How to Find Tax Lien Properties – How Do You Buy a Property With a Tax Lien?

How to Find Tax Lien Properties

In How to Find Tax Lien Properties, let’s talk about a Win-Win-Win investment that pays you rates as high as 36%. You, the property owner, and the county all win with this benevolent, socially responsible investment! I’ll show you how.

Today you’ll learn how to find tax lien properties.

Thousands of homeowners fail to pay their property taxes every year. What is the local government going to do? I can tell you this. The local government will not tolerate non-payment of property tax.

So today, we’ll talk about how to find tax lien properties, and you’re going to learn the steps. You’re going to learn how to make some pretty big money.

I’m Ted Thomas. I’ve been involved in the real estate business since 1972, but I’ve been doing tax liens and tax deeds for the past 30 years.

You’re going to find that there are ways for you to make money that’s predictable, that’s certain, and it’s secure.

You’re going to learn a step-by-step process on how to buy a tax lien certificate and how to earn generous rates of return, and your checks are going to come from the government.

Then I’m going to tell you about two mistakes that not only newcomers make, but experienced investors make them too. You don’t want to make these mistakes because they could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tax Lien Certificate Investing Is a Win-Win-Win Situation!

So let’s get started on how to find tax lien properties. This will be the start of a process that makes money, and you’re not only going to help yourself. You’re going to help a property owner, and you’re going to help your local county.

So, everybody’s in a win-win-win situation.

You’re going to find out this will really work for you. It’s an easy investment to learn how to do.

As a matter of fact, it’s been around for 200 years. What could be around for 200 years and not benefit everybody? The biggest beneficiary is going to be the property owner.

So we’re going to learn about tax lien certificates and how you could even end up getting a property.

As I say, it’s been around for over 200 years. So, everything I tell you is the real deal, and you’re going to learn a lot.

About Tax Liens and Tax Deeds

Tax lien certificates are sold at the county level. The counties across the United States number over 3,000.

Half of those counties will sell tax lien certificates, the other half of the counties will sell tax defaulted property.

Who makes that decision? The state makes the decision. Once the state legislature decides what they’re going to do, then they tell the county.

They tell the county treasurer:

  • Number one, you have to levy taxes.
  • Number two, you have to collect taxes.
  • Number three, if you’re a tax deed state, you need to confiscate the property.

Today, we’re not going to talk about confiscating the property. We’re going to talk about issuing a tax lien certificate

That means you could buy that tax lien certificate, and if you don’t get paid, you’re going to get the property.

Once you’ve learned how to find tax lien properties, you’re going to first buy the tax lien certificate, and if you don’t get paid, you’re going to get the property.

We teach you both ways to do it, but your chances are 97% that you’re going to get paid. However, a few percent of you won’t get paid.

Now, I know people go to the auction, buy a tax certificate, and then they go home and pray next to their bed that the people don’t pay them. Because if you don’t get paid on a tax certificate, you’re going to get the property.

About Property Tax

That’s the law. I didn’t make the law. It’s been in place for over 200 years.

All property owners are required to pay property tax, all of them. That doesn’t count for schools or churches, but everybody else has to pay property tax.

What happens to that money when they pay it? Well, they pay it to the county.

They pay the county because the county needs revenue to take care of the firefighters, to take care of the police department, to take care of the school teachers. You’re getting the idea.

So, how do they go about that? Well, the treasurer was authorized by the legislature to levy taxes, to collect the taxes, and if they can’t collect the taxes, there are only two things that the treasure can do.

  1. They can confiscate the property, or
  2. They can issue a tax lien certificate

When they issue these tax lien certificates, you’re going to see that there are thousands of them.

How to Find Tax Lien Properties – Get a Tax Sale List

How to find tax lien properties
How to find tax lien properties? Get a list of tax lien certificates.

If you want to know how to find tax lien properties, you need to know the first step, and that is to get a list.

I’ll just take a slight pause, and I’ll pick up a newspaper that’s next to me here. This newspaper happens to be the Miami Times.

This is the list of tax lien certificates. There are 65,000 of them in this newspaper. You could go to the county website and see the same thing. 65,000, just in Miami-Dade.

I’ll give you another county. I’m just going to talk about Florida because the whole country is covered with these things. So, there are going to be thousands.

As a matter of fact, just in the state of Florida, there are going to be one million certificates available this year.

This is a business of abundance.

This is Jacksonville. It’s a thick newspaper with 32,000 certificates available. These certificates pay up to 18%.

If we were doing this in Chicago, they pay all the way up to 36%. If you’re doing this in Arizona, it will go up to 16%.

The point is all of these counties that are tax lien counties will have lists like this.

This happens to be Tampa Bay. They will have anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 certificates, just in the newspaper. No pictures or anything like that, but you’re going to find a list of tax liens.

How to Find Tax Lien Properties and Earn High Interest Rates

Anybody can buy a tax certificate. Some of them are 5%. Some of them are 10%. It’s up to you.

With tax lien certificates, you can make a bunch of money. You could earn 16%, 18%, 24%… and there’s going to be plenty for everybody.

The treasurer controls all the auctions. So now that you understand that, what the treasurer is going to do is sell you a tax lien certificate. That means you’re going to pay someone else’s taxes.

How to Find Tax Lien Properties and Help Property Owners

That doesn’t mean you get possession. You do not get possession. The property owner can stay on the property. So, you see how they’re a beneficiary? They just stay on the property. They didn’t lose their property.

So they’re happy about that. If they get through the crisis of divorce or some other thing that happened to them, and they recover, they’re going to come in and pay their tax.

When they come in and pay, well, if you pay late on any bill, what happens? You have to pay a penalty.

In Florida, they’re going to have to pay a penalty of 18%, in Arizona 16%. You’re getting the idea.

So half of the states are mandated to confiscate the property. What happens is the treasurer will confiscate it, but with tax liens, they don’t throw the property owner out.

They just tell the property owner, stay right where you are, and they let the investor buy a tax lien certificate, which does not give them possession of the property.

This article is all about how to find tax lien properties. So, let’s learn more about that. Let me give you an example of one of my clients.

An Example of How to Find Tax Lien Properties

I have a lot of clients who do this, but this example is pretty shocking.

The client came to me and learned how to buy tax lien certificates, which most people learn right away.

So he learned how to buy a tax lien, and he and his wife decided to buy one certificate for $11,000.

Now, they didn’t have a lot of money because they’re newly married and so on, but they had $11,000. So, they bought a certificate.

Before they bought it, I told them go check out the property. Make sure it’s there, that there wasn’t a flood or a hurricane.

Sure enough, the property was there, and it was a nice condominium. So, they bought the certificate.

Well, let’s fast forward two years. Two years later, they hadn’t gotten any money. So they called the county and said, “Look, we haven’t been paid.”

Well, the county went through a legal process. They went through the process with the county, and guess what?

They were awarded the property without a mortgage. Let me say that again. They were awarded the property without a mortgage. So, they didn’t get paid on their $11,000 certificate; they ended up with the property.

So, they called up Zillow. Zillow said, we’ll sell it, and they sold the property. After commissions, they got a check for $169,000.

Not only did they get all their money back, they got $169,000. Think about that. How many deals like that would you have to do in your life?

Most Tax Lien Certificates Are Redeemed

Don’t get too excited right away because I’m going to tell you this, 97% of all the certificates that are issued are paid off.

In other words, the people come in and redeem. They come in and pay you. In other words, you get all your money back.

So, for 97% of the certificates, you’ll get all your money back plus that high rate of return.

This is a powerful investment.

I know some people are just waiting to get the property, but 97% of you are going to get paid on your certificate.

How to Find Tax Lien Properties Over-the-Counter

A question I hear a lot is what happens to the leftovers at the auction? When they have the auction, there are so many certificates, they don’t sell them all.

Now, the challenge in this business, which is going to be hard for you to believe if you’re just being introduced to it is it’s a business of abundance.

There are way too many tax liens, and there are way too many tax defaulted properties. So, they try to sell them back into the market. When they do, they will get a lot of money, but there are going to be leftovers.

That means they didn’t sell. Then what they do is they’ll try at the next auction to sell them again. But if they can’t sell them, they take them off the list.

You remember, I showed you the list was in the newspaper. They take them off that list, and they make another list. They just leave that list at the county.

Now that you know about it, you can then forget about the auction and just go to the county after the auction and say, I want to buy tax lien number so-and-so because it didn’t sell.

You’ve got a little number here, and you can see that it didn’t sell. You were at the auction, or you watched it online. You saw that it didn’t sell, and you want to buy it. They’ll say, all right, the back taxes = X, then you buy it.

You can buy it over the counter. It’s called over the counter tax liens. The same thing happens regarding property. This is a little sophisticated for your first article, but if you’re getting it, there’s plenty for everybody, not to worry.

Another FAQ About How to Find Tax Lien Properties

Another question I get is are you being a collection agency? Forget all that.

When you buy a tax certificate, you’re going to invest with the county. They’re going to send you a certificate, then you just sit on your rusty dusty. It’s a passive investment.

The property owner has to pay the county. They don’t owe you anything. They owe the county, so they’re going to have to pay the county.

If the county doesn’t get paid, between you and the county, you’re going to end up getting the property. You don’t have to do any collection. There’s no collections to be done on a tax lien certificate.

How to Find Tax Lien Properties & Avoid Costly Mistakes

Before I finish, let’s talk about those two big mistakes. You don’t want to make these mistakes, so just listen to me really closely, and you won’t do it.

Here’s what happens at those auctions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newcomer or whether you’re an experienced investor, they both make this mistake.

They go to the auction, and they’re all excited. Then what do they do? They start bidding, and they’re bidding on property that they have never seen.

You would never marry the woman, if you hadn’t seen her. So, likewise, you need to have seen the property. That means boots on the ground, eyes on the property, or someone you know has looked at that property.

You do not want to buy a property that you haven’t looked at. Why? What if there was a hurricane? What if there was a fire? What if it was next to a chicken farm? There could be all kinds of problems.

That was mistake number one. Mistake number two is a very similar mistake. You don’t want to make this one either.

Don’t go there, get all excited, then when someone else beats you and bids more, you still want to make a deal. You want to be successful. What do you do? You start bidding, and you don’t have an exit strategy. Big mistake.

You do not want to buy any property if you don’t have an exit strategy. Now, what does that mean? Exit strategy means, you know what you’re going to sell the property for. If you haven’t seen it, that’s a problem.

If you don’t have an exit strategy, how do you know what to bid? You might bid right past your exit strategy.

So, those are two big mistakes people make. I know you won’t now because you’re going to avoid those.


Knowing how to find tax lien properties can propel you to success. You can earn interest rates of 16%, 18%, 24%, all the way up to 36%. Or you could end up owning property for cents on the dollar.Safe Haven 2 1 1

It’s also benevolent. Tax lien certificates buy property owners more time to pay back taxes and avoid losing their homes. By learning how to find tax lien properties, and acting on it, you’re helping people and communities.

Let me show you how. I have a gift for you. It’s called Safe Haven. It’s a fast track course, valued at $197, that I’ll give you for FREE. Get Safe Haven today, and watch and learn how to find tax lien properties and tax defaulted properties.

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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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