Does Paying Property Tax Give Ownership?

Today I’m answering your question, “Does paying property tax give ownership?”  I’m Ted Thomas. I’ve been involved in tax lien certificate and tax deed investing for the past 30 years, and I’m going to explain how and under what circumstances you may acquire a property by paying a tax lien.

Across the United States, tax defaulted properties are sold in all counties. The sale is always an auction, and it’s open to the public.

There’s a lot of promotion and hype about owning real estate property simply by paying someone else’s property tax. I’m sure you’ve learned that if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not true. That’s certainly the case with tax defaulted properties and tax lien certificates.

Can You Acquire Real Estate by Paying Someone Else’s Property Taxes?

For the record, I’m not an attorney, real estate broker or a financial planner or advisor; I’m an investor, author and publisher. For the past few decades, I’ve been the guide for hundreds of people interested in purchasing tax lien certificates or earning an ethical profit of $25,000 or even $50,000 buying at tax-defaulted auctions and then reselling for a profit.

Today I’m answering the question, “Does paying property tax give ownership?” Is that possible? The answer is yes, and it’s also no. That’s not a trick answer. I‘ll explain.

does paying property tax give ownership of a tax lien property

What is Tax Lien Certificate Investing?

Real estate tax liens are available in approximately 1,500 of the 3,000+ county jurisdictions. If you purchase a tax lien certificate, you’re paying someone else’s property tax.

When you do so, the county rewards you by allowing you to earn a generous interest rate on the certificate if you’re a successful bidder at a tax lien auction.

Real estate tax lien certificates are issued every year, and savvy investors purchase multiple certificates on different properties. In other words, they pay the property taxes for many tax defaulted property owners.

Tax Certificate Investing and Property Ownership

Does paying property tax give ownership right away? Keep in mind the tax lien certificate purchaser must wait until the redemption period expires to become the property owner.

Normally, the tax delinquent property owner who is in default will come forward and redeem the real estate tax lien. Therefore, the tax lien certificate will be redeemed and the investor will earn an outrageously high-interest rate.

In the event the property owner does not come forward and pay, the investor could end up with the property.

So then does paying property taxes give ownership? In this case, the non-paying property owner will lose their property to the investor. When the property owner forfeits the property, the treasurer will delete the mortgage and deed of trust loan, and the tax lien investor becomes the owner of a mortgage-free property after a foreclosure process.

This is how an individual could end up owning a property from a tax lien auction.

The Redemption Period of Real Estate Tax Liens

As you are beginning to realize, this is a learning process. When does paying property tax give ownership? How long do you have to wait?

The purchase of a tax lien certificate can be a lengthy process. Most tax lien certificates allow a redemption period of two and sometimes three years before the property can be foreclosed upon and the investor can take possession.

Be patient, If the property owner fails to redeem and the investor wants possession, the investor will be required to follow due process of law and foreclose following the state rules.

Tax lien certificate buyers have no rights to the property during the two or three-year redemption period. They must wait until the property owner’s right of redemption has expired prior to initiating foreclosure.

From the property owner’s perspective, most states allow the property owner to redeem, that is, pay for the tax lien certificate in two or three years. During that time they remain on the property.

how to foreclose on a tax lien to acquire ownership of the property

The Tax Lien Business is Highly Profitable

To answer the original question, does paying property tax give ownership, yes, you can end up owning the property by just paying the back taxes. My advice would be to be patient because this can take a long period of time, about 2-3 years.

I‘ve seen as many as 100,000 tax lien certificates available in Cook County, Chicago, 65,000 certificates available in Miami-Dade County and 15,000 available in Orange County, Orlando. This obviously is a big business.

Investors could easily check with the county and find that more than 95% of all tax lien certificates will redeem and pay the interest rate to the investor.

This is a little-known but highly profitable business. A small percentage of property owners will not pay their property taxes and default. In that case, the investor will either foreclose or request that the county re-auction the property.

Investors may purchase tax delinquent real estate at tax-defaulted property auctions in all counties. These properties at the time of purchase are free of mortgage and free of deed of trust loans because the official county treasurer is authorized by the legislature of the state to delete the mortgage and the deed of trust loan.

How to Foreclose on a Tax Lien

If you’re an investor, here are a few words about how to foreclose on a tax lien property.

The process is always outlined in the state statutes.

My recommendation is to hire an attorney who is experienced with tax foreclosures.

The process is not difficult, however it does require many due process notices of default. This is a precise process that must be carried out correctly, and when accomplished, delivered to the court of law, as a judge will finally make the ruling.


We hope you enjoyed Ted’s lesson, “Does Paying Property Tax Give Ownership?”

When you pay someone else’s property taxes by purchasing a tax lien certificate, you’ve bought the tax lien on the property and are entitled to all of your money back plus a high rate of interest. However, you don’t have the right to take the property, unless the tax delinquent owner does not redeem the tax certificate by paying you what you are owed before the certificate’s redemption period expires.

Tax lien redemption periods vary depending on the state. Generally, it’s 2-3 years. 95% of  certificates will be redeemed, and you’ll receive a return on your investment that could be 16%, 18%, 24% or even as much as 36%. If the certificate is not redeemed, you can foreclose and take ownership of the property and get it mortgage-free.

If you’d like to learn how to reap huge rewards from tax delinquent property investing, Ted Thomas provides full support and complete training with home study courses, Q&A webinars, live tutorials, workshops, web classes, and personal coaching with certified coaches.

Get started today by taking advantage of this Free Gift from Ted. Act now, it costs you nothing and will give you a big head start!

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Ted Thomas

Ted Thomas is America’s Leading Authority on Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deed Auctions, as well as a publisher and author of more than 30 books. His guidebooks on Real Estate have sold in four corners of the world. He has been teaching people just like you for over 30 years how to buy houses in good neighborhoods for pennies on the dollar. He teaches how to create wealth with minimum risk and easy-to-learn methods.

The Ted Thomas Difference:

  • Ted is recognized as America’s Tax Lien Certificate & Tax Deed Authority and has been helping people with investing in tax defaulted properties for over 30 years.
  • Ted has built a team of certified coaches that have 70 combined years of auction experience and are available to his students by phone to guide and mentor you to avoid getting overwhelmed or worse, losing money
  • Ted has ironclad PROOF that what he is teaching you does work. With hundreds of successful students providing testimonials and a 4.9 Google rating which is unheard of in this industry.
  • Ted and his staff don’t hide behind a website; they can be reached during office hours at 321-449-9940.

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