Skip the Auction and Eliminate the Competition Buying Over The Counter Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deeds

Buying over the counter tax lien certificates is an excellent strategy for minimizing competition and maximizing profits. You can even buy tax deed properties over the counter virtually guaranteeing that you get that property at rock bottom prices.

The latest figures indicate that the opportunity to profit with tax lien certificates will continue into the foreseeable future. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently stated that real estate tax delinquencies are on the rise and total approximately $15 billion nationwide.

There's a fortune waiting for the taking with county-held tax liens (unsold tax liens).

Recently, CNN Money estimated that between $7 billion and $10 billion worth of tax liens are sold to banks and investors each and every year.

So if you run the numbers, there's between $5 billion and $8 billion worth of unsold tax lien certificates and/or tax deeds each and every year. Which means there's still a lot of opportunity to get involved with the tax lien certificate business.

What happens with the tax lien certificates that are never purchased?

More often than not there's more tax liens available than investors to buy them. In situations such as this unsold tax liens and tax deeds are transferred to the county where they can be purchased over the counter.

County-held tax lien certificates are sold on a first come first serve basis.

In a normal tax lien certificate auction investors compete for the right to purchase each tax lien certificate. It is through this competitive bidding that the interest rate is reduced and the tax lien is sold to the investor willing to accept the lowest interest and or penalty rate they would receive in the event the tax lien is redeemed.

The great thing about these over-the-counter tax lien certificates is that you can buy them without having to attend the tax sale auction. Since you're not attending the auction there's nobody else bidding AND nobody else driving down the interest and/or penalty rate you would receive in the event the tax lien is redeemed.

You'll be receiving the maximum interest or penalty rate mandated by state law.

Because these over the counter tax lien certificates are sold on a first come first serve basis you'll be receiving the maximum interest and/or penalty rate mandated by state law.

With the explosion of the Internet county tax collectors are making it possible to buy these over the counter tax liens and tax deeds online through the county tax sale website. You can save yourself a lot of time and money buying these county-held tax lien certificates through the mail or the Internet. If you prefer a more hands on approach you can simply walk into the county offices and purchase them over-the-counter.

Just like tax lien certificates, you can buy tax deed properties over the counter.

In most tax deed sale auctions properties are sold to the investor's with the highest bid. It is through the competitive bidding process that the price to purchase the tax deed property is increased and the property is sold to the investor willing to pay the most for the property.

When you buy tax deed properties over the counter you can skip the auction and the competitive bidding process and get these properties in some instances for just the back taxes.

Over the counter tax liens and over the counter tax deeds can be a fun and profitable way to get involved. The over the counter tax liens and tax deeds will be available shortly after the regular tax lien and tax deed sales are completed.

How To Buy Over-The-Counter Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deed Properties

Done properly, over the counter tax lien certificates and over the counter tax deed properties can be a very profitable business.

The process of buying over-the-counter tax lien certificates and/or over-the-counter tax deed properties is a basic 3-stage process of:

1) Preparing

2) Purchasing

3) Profiting

In addition there's, 10-basic steps designed to move you through the 3-stage investment process.

Stage 1: Preparing

Step 1: Identify your goals, budget and resources.

There's no one size fit's all approach to buying over-the-counter tax lien certificates and tax deeds. Everyone's goals and resources are completely different. Take a moment to think about your goal. Are you trying to Supplement Your Income, Replace Your Income, or Build Your Retirement? Also, break it down even further. For example, what is your target amount and then break it down even further by year, rate, and budget. What kind of financial and time commitment will be required to realize your goal?

Step 2: Formulate Your Investment Strategy.

We are often asked, "Which state is the best state?" That is a difficult question to answer because everyone's circumstances, goals, budget, and resources are different. Therefore you need to create a strategy that takes into account your unique circumstances including your goals, budget, and resources.

Step 3: Select the Right State.

Your investment strategy will help you identify what to look for when selecting the right state.

Step 4: Select the Right County or Municipality.

Your investment strategy will help you identify what to look for when selecting the right county or municipality.

Step 5: Obtain A Current Tax Sale List.

At this point you should be ready to obtain the tax sale list or in this case the over-the-counter list of tax lien certificates or tax deeds that where not sold at the regular tax sale auction. You can usually obtain this by making contact with the county tax collector or treasurer.

Step 6: Perform Your Due Diligence.

Through a series of steps due-diligence will help you narrow the the tax sale list to include only those properties which fit into your investment goals, budget, resources, and strategy.

Step 7: Reduce Your Risks.

Through a series of scans you score the risk to reward ratio of each property so that you are only left with those properties you believe present the best investment opportunity.

Stage 2: Purchasing

Step 8: Make the Purchase.

Making the purchase will involve a registration process where you will be required to complete and sign a few documents. Once the required paperwork has been completed you can proceed with submitting bids for a regular tax sale auction. The process for purchasing over-the-counter tax lien certificates and tax deeds properties will vary but generally you must submit a written request including your certified funds to purchase. Upon confirmation you will receive a certificate of purchase (tax lien certificate) or a tax deed title.

Stage 3: Profiting

Step 9: Manage Your Investment

Step 10: Realize Your Profits

Below you will find a collection of the latest user questions and comments relating to buying over the counter tax lien certificates and tax deeds.


comments powered by Disqus
Has anyone gotten a straight answer as to which states and counties offer OTC tax DEEDS? Thanks,
What are some of the counties that you keep referring to (without actually naming them) that are offering tax lien certificates that didn\'t sell at their auctions for just the back taxes that are due, and are doing it on an OTC basis? We sure would like to get started with your program (it sure looks good!) but we don\'t know where to start. Thank you!!
Can Tax Lien Certificates be purchase by mail?
Ran Moore
I love across the street from two vacant house that have delinquent taxes due. Both are on the "Hit List" as I call it for Auction here in Detroit, Michigan. Both properties have a balance of $6500. There is an opportunity to redeem the property by making monthly payments. What would you suggest I should do to avoid the auction and the potential of losing both properties?
Hi,rnThank you for sharing these great information. I am trying to get started with TLC and Deeds but would like to it over the counter. My question is:rnHow to get access to those county held tax lien lists.rnThank yourn
Hello Trish. Yes, you will find that most of the time when the tax lien certificate is redeemed it will be redeemed by the bank or lender. They do not want to lose the property securing the loan. If the right to redeem is foreclosed and you receive the tax deed you will own the property.
I purchased an OTC tax lien in Maryland and am in the foreclosing rights of redemption filed in May. I see an inheritance tax and a mortgage have responded through the judicial records with attorney appearances this but not sure what that means. I was under the impression I would not have to pay the liens against the owner of the property and purchased it thru the county. can the mortgage company or the registry of wills of the county redeem my tax lien from me?
Can someone tell me which States offer tax lien certificates on line? Also, does anyone know where I can purchase OTC certificates?
When I click on the link for OTC tax list on your site it does not come up, how do I get the list ofOTC tax sale.
The great thing about over-the-counter tax lien certificates and over-the-counter tax deeds is that anyone can buy them. It doesn't matter whether you're a US citizen or not.

You can get started by determining if the state you are interested in offers over-the-counter tax liens or tax deed properties.

Your next step is to contact the county tax collector or treasurer. They are responsible for collecting property taxes and will be able to answer basic questions about buying the tax liens or tax deeds that were not purchased at the regular tax sale auction.
Click here to post a question


Tax Lien University, Inc. is an educational organization, and individual performance depends upon the individual skills, time availability, and dedication of each student. Testimonials included may not represent typical results. Unique experiences and past performances do not guarantee future results. Tax Lien University, Inc. its owners, employees, and affiliates do not give investment or financial advice and are not licensed as brokers by or registered as advisors with any agency. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

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"I purchased 3 tax lien certificates at an internet auction for Miami-Dade County, Florida. All three were buildable vacant lots in moderate income neighborhoods. The prices were: (1)$1,018.86 (2) $1,224.90 (3) $1,654.82. I got 18% interest on all of them. I placed 39 bids in total."

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