the best interest of both parties to withdraw
Taxpayers have the right to appeal the filing and ask for a release.
You can work with the federal government to remove a lien by applying to have it discharged. It is imperative to have an experienced professional help you communicate. Four possible resolutions exist:
- Partial payment can be made
- The government could determine its interest in the property has no value
- The government agrees to receive the proceeds from the sale or refinance of the property, or
- The taxpayer can submit another piece of property with a fair market value at least double the amount of the tax owed
The IRS must notify the taxpayer within five days after the lien is filed. Some of the circumstances on which an appeal can be based are:
- The debt owed was paid prior to the notice being filed
- The tax was assessed and filed while the taxpayer was in bankruptcy
- A procedural error was made during the assessment
- The statue of limitations on the debt had expired before anything was filed
- The taxpayer was not given a chance to dispute the liability.
Despite the noblest of intentions, taxpayers can get hopelessly confused when it comes to understanding the tangled web of tax information at our disposal. This is especially true when a state lien is threatening your household finances. These are particularly unsettling because you are at risk of having the government step in and take everything you own.
Many taxpayers are not familiar with these types of penalties. Important details to remember are:
- If a person fails to pay a tax debt, plus any additional penalties and interest, this becomes a lien in favor of the state.
- It allows your personal property (cars, boats or business equipment) as well as real property to be sold.
- All current creditors (and future creditors) are notified, affecting your credit rating.
There are two ways to have it lien removed.
The first is payment in full, including penalties and interest that have accrued, or full payment based on a settlement agreement. Once the tax debt is paid, the lien is removed although notice that it once existed will remain on public record.
The second way is to prove it was issued in error. If this is the case, public records will show that the lien was issued in error and withdrawn.
One thing that most people don’t know that even on the state level, a penalty like this can really affect an individual’s credit rating. Credit reporting agencies have access to county and state records, and liens are always shown on credit reports.
tax lien leads
"They Laughed When I Went To Buy Tax Liens, But When Those Checks Started Rolling In. "
Yes. Investing in tax lien certificates can be exciting.
Buying my first few liens was a frightening experience. I left my first sale, giving the Larimer County, Colorado, treasurer a check for $2,708.95. All I had to show for it was a receipt saying I had paid for 7 tax lien certificates. I had no rights to even walk onto these properties!
As I drove home my hands visibly shook on the steering wheel. I wondered what I had got myself into. Things got interesting, though, when I would go out to my mailbox. Every once in a while there would be a check; sometimes small; sometimes big. And, always larger than whatever I paid for the tax lien. All of those seven original tax liens have now been paid back. Since that first sale I have purchased over one thousand tax lien certificates. And at times, those checks were arriving every day! I used to dread going to the mailbox and finding bills. Can you imagine what it is like to get money for the effort of walking to your mailbox? A while back I received a check for $10,343.81!
What are Tax Lien Certificates?
I'm sure you think that sounds great, but what are Tax Lien Certificates? Tax Lien Certificates (TLCs) are financial notes that you can purchase from counties in several states across the country. These TLCs are actually in lieu of unpaid taxes by those who own properties in these counties. When property owners don’t pay their taxes, the counties do not have the money to fund their yearly budgets. So many states have enacted laws that allow the counties to collect their funds another way. That other way is by selling TLCs to investors.
The counties sell the unpaid taxes to investors who are willing to pay the taxes for (1) a lien against the owner's property, and (2) the rights to get high interest rates if the property owner eventually pays the money back. If the property owner doesn’t pay their taxes, plus interest, by the state defined time limit the lien gives the TLC owner the right to the property. In these cases the TLC purchaser can file paperwork to take possession of the property.
The rates of interest you can expect range from 8% all the way up to 50%, depending on the state. For example Iowa allows for 2% each full or partial month, or 24% a year! And, on an annual basis you can actually exceed these rates in some cases. This is possible because some states have a set penalty or fee for redemption regardless of when the tax lien is redeemed. For example, in Wyoming there is a 3% penalty in addition to a 15% per annum interest rate. So, your best rate of return is actually when the property owner pays the very next day. That would give you a rate of return of 3% x 365 or 1095% on an annual basis. As good as that is, you won't be able to repeat the feat for the other 364 days of the year. You will usually prefer to let them take a little longer to pay.
The state set redemption time limits (when you can file for possession of the property) can range from less than a year to several years. And once that point has been reached you have another state defined time limit by which you must file on the property or lose the lien altogether. So, if you want to give the owner some more time, and you some more interest, you can wait. Or, if you want to see if you can get the rights to the property you can file right away.
What are Tax Lien Sales Like?
There are as many formats to tax lien sales as there are counties! The following is a rendition of one of the many variations on sale methods.
The day starts early as you drive to the sale site a few counties away. You time your traveling so that you arrive at the sale at 8 a.m. This is one hour before the sale starts and is the time this particular county starts accepting registrations for the sale.
The people at the county treasurer’s office are there at tables taking registration information. They request a filled out w-9 for each investor, as they will be reporting investor earnings to the IRS. They take your name, address, and phone number. T hey assign you a bidding number for the sale. The treasurer’s office also provides you with a sheet with instructions for the sale and a packet with the listing of the tax liens for sale this day.
You find yourself a good seat and spend the extra time you have reviewing the tax lien listing. You are looking for words and indications of properties you wouldn’t want if they were offered to you. It might be just too high or too low of a price. Or, it might be that there are a significant number of previous tax years tacked on to the sale item. Or, it might be that the wording indicates the property is "common property" and would be difficult to redeem. Or it might be improvements only, like a farm silo, and you are not interested in farm silos.
In any case, you mark up your listing so that you know not to accept your "no9quot; tax liens. If a particular property is borderline and you haven’t decided yet, you place a question mark next to it so you can decide later depending on how your investment day is going.
The sale starts promptly at nine. The county treasurer gives a little information on how the sale will be run; that the sale is “buyer beware”; that the investor has no direct rights to the property they receive (i.e., you are not allowed on the property as that would be trespassing), and asks if there are any questions before they start.
The sale starts.
At this particular sale, they use bingo balls to pick the investor. As each ball comes out the investor number is called out. If the investor wants the tax lien they say “yes”. If they do not they say “no”. A “no” answer means that the treasurer takes out another ball and calls on another investor. Eventually someone accepts the tax lien and all the balls are put back into the bingo machine. Then the next property on the list is read out and a new ball is picked.
Each of the properties is gone through one by one until they have all been taken by investors.
At the end of the sale the treasurer’s office needs time to tally up the totals for each investor. You are asked to come back at 2 p.m. to pay for your purchases. This sale was over by 11:30 a.m.
You head off for some lunch. In the meantime you also add up your purchases to see if they agree with the county’s total. When you arrive at 2:00, and the total agrees, you write out your check. The county gives you copies of your tax lien certificates. You head back home, confident that you will be making good interest on your money.
You will Like Investing In Tax Lien Certificates
You will really like investing in Tax Lien Certificates (TLCs). You may have had your money in the stock market, like I did, and subject to the up and down whims of the market. Even if the market is going up, you may find that your investments in Tax Lien Certificates are better and/or more steady than the stock market.
The reason you will like TLCs are:
Higher, fixed rate returns . Tax Lien Certificates pay much higher rates of returns than Certificates of Deposits and other fixed rate return investments. Investments in Colorado, Wyoming and Iowa have paid interest in the range of 10% to 24% on an annual basis. Other states have a range from 8% to 50%. You will typically receive 7% to 20% more on your money than the typical bank savings rates.
In some years you might get a higher rate of return in the stock market. Yet, I don't think you can get a consistently higher return in the stock market. And, with the stock market there is the opportunity to go down. A savvy investor could combine a couple of investment methods: when a check arrives from a TLC payoff, one could be investing in the stock market until it they were able to reinvest in tax liens again.
The excitement of going to the mailbox each day . You just can't wait for the mail to come each day. At times you can have several checks a day from the various counties you have invested in. Sometimes they are less than $100. And sometimes they are some eye-popping amounts like the one I received in January for $10,343.81. It is a great feeling to get "paid9quot; just to walk to your mailbox. You will want to head right down to credit union and deposit the funds and have them ready for the next tax lien sale!
Backed by real estate . You can be reassured by the fact that the investment is backed by excellent collateral. Although you invest mainly for the high returns, you know that if the property owner doesn't pay that you will get some real estate for pennies on the dollar. You usually figure that the property tax rate is between 1% and 3% of the real estate value for each year of taxes. So, even when you have had to pay taxes for several years on a property, you usually have only paid 5-15% on the value of the real estate. Even when you figure in the cost of the filing for possession of the property, you can see that you am getting the property for 6 to 20 cents on the dollar!
That makes you more than happy to sell the property you get for only 50 cents on the dollar (of actual value) to get your investment money back quicker. Selling the property at 50% of its appraised value would still give you around 300% return on your money.
The ability to "up9quot; the investment from home . To make the initial investment in tax liens, one needs to travel to the county sale. After that you have earned the right to pay the taxes for the parcels you purchased from your home. So, if the taxes are again not paid on the parcels you bought, you can send a check to the county for the next year of taxes. And you can keep doing that up until the owner pays off on the parcel or you file for the deed. So, even if you figure the cost of travel expenses against your profit the first year, there only the cost of stamps to consider in the following years.
The fun of "spending money" that gives you something back . This is more my wife's than mine. Almost all of us like spending money. My wife likes telling people at the sales -- "This is the only place my husband lets me spend as much as I want." And she is right. Anytime one can buy something that will pay you back (and more) for buying it is MUCH better than buying trinkets that are go down in value rapidly after you buy them.
Travel that you can write off . Our family likes to travel and visit new places. Over the last several years we have had the privilege to visit places all over Colorado, Wyoming, and Iowa that we just wouldn't have gone to otherwise. We have been able to take trips to see Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Breckenridge, Dinosaur National Monument and a whole bunch of other fun places. Although the trips certainly offset the profits you would make, the fact that the trips are able to be written off as a business expense make it worth it.
It helped me quit my day job . I had been working toward financial independence for some time before I learned about tax liens. I was trying to accumulate enough money to be able to live off the interest at 5%. I just didn't seem to be getting close enough. Well when I found out how to make around 15% on my money, the amount I needed to accumulate was cut to one third the size! I was able to invest most of my money in tax lien certificates and quit my day job. It wasn't enough to be totally comfortable all year long, but I was able to take long spells of time off and fill in with occasional contracting jobs. I have been able to spend more time with my family, work on an advanced degree, and to work on the projects that I would like to work on. Being able to wake up without an alarm clock has been priceless.
Ultimately, you will like fixed rate returns that you can count on. And you will like getting around 15% rather than 2-5% for your fixed rate returns. You may find the roller coaster effects of other investment approaches don't fit in with your new investment style.
What are the Risks with Tax Lien Certificates?
Tax Lien Certificates (TLCs) are not risk free. Nor are they necessarily high risk, when you think of high risk being linked high returns. There are also a few factors that make tax lien certificates less than a perfect investment for most. Those factors are not risks, just detractors.
Now, although there are a number of risks, they are not prevalent. And, there are ways to minimize the risks.
Unusable land : Every once in a while a tax lien that comes up for sale is actually unusable land. If you have raw land that is not buildable, then it is next to useless. You might be able to camp on it, but that is not what you were investing for. Examples of unusable land are (1) landlocked access, (2) common property, (3) swamp land, (4) deeded private parks, and (5) roads.
Landlocked access would be when a parcel of land has parcels surrounding it that are owned by other owners. There is no road / public access at any point to the property. Without permission from one of the adjacent owners, there is nothing you can really do with the land. You would be trespassing over their property to get to yours. That would be true whether walking to it, driving to it, or having building machinery / materials brought to it. You can look up and find these properties in the plat maps at the county. Worst case, if you were to end up with one of these might be to buy one of the adjacent properties so you can have legal access to the property.
I have one friend who ended up purchasing a tax lien on a strip along a limited access highway that was 10 yards wide and 1/2 mile long. Since it was a limited access highway there was no way to get to the property. That was compounded by the fact that it just wasn't wide enough to do anything with it. I purchased a landlocked parcel by accident once; the owner paid off anyhow.
Common property is when there is some association of property owners involved. This typically happens with condos or townhouses. There is a common, shared space that is usually a green, park-like area. It could be anything, though. Many times the common property has its own county tax identifier and therefore separate taxes. These taxes are supposed to be paid by the association. Unfortunately, many of these associations have found that it is possible to get away with NOT paying their taxes. This can happen because the association has written up bylaws and deed restrictions to all of the land (owned by property owners [e.g., townhouses] and the common areas). Therefore, even if someone takes the deed to the common space, the new owner must lawfully abide by the deed restrictions that are in place. The new owner receives common space that can have nothing done to it! I have even heard about one association who, after the property was filed on, started billing the new owner for some of the association fees!
Swamp land is my term for anything of a general category of naturally unbuildable land. This could be a swamp, a desert, or anything that is so undesirable that no reasonable person would build on it.
Deeded private parks is similar to open space, but it is not connected with an association necessarily.
Roads as a category includes alleys and parts of roads that seem to make it occasionally into the tax rolls. I have heard of examples of counties ending up with a new road (i.e., one that was deeded as part of a development) and hadn't changed its tax status to non-taxable. These show up and are sold as normal liens.
Property not worth the cost of filing : There are properties that, after you have paid all the taxes and are ready to file for deed, are not worth the amount you will have paid plus the costs to file. The cases I can think of are: (1) several years of back taxes, (2) small parcels, (3) property had a structure that changed, (4) EPA site, and (5) special assessments.
Several years of back taxes is usually noted very prominently at the tax lien sale. There will either be totals for prior years shown, or at least an indication on the bidders list that there are prior years included. Sometimes, with just a year or two of back taxes involved, it can still be a good investment. What you need to watch out for is so many years accumulated that after you have paid a few years of subtaxes and the fees for filing that you have run up the costs too high relative to the property value.
Small parcels refers to small dollar amount parcels in general. These parcels might be taxed anywhere from less than a dollar to a couple hundred dollars (levels depend on the county). The point is that by the time the tax lien has been listed for sale it has already accumulated some fees. The county usually tacks on an advertising fee. I've seen those as high as $40. The county will have already accumulated some interest fees against the owner, too. So, if the property was originally taxed at only $10 a year, the tax lien you are buying might be $60. If this particular county's taxing rate is about 3% of the value, the parcel is worth about $333. A few years of subtax payments might get you to about $100. Then figure in some filing costs of at least $200 (more in some cases), and you will have spent at least $300 for a property assessed at $333!. You might be able to get your money back, but you will not have ended up with the high interest rates you wanted to get in the first place.
Property had a structure that changed is not one that you can do a lot about. Sometimes a parcel that has a building on it has something happen to it. Examples include fire, moving the building (mobile homes and solid building can be moved!), demolition, and cave-ins. What can happen is at the time you purchased the lien there was a viable structure on the property. Then sometime before you file the building has something happen to it. You as tax lien holder will see is a drop in the taxes to pay, significantly.
I have heard about some very strange cases under this category. In one, a property owner had a commercial building on the site. The owner would not pay the taxes and before the deed filing time he had the building moved to another parcel! What is even worse in this story is that the owner did it a second time! In another case, the city condemned a building during the redemption period. The building was torn down. The tax lien holder was never notified (and I am not sure they needed to).
EPA site refers anything that might cause the EPA to need to clean up the site. This could be as 'simple' as an old gas station that likely had leaky tanks underground to some major industrial cleanup site. In most cases you will not know if such a site exists. I would stay away from property that is a gas station and probably adjacent to it.
Special assessments are those costs that are tagged onto the taxes. These could be things like road paving, sewers, and other public utility kinds of things. Each owner is usually assessed a portion of the total costs of the project. Many of these assessments are reasonable costs that improve the value of the property. Usually the tax lien listing at the sales event will also indicate that there are special assessments involved with the parcel. Sometime the costs are rolled into the cost of the taxes. Sometimes the special assessments are not due until you file. The latter of these is the more troublesome. You may not know how much the assessments are, yet you will need to pay them before you can take possession of the property. I had a property I needed to file on where the total taxes I had paid were less than $10,000, but the special assessments totaled over $25,000!! I knew the land and building were worth more than $100,000, so it was worth filing for the deed. The owner paid up before I could get the deed.
Improvements only are usually noted on the tax lien sales listing. I've seen this include mobile homes, farm silos, and other general structures. What is happening here is that the individual structure is being taxed separately from the land. In most cases, I can't recommend buying the tax liens on these items. Unless you are interested in the structure itself (for example you want a farm silo). I am not sure what you would do with the structure if you ended up getting it! And mobile homes can be very difficult. They can be easily moved in the night, before you can get to them, and you will never find them! So, unless you are a mobile home park manager, who can observe the movements of your tenants, and also have a way of selling the mobile homes you get the title to, I would steer away from improvement only items.
Incorrectly sold means that the county made an error and sold the tax lien to a property that had its taxes paid in full. When the county figures out they sold the taxes in error they need to pay you off. In all the states I have done business with they have a provision in their state code as to what to do. In the case of Colorado it was a lower interest rate (e.g., 9% rather than 14%). In the case of Iowa it was that the county had to pay the tax lien holder the full amount due at the time the error was discovered.
I had one of these in Iowa. Because I was able to quote the correct state statute the county gave me everything that I was due.
You may be saying at this point that there sure are a lot of risks to this type of investing. I am not sure they are any less than any other investment. Stocks can go to zero value. Banks can fold and you can lose your Certificate of Deposit funds, etc., etc. In the case of TLCs I tend to think statistically. There are very few properties that have these problems. With experience and knowledge (most of which will be gained from our home-study course) you can avoid most of the problem parcels. The few that are left you can write them off as losses and still make a good return on your total group of Tax Lien Certificates. I have bought over one thousand TLCs. When I find an undesirable one, I stop paying the subtaxes on it. Many times the owners still pay off. And the the few that don't, the losses are small.
Tax Liens: What They Are and How to Use Them In Your Business
Real estate investing is an entrepreneurial effort whether you are a flip or buy and hold investor. After flipping nearly 30 plus homes and renting a few million dollars of multifamily properties, I was still working 12 to 14 hour days, 6 to 7 days per week. As I woke up one Sunday morning to a frantic call by my property manager of water flooding into one of my tenants units, I thought that there has to be a better way! My mind reminisced about the real estate education products infomercials that promised a lifestyle filled lounging on the beach while your properties paid you like ATM’s. Where did I go wrong?
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When I started looking into what sucked up a lot of time during the week I noticed a pattern. Toilets and Tenants sucked up a lot of my time and the resources of my company week to week. Hence I started down my “No Toilet” Investment journey. Last week we spoke about NNN investing as a No Toilet Investment Asset class. This week we talk about one of my favorite “No Toilet” asset class: Tax Liens.
With five-year bank certificates of deposits paying 1.6% and ten-year Treasurys yielding 1.9%, I was searching for yield with minimal effort. One night I was digging around the internet for alternative investments within the real estate asset class and I came across Tax Liens/Tax Deed. Tax Liens promised returns up to 18% (in New Jersey) with minimal day to day management. Hence I had to dig more into Tax Liens.
Tax Liens come about as function of cash flow management by municipalities If a property owner doesn’t pay their quarterly property taxes, then a municipality places a tax lien on his or her property. Twenty-eight states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow those liens to be sold to private investors, and about $6 billion in liens come up for sale each year. The local government gets its cash immediately, and the buyer gets the right to collect the delinquent tax, a penalty and interest on the late payment that can (in theory) run as high as 12% to 36% a year, depending on the state. 12 to 36% per year! Being a capitalistic driven investor. I had to dig even further and learn more about the pros and cons on this asset class:
- Limited Capital: If you have small capital savings then you can invest into this asset class with money as little as $100. Young Investors (under the age of 25) who use the excuse of no capital cannot do so anymore.
- Lower Risk: Tax Liens contains risks associated with real estate, municipal fines, bankruptcy and government errors. Even with these risks, tax liens are lower in risk profile when compared to other assets and investment styles.
- Stabilized Rate of Returns: Unlike cash flow or flip investments where you returns can be high volatile. When you invest into tax liens you will know your going-in yield with a high degree of certainty subject to bankruptcy risk.
- On Going Cash Flow: If you are looking for monthly cash flow then Tax Liens are not the investment for you. Tax Liens investment are paid off in a lump sum at the redemption which includes both your principal and your interest earned return.
- On Going Investment Dollars: Once you buy an initial lien then you will have to buy the subsequent liens to protect your interest in a property because new liens hold priority over older ones. So tax lien investing requires a sizable chunk of cash that you won’t need for a while.
There’s usually stiff competition for liens from lien investment funds and money managers and individual investors. So can you go about investing into tax liens with this much competition?
As an individual investor, you can compete against bigger funds and money managers by having an understanding on what drives these funds and managers. Here are a few insights that I have picked up during my lien buying experience:
- Funds need to deploy millions of dollars in order to move their investment return needle but cannot buy everything within one municipality due to diversification risk.
- Funds dedicate man power and research to go through liens but cannot analyze every single lien that comes out as they are typically analyzing multiple municipalities at the same time.
- Bigger funds and money managers will have a typical investment criteria that you can gather by requesting their investment presentation or private placement memorandum if you are an accredited investor.
Use the above insights together with a niched investment approach to be an effective individual tax lien investor:
- Investment Strategy: Are you targeting liens for redemption or non-redemption?
- Investment Areas: What are the towns that you want to own tax liens within? Are they urban, suburban, white collar, blue collar? There are many ways to define your investment area.
- Minimum Lien Size: What is the minimum amount of capital that you want to invest into liens? Bigger funds and investors will not typically into the $100,200 or even $500 liens as they need to invest a large amount of capital so they prefer higher dollar value liens to help move their needle. Use this to your advantage as a smaller investor you have more flexible investment thresholds.
- Understand the Process: When investing, it is important to know just how much return on investment is to be expected and what the bidding process while participating in the tax lien auctions. Talk to the municipal or county tax collector before an upcoming auction so that they can advise you about the process and procedures of bidding at their upcoming tax lien auctions.
Tax Liens have been a great investment tool for my personal portfolio as I have been able to invest idle cash into these instruments and earn a blended 15% return on capital. Use this “No Toilet” Asset class to grow and/or diversify your personal and business investment portfolio.
Learn more about tax lien investing by asking me questions through the comments below.
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Ankit Duggal(G+) is the Investment Director of a New Jersey Income Operating & Consulting Company . Ankit is a seasoned value investor who enjoys achieving a zen through surfing, hot yoga, and snowboarding.
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Tax Liens: The “No Toilet” Method to Real Estate Investing by Ankit Duggal is very refreshing article.You have written in a very friendly easy to understand language.
I wonder if you will be continuing this article about what happens when everything goes right or wrong.Can you sell these liens in case you need the cash within few days.
Tax liens in Canada, you can make a fortune.The city sells the property for the amount of taxes owing.
I am looking forward to read your next article.
I appreciate the kind words. I can write tax lien investing part II if other readers want me to talk more about how to analyze liens along with the answer to the questions that you have raised.
Please write a follow up article going in to greater detail on the due diligence and analyzing of the liens. Also, I look forward to reading more on your no toilets investment ideas.
Thanks for sharing knowledge!
Please do write a follow-up.
What type of lien do you suggest a novice investor go after? I personally feel going after tax liens with a high probability of redemption is best — but what is your preference? Is it possible to lose with tax liens in the non-redemption scenario?
Also (although no one has a crystal ball) how do you recommend targeting municipalities or liens with a high likelihood of redemption?
Great questions. Novice investors can go after water and sewer liens as those are typically lower in dollar amount and more likely to get redeemed.
I am also a real estate investor so I like going after tax liens that have a low probability of redemption so that I have a chance to make above average returns.
Regarding your municipality question, I would target those municipalities where the median household income is greater than your state average and you have a large quantity of housing units.
I hope my answer provide some further guidance.
You have given a lot of good information and I look forward to reading more. were do I find a list of water& sewer liens. I am having a very hard time getting a list of over the counter liens were can I find this list, how soon after the auction is there a list of left overs.
I believe your county clerks office can help find ANY lien solved on a property. Good Luck!
Ankit, great post. What is the typical capital commitment you have seen with tax lien investments? Until redemption, investors are required to pay the tax bill quarterly right? What should new investors expect before investing?
Thanks Shamoon. The typical capital commitment will vary depending on your available cash. To give a general rule of thumb: I usually follow the 1/3 rule wherein you take your target cash allocation to alternative or proxy real estate investments and split it in third’s. Utilize the first third at the time of initial acquisition and the next 1/3 for payment of subs and the 1/3 for payment of lawyers and other costs associated with non-redemption.
Until redemption, investors are required to pay tax bills quarterly right?
No you do not have to pay quarterly but you would have to if you wanted to keep yourself in priority position. In addition as Ned pointed that you will need to make up the subs or pay them off prior to getting a executed order to get affidavit of non-redemption in the state of New Jersey
What should new investors expect before investing?
Continuing need to pay into the lien especially if you bought it at an auction and paid a premium. Buying subsequent liens help increase your return profile prior to getting redeemed.
No cash flow. You will not be getting quarterly dividend checks and this is a lump sum return investment. So if you quarterly or annual cash flow is needed for your investment plan then this may not be the asset class for that type of plan.
I hope that helps.
Interesting post. Would love to see a follow-up with some simple mechanics of how to go about getting my feet wet with tax liens. Certainly the yield metrics are compelling, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin to actually look into buying up liens. Regardless, really interesting post – I’ll be looking into this further.
What type of mechanics would you be interested in learning more about and I can write a follow up article on the topic. Give me your top three questions and I will work on addressing those in my follow article on this topic.
Ankit, it is refreshing to see an honest article about tax liens. So many Gurus push the “no risk”, and “Pennies on the Dollar” lines without even mentioning, bankruptcy risk or that there is a lot of competition from big players in the business.
Thanks Ned. I do not like the Gurus who push that angel as every investment has risk. Our job as investors is to understand that risk and make sure that our reward compensates above and beyond that risk element.
I don’t mean to step on Ankit’s toes but I love tax liens and will take a crack at answering the questions above.
“Is it possible to lose with tax liens in the non-redemption scenario?”
Absolutely, The biggest risk in tax lien investing is bidding too much. If the cost to foreclose and take the property is more than the property is worth you lose. I have walked away from many properties I had tax liens on.
” how do you recommend targeting municipalities or liens with a high likelihood of redemption?”
1) Bid on properties with high values. No one is likely to walk away from a valuable properties just for the amount of the taxes.
2) Bid on properties with mortgages. Banks can be wiped out in a tax lien foreclosure. So banks will usually redeem the property to protect their interest.
“What is the typical capital commitment you have seen with tax lien investments? ”
Tax liens start at $250 in Maryland. I buy lots of liens under $1,000. Yet some bidders in Maryland spend several million dollars the day of the sale and do it again within a month in another county. You can start with a very modest amount of money, just don”t expect to take over the world if you buy one $500 lien.
I started with $17,000 at my first tax sale. I manage a 6 figure portfolio today.
“Until redemption, investors are required to pay the tax bill quarterly right?”
Not necessarily. In Maryland you don’t have to keep up with the subsequent taxes. However if you do foreclose on the property you have to catch up all the taxes to record your deed.
This demonstrates why you need to know the rules in your particular area. They can vary quite a bit from state to state.
Ned no stepping on toes at all here. This is Biggerpockets the more insights the more knowledgeable we all become.
Very timely article, thanks for writing it. Coincidentally, I’ve been researching tax liens for some time now. I think it would be an enormous learning tool if you could post an over-the-counter tax lien list and go through step-by-step how you would go about seperating the good from the bad. Do you look at lien to assessed value ratios? Prior redemptions? Do you visit each property? What if you want to invest in higher yield states, how do you research a property/TLC from afar? Here’s an example,
This is the tax lien list for Monroe County FL. This list contains the certificates that were struck to the county after the last auction and therefore available over-the-counter at the full pay rate of 18%. So my question is, step-by-step, how would you select which certificates to buy if you had say $10,000 in total capital to invest in TLC?
The first thing before even jumping into the OTC liens or any tax lien investment. You need to define your investment plan (no great investor makes an investment without a plan). Here are the typical things needed in your plan:
1) Investment strategy i.e. redemption v. non-redemption
2) Honestly Look at your & your teams core skill sets and do they match the strategy?
3) How much ongoing capital commitment are you willing to make the investments
4) What is your target investment period and does that match the ongoing capital that you are willing to commit to the investments.
5) Is your investment team picked out (foreclosure attorney, bookkeeper, lien due diligence team)
I know you want a step by step investment filter but it is hard to provide as each person’s investment plan is varied and different.
Finally I tried to click on the link that you provided but it took me to a log in screen.
Great article. I’ve been interested in tax lien investing but have absolutely no idea how to start. Can you recommend any books or websites that might be a good way to learn every step of the process from A to Z. Everything I’ve seen online seems to have some sort of sales pitch attached with seminars and weekend crash courses…not what i’m interested in. I just need a good book or resource to give me enough knowledge and courage to understand the entire process and do it. I’m in NJ and invest primarily in buy and hold properties out of state and learned through some very good real estate books. After purchasing several investment properties I would now like to try something different as a way to build more capital to buy more properties and diversify.
I feel your pain as when I am looking for information. I want access to information that is not really expensive and does not upsell me into another information product. If you are in New Jersey (which is where I invest) this is the book to read on the subject of buying tax liens in NJ: Tax Lien$ by Michael Pellegrino
Hello Ankit, Thanks for you article. Interesting subject, but I have concerns I did not see mentioned.
In order to ask the question, I need to tell a story to lead into it first. Several years ago I invested in tax liens thinking that the 15% returns being offered at the time was simply too good to pass up for such little risk. So, I bought $180K worth in one auction, all on either residential or commercial real estate with improvements (a house or a building) on them. The cheapest was less than $500 and the most expensive about $3,000. The location was Douglas County Colorado. The problem I experienced is that all but 1 of these redeemed, but most (nearly 2/3rds) redeemed in the 1st 6-9 months (all of these became money losers), about 30% redeemed prior to the end of 18 months (this group broke even) with the balance taking up to 3 years to redeem. The last one (only 1 of about 90 tax liens purchased in the original group) did not redeem and ultimately went to a federal tax lien sale which had powers of sale whereas my tax lien did not, so I got paid well for that one, because it took so long. Anyhow, net net, my $180,000 investment returned about $1,500 in real profits over the entire period of 3 years, which means my ROI was less than 1%, or about 1/3 of 1% annualized. Most of the problem was the premium that was paid on each lien in order to “win the bid” in a large room of bidders. These premiums averaged about 8% of the tax lien amount. The cost of these premiums was part of what sapped my returns, but the fact that most liens were redeemed within the first year was the other reason. And, the ONLY tax liens that didn’t earn a premium were those left behind at the end of the auction, which no one wanted, because the underlying property just wasn’t worth much. These were little slivers of land adjoining subdivisions and were in the form of easements, mineral rights, or other non-marketable properties that were part of open space in a condo project, or something that even if you could eventually get the title, there would be little if any marketability because of what it was, where it was and who it mattered to. Sorry it took so long to get to the question, but here goes: Do you know of any tax lien auctions that occur without these expensive premiums? In other words, if all counties conduct auctions in a similar fashion, which requires the buyer to cough up a 7%-10% premium just to win the bid, then [arguably] winning really isn’t winning at all, because the premiums are not part of the tax lien and this particular county does not allow them to be collected from whomever finally redeems the lien. So, the only way you make any real money is to have them all take 2-3 years to redeem, which never happens statistically. I am anxious to jump back into the pool of bidders, but I know for a fact that it makes no sense to do it in Colorado. And, if an investor purchases these liens thinking they will be able to file for the Treasurer’s deed at the end of 3 years (depending on your state), be careful, because the odds of this happening are usually less than 2%. Perhaps you can steer me towards a state that allows recapture of the premium. I am all ears. Thanks much in advance.
Thanks for sharing your experience. You bring up some of the pitfalls that I was wondering about myself such as quick redemption periods. Coming from a commercial real estate back ground, we look at the equity multiple as much as the IRR because it takes time to raise and place capital. An IRR of 18% really doesn’t make much sense if the property owner redeems in 1 or 2 months. That’s why we typically look for IRRs in the high teens PLUS a multiple of 2 or greater. I’d love to know how to deal with this in the world of TLC.
Sorry it took me a while to respond back to this question as I did not realize I skipped your query until I came back to this article based on a recent comment. Your experience is fairly typical of most tax lien buyers on their first go around. Here are a few ways to avoid the hefty premium pay to play price tag:
1. Buy in large municipality within the state typically urban so that there are 1000s of liens for sale instead of 100s
2. Buy liens in denominations that pay out penalties so that your redemption is covered by a penalty payment. Hence your worse case scenario is a breakeven.
3. Buy over the counter liens that do not have premium issues
4. Buy from a larger fund that can sell out liens at a discount to face value so that you can invest in them without the hefty premium catchup period.
I hope these tips are useful. TLC are a good investment asset class and can treat you well in the long run.
Very interesting post Ankit and much appreciated. I just attended a semiar/sales pitch today about tax liens. It seems to be profitable IF you know what you’re doing. I hope you post a follow up to of some of the things to look out for when doing tax liens. Thanks for your insight.
I will do. Anything specific you want in that follow up post other than the pitfalls/risks?
There are over 3000 counties, each has a tax sale, each is a little different. It’s not easy but you have to do the work to learn how the areas you would invest in handle the sales. In Maryland some counties use bid premium, some don’t. Those that don’t use premiums often cap bidding at three times assessed value and then pick a random bidder. Early redemption is a big drawback to the lien process.
Great point. The biggest hurdle is understanding the lien process as each county/city has different methodology at times. Hence a great tax lien attorney is needed on your tax lien investment team.
I’ve recently been investing in tax liens in NJ and thought I would share some experiences that I didn’t see mentioned here. NJ is a bid down – premium state. Meaning that the interest rate starts at 18%, and at any of the auctions I’ve been to, then gets bid down to 0%. Next, a premium is bid up. Recent examples- $400 premium on a $95 water lien and a $10,300 premium on a $3,418 tax lien. The town holds the premium, with no interest paid on it and returns it if the lien is redeemed in five years. There was a comment earlier about paying sub taxes. This is one of the arears where you can potentially make your money, but not always. As an example of what can go wrong, I have two liens bought at 0% interest along with a health premium on each. In both cases, the bank or home owner has decided to pay the taxes going forward, but not redeem the lien at this time. If nothing changes, I’ll have my money tied up for two years with little return until I can start a foreclosure at which time the owners will probably just pay off the lien. So be aware that you need to understand the process and that there are always risks in making money.
So if you are getting 0% interest, paid a premium, and expect them to be redeemed where was the profit going to come from?
The main source of profit was tied to the possibility, of the opportunity to pay sub taxes. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll have the opportunity until the next quarters taxes are due after you have purchased the lien. In NJ, there is another source of profit on liens that I didn’t mention in the form of penalties. I didn’t mention it because I was just trying to simply make the point that the “buy tax liens and make 18%” that you so often see on line is just not the reality of the current market. If your curious about the penalties, they are 2% for liens between $200 and $4,999.99, 4% for liens between $5,000 and $9,999.99 and 6% for liens of $10,000 or more. The penalty is on the lien amount only, not the premium. Also, some towns apply an additional penality of 6% for sub taxes at the end of the year for amount over $10,000. Because the premiums are currently so high, the penalty as a percentage gets diluted when you look at your investment as lien and premium. The challenge as I see it in NJ right now is that there are so many Wall Street bidders right now that are okay with a few percent return on a safe investment. I’m trying to learn the business with the hopes that once interest rates start going back up, the pro money will go elsewhere and the lien business can become a little more profitable for the small investor.
I would suggest that you make it a part of your investment strategy to not pay premiums into tax liens as that can be a liquidity no return trap as you correctly pointed out via your experience. Here is what you have to remember with tax liens:
1) Your capital is not at risk and it will come back
2) Consider the money you put in as a refundable option to either foreclose or get the subsequent as there will come a time when the bank/homeowner misses a payment so watch the liens like a hawk.
From my experience, you can buy liens that provide a double digit rate of return without premium payment would happen by buying in:
A) Urban markets such as East Orange, Newark, Paterson etc. I have purchased liens in these urban markets that has provided high double digit yields as the big funds do not want to deploy all their capital into these types of markets given the potential of non-redemption
B) Buy liens on non-single family assets i.e. condos. There are more risk involved, but I was able to purchase a lien on a condominium in Clifton, and I paid a premium. I got the ability to buy subs since this type of asset is lower on the bank priority payment so now my lien has grown at an average return of 8% per annum.
C) Buy water or sewer liens to tie in small capital so that you have the ability to buy delinquent taxes as they come up in future quarters.
I hope these ideas help as you continue your tax lien investment journey in NJ.
Thank you for the clarification Glenn.
BTW looking at my initial comment I see it looks a little jerky sounding. Not my intention, I really was curious to know what the profit center was since I assumed there most have been one.
Ankit thank you for the advice in how to avoid some of those pitfalls.
(Not sure why they stop letting there be replies after a few layers so I had to respond on the same level)
No worries, never saw your comment as anything other than what was intended. I’m new here, but assume where all here to learn and help each other.
Thanks for the feedback, although I was hoping you weren’t going to suggest those three cities! Can’t say they are my favorite place to spend a day although for a better return I might just have to check it out. I had an interesting lesson yesterday. I followed up on a lien with the tax collector and asked if “anything was open” on it. She checked and said the taxes had been paid. I thanked her and turned to leave when she asked me if I wanted her to check for open sewer and water bills. I assumed my original question covered all three items, but apparently not. There was a seperate clerk with a seperate computer and a seperate database for sewer and water. It ended up, that money was due. Nothing compared to the tax bill, but at least it was something.
Very interesting post. A follow up would be wonderful. I would like more information on how to start on TLC, I can`t start in NYC, since the don’t sell lien to the public.I will look into NJ next. How about Connecticut?
I was wondering, in terms where the tax lien does not redeem and you are able to foreclose on the property, don’t you still have to pay of the mortgage and such in order to be in full possession of the property so you can sell it or rent it out? The info out there on acquiring the house for resale through tax liens is confusing me a little bit.
I am not a lawyer but based on what my lawyer has advised me you do not have to pay off the mortgage as you wipe them out through a tax foreclosure process since they are provided notice about your intent to foreclosure. Now typically if there is a mortgage on it then you will need to put the property at the sheriff auction block and the mortgage company would most likely redeem your tax lien certificate and interest owed.
This thread about tax leans is very informative and accurate. Thank you so much for posting!
Can you explained the reason you said buying tax liens on condos is riskier?
Buying tax liens on condo can be riskier as you are obligated to satisfy outstanding home association due once you are able to take over the property assuming you did not get redeemed. If you strategy is redemption then you can buy condo liens just make sure you know that there is a large first mortgage on the unit so that you have a higher likely hood of getting redeemed.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thank you for explaining Ankit!
When tax lien on a sale is taxed to “XXXXX Living trust”, or “XXXXX trustee”, or “XXXX for life”, are these liens more likely to redeem or no? There is any particular risk involve with these ones?
Tough question as it depends on whether that asset has a mortgage on it. The fact that it is in a trust would give me no indication that it would have a higher probability of redemption unless you notice a pattern with older tax lien certificates.
Hello again Ankit!
Perhaps this is a sticky question to ask since I don’t want to get you or anyone else in trouble, but I’ll ask it anyway: Can you or anyone else please comment buy tax lien thought this website “Taxlientutor.com?
What would be the advantages and disadvantages of using this method versus going to the county directly?
Thank you for your feedback!
I just came back from a tax lien auction and feel a little down. It was brutal having to compete alone against all the many alliances working there….But, I’m not given up.
I’ll continue persevering as I enjoy the niche in real estate. Something good is the fact that I was able to put in practice advise from BP and I did make some connection for the future. I also learned something that so far eveybody had been very secretive about.
I this State there is not premium and the bedding ends when someone offer to buy the lien at 1%. I had never understood why people would try so fearcely to get a lien for 1% until… today perhaps.
Now I would like to present a case scenario and get opinions about it: Last year I bought 3 lien and only 1 redeemed. At the auction today the two outstanding ones came up for sale. I did not get them at 100% and did not occur to me try to get them for 1%. I’m wandering: Does the person whom bought them today can redeem the lien I have and take away my position of priority to foreclose, or only the owner can redeem the lien?
Please share some strategies to manage this type of situation before the tax sale (when your lien is not redeemed and shows up for sale again) and once another person has bought the lien.
Irs tax lien lists tax resolution leads federal tax lists
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