In “What Is a Redeemable Deed?” Ted Thomas, America’s Leading Authority on Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deeds, interviews Ben Baker, a professional writer, newspaper editor, and publisher of multiple books.

As a newspaper editor, Ben was already aware of tax lien certificates and tax deeds because he’d seen them posted in his newspaper.

It was only after he met Ted Thomas that Ben took a much closer look at what had been there the whole time, did his research, and saw how lucrative tax lien and tax deed investing could be.

As a resident of the Peach State, Ben attended his first auction in Georgia, a redeemable deed state. He learned the answer to not only “what is a redeemable deed?” but also saw with his own eyes the profits that could be made.

If you’d like to know more about tax lien certificates and tax defaulted property investing, be sure to get Ted’s Safe Haven Investor System (valued at $197) today for FREE.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED?

Narrator:
Welcome to Imagine Wealth Without Risk where we guide you to fulfilling your dreams through guaranteed secure investing. Here’s your host, Ted Thomas.

Ted Thomas:
Hi, everyone! This is Ted Thomas and this is all about tax lien certificates and tax-defaulted property, and specifically what is a redeemable deed?

We try to teach you ways that you can make money and not take a lot of risks, and I think that’s one of the important things that is left out in life.

Everybody says, be careful, be careful. So, we’re going to talk to people that have been careful, and they do very, very well.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? A JOURNALIST INVESTIGATES

Ted Thomas:
My guest today is a newspaper editor, and he’s been one for many, many years. He’s a professional writer.

That’s how we met, through a company called Textbroker, which only hires the best, and he was graded as the best. I was lucky to connect with him.

Now he’s been snooping around the tax lien and deed business, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about what he’s been doing and explain what is a redeemable deed? His name is Mr. B.R. Baker.

Ben Baker:
Glad to hear from you again, sir.

Ted Thomas:
Welcome aboard. Let’s have some fun. First of all, we want to lay a little groundwork, because I want people to know how credible you are. Can you give us a little background about yourself?

Ben Baker:
I’m a professional journalist. I’ve been in newspapers for more than 30 something years. I’ve written articles for clients now in 38 countries.

Ted Thomas:
Wow.

Ben Baker:
I’ve had work published all over the place. I actually have an article I wrote that’s used in an Australian university, in a Public Relations class.

I’ve written 15 books to date, and I’m looking at a contract now to write a book for my accountant. He wants a book on farm planning and Ag. analysis, that kind of thing.

Ted Thomas:
How nice is that? Congratulations. Now I hope he’s going to give you a big advance. That’s what authors always say, “I got a big advance.”

Ben Baker:
I wish I could get an advance.

Ted Thomas:
Oh. All right. So, you’re like me. You’ve got to work it out, right? I know.

Ben Baker:
Yeah, I’ve got to work for what I get.

Ted Thomas:
I’ll tell you a quick, funny story. I did a book for John Wiley, a big publisher in New York City, a number of years ago. It was a bestseller. It ended up in the bookstore, and it was there for 12 years.

Finally, I went down to the bookstore, and I got one of them. I said, “This book is getting a little outdated,” so I called him up on the phone, and I said, “Gee, what are you going to do? We’ve got to take it out of the bookstore. But if you want to redo it, we probably should think about that.”

“Oh, Ted, we’d really like you to redo that because we’ve been selling it for 12 years now.”

I said, “Well, that sounds great. Do you offer me an advance?”

The advance was so low, I had to gratefully decline because you know how it is.

Ben Baker:
All too well.

Ted Thomas:
Tell me about yourself a little more about your personal life. I know you donate time to help people that got themselves into trouble at the prisons and so on.

Ben Baker:
Yeah. I’m a state certified prison minister. I have a ministry at what’s called an RSAT – residential substance abuse treatment center – here in my community.

The gentlemen who go there are arrested for various chemical-related charges, like DUI, possession, that kind of thing.

The judge doesn’t think they deserve to be sent to jail. He wants to give them some help. So, he sends them there.

I decided that maybe I can help these guys get out of this place, turn their lives around and live better. I’ve been doing that for 12 years now.

I also sit on the board of directors for a food bank here in town. I’m on the board of directors for our chamber of commerce, and I’m on the planning and zoning board. Ted, I just do a little bit of everything.

Ted Thomas:
Well, we need a lot more people like you in our lives. That’s for sure.

Ben Baker:
Yes, we do.

Ted Thomas:
You’re helping a lot of people. That element is tough to handle. I guess I shouldn’t say criminal element, but people that got involved in drugs.

Are you a pretty strong guy that you can handle that thing? Or do they treat you well? How does that work out?

Ben Baker:
I’m safer sitting in there than I am anywhere else. Your readers don’t know, but in 2013, I survived an assassination attempt because of my work as a journalist.

A guy got mad about what I wrote, and he hired somebody to come and kill me.

Ted Thomas:
No way.

Ben Baker:
Yeah, and oddly enough, it was a finance related article that I wrote that he was offended by. But when I go into the prison, it’s just cool.

The guys there, they look to me like the father figure. Some of them never had somebody that’s tremendously respected. They look up to me, and they listen to me. They look forward to my comment.

I know that if something ever starts to happen there, I’ve got 50, 60 guys between me and whatever else is taking place in the prison. I’m safe.

Ted Thomas:
Wow. You couldn’t have said anything nicer. That’s really terrific. Good for you. Well, and that makes you feel good when you go home.

Ben Baker:
It certainly does.

Ted Thomas:
Because you know. There’s knowing that in the background.

Well, you and I connected because of your writing, which I admire and respect, especially the way you always have a reference for everything you do. You’re not one of these guys that just writes and says, “Oh, you want to make a million dollars?”

You say, “Well, you’re going to make a few dollars, but here are four other people that said the same thing, so your chances are improved because a lot of people have done it.” I like the way you always have a reference, and it’s always a quality company and so on.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? BIG PROFITS!

Ted Thomas:
So, you got a little involved in this tax lien and tax deed business, and you learned what is a redeemable deed? I’ll get started by asking the first question. What made you get started? Take me back to the year it actually started.

Ben Baker:
Big profits, period.

Ted Thomas:
Yeah. Big profits.

Ben Baker:
Exclamation point. The End.

Ted Thomas:
Yeah, okay, good, all right.

Ben Baker:
Big profits. You’re looking at buying a house for literal pennies on the dollar. You’re buying this place because the owner, for whatever reason, chose to not pay his taxes.

Here where I live in Georgia, the Peach State, you’ve got two options when you buy the taxes.

The owner can redeem the property, and you earn 20% interest on your money. He has 12 months to do that. Or at the end of 12 months, you file a foreclosure, and you get the property.

Ted Thomas:
Nice deal, nice deal. That’s great.

Ben Baker:
You’re looking at a minimum 20%.

Ted Thomas:
Nothing wrong with that.

Ben Baker:
No.

Ted Thomas:
Well, first of all, how did you get interested in it. Have you known about this a long time? Or, because we got together, did you just start getting more interested? What happened?

Ben Baker:
Actually, because I run the newspaper, and I’ve been in newspapers all my adult life, I’ve known about these sales.

Ted Thomas:
Oh.

Ben Baker:
Because we have to run them. They have to be run in the newspaper. I think that’s a pretty standard thing across the nation in my research.

Ted Thomas:
Right.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? THE AUCTION

Ben Baker:
I’ve seen these things for years, and I said, “Yeah, okay, sure. Yeah… Right, right, right.” Then you got in touch with me about this kind of stuff. I started looking at it, and I’m saying Ted’s on to something here.

So, I went to an auction just to see what it was like.

Ted Thomas:
Oh, smart.

Ben Baker:
They’re done by a public auction here in Georgia. The auctioneer gets up. He announces the property. He announces the price, and he tells you what it’s going to go for and that kind of thing.

I went just to see what was going to happen because you’ve got to know your rules, and you’ve got to do your homework. If you don’t do your homework, and you don’t know the rules, you’re going to be in trouble.

Ted Thomas:
Right.

Ben Baker:
So, I realized I could go to this auction. I can just sit there and watch and see what happens without spending any money, and it was amazing. I said, “These guys are buying houses for $400 and $500 here.” This blew me away!

At the end of the auction, after one of the guys bought quite a number of the properties, the people who own the house came up to him immediately after the auction and paid him off on the spot.

Ted, he hadn’t even had time to write the check for what he had bought at the auction, and he was already being paid.

Ted Thomas:
I guess we call that a redemption. That means that they redeemed their property. In other words, they got their deed back. They redeemed the deed.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? A 20% PROFIT

Ted Thomas:
So what kind of profit did he make in hours?

Ben Baker:
He made a 20% profit in the span of less than 45 minutes. The auction took about 25 minutes, and you figure another 10 to 15 minutes to fill out the paperwork.

Ted Thomas:
Really?

Ben Baker:
You do the math. He spent $4,500 as I remember at that auction, and he walked out with $6,000 or $7,000 in his pocket in redemptions.

I mean, his check was not even anywhere near clearing the bank, and he had money in his pocket to go cover that check, which he already had of course.

Ted Thomas:
Wow, that’s amazing.

Ben Baker:
And he had profit in his pocket.

Ted Thomas:
Terrific. Just terrific.

Ben Baker:
How cool is that?

Ted Thomas:
So that was your first auction.

Ben Baker:
Yeah.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? INSIDER INFORMATION

Ted Thomas:
That was one of your first, you were. I’ve never done that well. I see someone make money, and I have seen people do it at the auction, but not get all the money that quickly. So, that was pretty astonishing.

Ben Baker:
It was to me. I saw what happened, and I went to my next auction. This was the City of Ashburn auction.

In Georgia, three different boards are allowed to collect taxes, the County Commission, the City Council and the Board of Education. This is one of the rules you need to know in Georgia. Each one of these boards can collect property taxes.

Each one of these boards can also have its own tax sale. So, if you go to a city auction and buy a property, you’d better hustle over to the courthouse and pay off the County taxes and the Board of Education taxes, too. If you don’t, that jeopardizes your investment.

Ted Thomas:
I see.

Ben Baker:
The great thing is when you pay these other taxes off, you get 20% on them, too.

Ted Thomas:
Oh my goodness. This is amazing. Now I’ve thought for years that you always want to go to the County to do all this. But you’re saying in Georgia, there are two other jurisdictions that actually have tax auctions. This is insider information. Isn’t it?

Ben Baker:
I guess you could call it that.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? THE RULES IN GEORGIA

Ted Thomas:
I mean, legally, we’re doing this. We’re not doing anything that’s not legal. My point is I don’t think most people know that.

Ben Baker:
Every state has different rules. Every County within every state also has different rules. Georgia is one of those where each one of these agencies can do its own taxes. In Georgia, most of the cities do their own tax billings.

Ted Thomas:
I see.

Ben Baker:
Most of the Boards of Education piggyback on the County. That is not the case everywhere. That’s why you’ve got to know the rules and do your homework.

When you go out and research one of these properties, you need to find out if there are past due taxes from the County, from the City, and from the Board of Education. Of course, if the property is not located in a city, you don’t have city taxes.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? DOING THE RESEARCH

Ted Thomas:
Where did you go to find all that information?

Ben Baker:
I went to the City Hall first because my second auction was a city auction, and I talked to the city tax collectors. I saw the notice in the paper, which I published, and I got a little inside information there.

Though I get a couple of days’ jump on everybody else, it doesn’t matter. They’ve got to run the announcement for four weeks prior to the auction. I really don’t have a leg up.

Ted Thomas:
Right.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? PREPARING TO MAKE A BID

Ben Baker:
I found out what the properties were and looked at ones I wanted to buy. Then I went over to the courthouse and said, “Can you tell me if there are any past due taxes here?”

Here our Board of Education uses the County tax collector to bill their taxes, so they told me what the County taxes were.

I added the City bill to the County bill and came up with a total I knew I’d have to spend. I came up with a bottom amount I would have to spend. That was a bare minimum.

Then I started looking at my own finances and said, “All right, I can bid this much on this property,” because I had that much in my bank account. I said, “I can spend this much and then we’ll be good to go,” then it went into the auction and I got outbid.

WHAT IS A REDEEMABLE DEED? GEORGIA TAX SALE AUCTIONS

Ted Thomas:
Oh, well that happens. I taught my students, if they get outbid, come and cry on my shoulder. Don’t feel bad because there’s always another auction.

Ben Baker:
There always is. Georgia requires tax auctions to be held on the first Tuesday of the month, and that means some County in Georgia is having a tax sale somewhere every month.

You can find one somewhere in Georgia, and you don’t even have to bid in Georgia. You can bid in any one of the states or District of Columbia.

I’ve done the research. There are dozens, literally dozens of tax auction sales, held every week, somewhere in the United States.

Ted Thomas:
Most people don’t even know this. I create manuals with directories in them of all the counties. Of course, nowadays we can put that online. So, we have little external drives or thumb drives that people can access. We put all that on my website.

I think the last time I did a rough guess, and it would be interesting to see what your research showed, I think that was about 5,000 tax auctions every year in the United States.

Ben Baker:
I think that’s a low estimate, Ted.

Ted Thomas:
Do you really?

Ben Baker:
I really do. When you look at Georgia, we’ve got 159 counties, 164 school systems and somewhere around 900 to 1,000 cities.

Ted Thomas:
And all those cities are qualified or authorized, I guess is a better word…

Ben Baker:
Yes, they’re authorized to have a tax sale, and they usually do every year.

Ted Thomas:
Wow. So, a person could just learn about city auctions, and they could have a nice income from that.

Ben Baker:
Well, you could, but remember if you’re in Georgia and you buy one at a city auction, you’ve got to go pay off the County taxes and the Board of Education taxes.

Ted Thomas:
Okay. So they might not be having a County auction. They’re having a city one first. When you buy the city one, will you automatically pay those taxes or it would just be?

Ben Baker:
No, you don’t automatically. You’ve got to go to the courthouse and get the information and pay it off.

Ted Thomas:
Oh, I bet people don’t know that.

Ben Baker:
It works the other way, too. If you go to the County auction and you buy a property that’s located in the city, then you’ve got to go to City Hall and pay off the taxes there. It’s not automatic.

Ted Thomas:
Wow.

Ben Baker:
That’s one of the rules. You have got to know the rules to be successful.

TAKEAWAY

In this interview, “What Is a Redeemable Deed?” Ted Thomas talks to professional writer, newspaper editor, and book publisher, Ben Baker, about his journey that led him to tax lien and deed investing.

After years of seeing tax sales posted in his newspaper, but not really thinking much of it, Ben met Ted Thomas, and it all clicked. Ben saw the huge profit potential and decided to investigate.

As a resident of Georgia, a redeemable deed state, this led him to gather the answers to what is a redeemable deed?

Ben, who is a deep dig researcher, explains what he learned about Georgia redeemable deeds and why you get a minimum 20% return.

He also tells the story of the first auction he attended where he saw a winning bidder earn 20% on his investment within 45 minutes of making his purchase!

As Ben states, it’s important to know the rules and do your homework to succeed in tax lien and tax defaulted property investing, and as an educator, Ted agrees.

Ted Thomas has been teaching students for over 30 years how to invest in tax defaulted property, and has a complete support system to ensure you have the best chance at success.

Ted Thomas has a team of experienced coaches and guidance facilitators helping students every day, Monday through Friday. If students need help with research, Ted has daily live webinar classes.

If students have questions that require expert advice, Ted Thomas coaches hold weekly Q&A webinars answering tax lien and tax deed questions. This is why Ted is different! Nobody offers support like Ted Thomas.

You can start your education today absolutely FREE by getting Ted’s Safe Haven Investor System (valued at $197).

Safe Haven is 2 hours of streaming videos and a 100-page illustrated manual that teaches you all about tax liens & tax deed investing. Be sure to get your FREE Safe Haven course today.


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