Tax lien education
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Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Mar 18, 2019 8:59 AM
       Tax lien education (by Barb [MO]) Mar 18, 2019 9:27 AM
       Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Mar 18, 2019 11:48 AM
       Tax lien education (by Ken [NY]) Mar 18, 2019 1:06 PM
       Tax lien education (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Mar 18, 2019 1:06 PM
       Tax lien education (by Robin [WI]) Mar 19, 2019 5:57 AM
       Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Mar 19, 2019 8:25 AM
       Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Mar 19, 2019 8:42 AM
       Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Mar 19, 2019 10:27 AM
       Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Mar 19, 2019 10:30 AM
       Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Mar 26, 2019 5:29 AM

Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2019 8:59 AM

I'm trying to find a good source for learning about buying tax liens. If I do a Google search, I feel like I'm being bombarded with get-rich-quick scheme thinking. I trust this forum as a source of honest and practical advice, so I'm asking here. What book/resource do I use to learn about the tax lien auction system and associated laws and procedures?

Here's some background:

There's an abandoned lot adjacent to my house. I noticed that there was trash in it, and no one was mowing the grass, so last spring I took my mower, and started mowing a small patch. From there I worked outward, and eventually removed about 1,000 bags of trash and yard waste.

I would like to own this land for personal use. I found out that the owner is an unpleasant local character who's made the news for his conflicts with the authorities over land use, and for dumping motor oil in local bodies of water. I don't intend to ever talk to him. I also found out that he owes back taxes on the lot, and that in this year's tax lien auction, a bankruptcy attorney in the next county bought the tax lien for $10.

If the current owner continues to own the land and do nothing with it, that's fine, but if someone else acquires it from him, and builds a house there, that gives me less green space around my house. I want to find out how to be the person who gets the lot if the current owner loses it for failure to pay back taxes.

Thank you for considering this question.

Tax lien education (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2019 9:27 AM

You'll need state specific info. It is different from state to state.

For your specific situation, I would contact the attorney that bought the tax lien. Let him know you reside adjacent to the lot, and you are interested in purchasing it should he be able to deliver a clear title.

Alternatively, you might hire a local lawyer to represent you to the current owner who is behind on the taxes. Have your lawyer contact he owner, let him know that his client had noticed he had a tax lien, and would he be interested in selling the property?

Meanwhile, I understand why you are maintaining it, but stop. Instead, call code enforcement and have them have it mowed and apply the price to the tax lien rather than doing it yourself. He may decide at that point it is worth even less to him and sell it to you.

Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2019 11:48 AM


Great advice. Another neighbor had been calling code enforcement for years. The town would weed whack it once a year and send the owner a bill. This did not make him want to sell. He has plenty of money.

A little more background. The owner's family has lived in the town for generations. They were/are in the scrap and salvage business. The older brother had at one time intended to develop the lot. The brother died in 2006, and the current owner inherited the land. The current owner has never sold or developed any of his parcels, but he did have some seized by eminent domain, one for 1.3 million in compensation.

Based on what I've been told by neighbors and what I've read in news reports, I profile the owner as being super-disagreeable with tendencies toward being a hoarder. It's a real possibility that he will just sit on this lot for the next 25 years till he dies of old age.

Given how stubborn and bad at dealing with the government he is, I think it's also a real possibility that he loses it through the legal process, instead of selling it. That's why I want to learn state-specific info about what that process would be.

Tax lien education (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2019 1:06 PM

NY doesn't typically do tax lein auctions,in all the counties I deal with the county forecloses and sells the house itself and you get a deed.Maybe where you are it is different

Tax lien education (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2019 1:06 PM

Dan NY

Most anything we tell you here will be for our state. However you might use the general idea and go from there.

Barb gave some good advice.

Here in MO our state tax commission puts out a book called “Chapter 140 Tax sale procedure Manual”. Cost a whopping $5.00. New York may put out such a book.

Other helpful info is to not only read but to STUDY your tax sale statutes.

Barb mentioned you buying the property from the lawyer if he can get clear title. Here in MO to get clear title we must hire a lawyer and do a quiet title action. Cost depends upon the amount of work Lawyer has to do. I have heard from $1200 up about $2200. Your area will vary. Also you need to know if there is anyone in line to inherent the property and they therefore can redeem it at a later date.

Strange as it seems I have never done a quiet title action. I have bought many tax sale properties, somewhere upward of 70 or more. They are for rental or resale. I do like a bank does. Sell them with a Special Warranty Deed or Quit Claim Deed. Special Warranty Deed says you are giving the property to buyer and warranting that YOU have done nothing to cause a problem. Does not say there are no problems, just that you have not done anything. Quit Claim Deed says you are giving whatever rights you have in the property – which may be NONE.

If you get something you later find out you do not want then go down to skid row with a 5th of JD or JB or whatever they drink and offer to give it to any down and out person if they will sign to purchase your don’t wanter piece of property. You are now free and clear of it.

I have gone and talked to the original owners who was losing the property at tax sale and they did not want the property. I offered to redeem the Certificate of Purchase and give them some money to boot. However this sounds like not an option in this case.

Not sure we can help you if the owner is rich and just doesn’t care. However you can see about using these suggestions at other sales.

Good luck

Tax lien education (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2019 5:57 AM

If the owner redeems the tax lien, you may be out of luck. Definitely worth talking to the lawyer who holds it.

Another route would be to go for adverse possession. Seems like you have a good start on it already. Start using the lot for parking your cars, set up a picnic table, take pictures periodically to document. Who knows what might happen?

Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2019 8:25 AM


Funny you should mention that. I roto-tilled it this weekend and planted wildflowers. I videoed what I was doing because I want to put a time-lapse of the flower growth on my youtube channel.

I live in an area close to New York City. In this area some of the streets get honorary street signs with the name of someone who lived on the street and died in the World Trade Center on September 11th. The abandoned lot is on one of those streets. I was thinking of putting up a sign on the lot which says "memorial park". Yes this is probably childish and silly. Is it also a bad idea legally?

I had thought about putting up a structure, either park bench, picnic table, or gazebo. Could I put up a memorial bench sign?

Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2019 8:42 AM

There are three good books. I can post titles and Authors if you are that interested... i have posted books before. Search other years.

Tax lien education (by Dan [NY]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2019 10:27 AM


Absolutely I'm interested.

I see that you do post when this topic comes up, but I haven't found the thread where you listed the names and authors of the books.

Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2019 10:30 AM

Here is one.

The 16% Solution

by Joel S. Moskowitz

Im at a house assisting bathroom remodel. Will post more as i think of names or when i get back home. You may find them at the library also

Tax lien education (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2019 5:29 AM

sorry for the delay,,, have a bit of searching, I find that I do not have my books readily available. 16% Solution was the first book I purchased on the subject. There were two more after that, if it's not that time of the year they are available at the library for check out. A google search popped up several other titles, Each one will have one or two nuggets of information that are helpful. No one book really gives all the "secrets" away and of course each state is different. I hope by now you have found out the information you need to move forward. --174.155.xx.x

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