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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/as-bogwan-said-go-to-the-local-court-house-or-22824319.aspx

Subject:  Re: Tax Lien Certificates Date:  8/1/2005  1:07 AM
Author:  rrjjgg Number:  28 of 52

As Bogwan said, go to the local court house (or just call) and first ask the treasurer how tax liens are handled and what section the relevant law is found. Read it-it's usually on line, now. Then ask yourself if it's worth your time. I'm from Iowa where the legislature raised the interest on unpaid taxes to something like 24% which brought all of the bankers representatives into the mix. It's now very hard to make any money because of the competition, so I consider it a waste of time. The
tax liens start at a high rate, but are 'bid down' and most times the interest the winning bidder gets is very low. The bankers are really sharp. You will very seldom get the actual property. If the taxes aren't paid by the owner, then usually some bank with a mortgage on the property will pay it.
Also be sure to look at the records of the property you're bidding for. Do your own 'mini-abstract' on what you're bidding for and drive by it to see just what it is. Here in Iowa you can sometimes wind up with the property, if the owner doesn't pay the taxes.
I'll bet that sounds pretty good to you. Well, if you don't know what the property is, you might get an old paint store that dumped lead paints out back or a farmstead that dumped insecticides which are now banned in a sprayer wash pit or has a leaking underground fuel oil tank on the property. If the EPA wants the mess cleaned up, guess who gets to do this? Not the previous owners, but the current owner-who might be you!

I tried buying tax liens during the 80's and actually got an empty lot across from a city park in a small town. Then I found out it was in a flood plain and in order to build I'd have move in about three feet of fill. The owners let it go because of a cloud on the title which was too expensive to fix, so their attorney told them to let it go for taxes. (The tax deed, after a certain time elapsed, did clear the title.) I was able to unload the lot for a bit of money, but I was really pretty lucky to have come out ahead. It's not as easy as the ads say or we'd all be rich!

rrjjgg
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