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Forums » Tax Liens, Notes, Paper, & Cash Flows Discussion » Tax Lien Investing Online - Buying Over-the-Counter Props

Tax Lien Investing Online - Buying Over-the-Counter Props

17 posts by 7 users


Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Good afternoon!

Can anyone recommend reputable sites where I can purchase over-the-counter tax liens online? I'm a tax lien newbie who needs guidance in this area. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer me!! Have a great day!!

Lien Investor · Mokena, Illinois

I don't know of any counties that offer Online over the counter liens (OTC). Doesn't mean there aren't any counties that do it, I just don't know of any.

Most counties that do the regular auction of liens online seem to offer the over the counter liens only by contacting the county office. Many will sell you a list of OTC liens and they might be able to email you the list, but that's about as close as you'll get that I'm aware of. You'd have to contact each county see what they offer.

What state/county are you interested in?


My Biggerpockets Blog - Lien Online Me

Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Hi, Jerry!

First, thank you for replying to my inquiry. Secondly, I haven't determined the specific counties as yet; however, I would like to purchase liens in Arizona, Texas (deeds only), Florida, and Georgia (deeds only).

Lien Investor · Mokena, Illinois

I can definitely help you in AZ as I buy there and talk about it here on BiggerPockets ad nauseum!

Texas has a lot of redemption procedures. They (rightly) do everything to protect the property owner and give them a chance to redeem their property. Their sales are all done via law firms, not the counties.

Georgia is a state I haven't looked into - and I see it's your home state.

Florida is really interesting to me. I've been studying the state for the last couple of years. Online lien certificate auctions with rates that start ay 18% and go down from there.

Then if the owner doesn't pay in the redemption period in FL the lien holder can petition to foreclose. But unlike other states, the lien holder does not get the property. The county auctions the deed and anybody can bid. The starting bid includes the outstanding tax liens and interest - so the lien holder will get paid even if they don't bid on the deed.

Lots and lots of property in Florida. By the way, many of the counties have the Deed sales online too! You don't have to be there in person to bid.

By looking at OTC liens are you trying to get the highest rate of interest only or are you hoping to get the property? If your end goal is to get property, I'd suggest the Florida deed sales & possibly GA (but as I said, I'm not familiar with GA deed sales)


My Biggerpockets Blog - Lien Online Me

Real Estate Investor · Venus, Texas

I know you can do Arkansas

Lien Investor · Mokena, Illinois

@Gwendolen McCloud,
Ask and ye shall receive. I just got an email from Yavapai County in Arizona that they are putting the unsold tax liens (OTC) for sale online!

It's first come, first serve. The first bidder gets the lien at 16%. Due diligence on these liens is VERY important! Most of these have a reason for never being bought in a previous auction.

I just downloaded the listing of all the liens. I'll convert that PDF to a spreadsheet tonight to see what is available.

My Biggerpockets Blog - Lien Online Me

Real Estate Investor · Chicago, Illinois

Gwen - go to Right now, Louisiana and Indiana auctions are taking place.

Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jerry, Johnny, and Christopher, for helping me!!!!

I am so appreciative of you guys for taking time from your very busy schedules to help a tax lien novice!!! : ) You are definitely a God-send!! Have a great day!! : )

· Newport Beach, California

Make sure and do your due diligence so that you don't end up with a lien to some little plot of land that nobody wants :)

Safe investing.

Wholesaler · Baltimore, Maryland

I don't understand why people want to invest out of their own area. Your risk increases dramatically.

Although not online, Baltimore City offers over the counter liens. The list of leftover liens can be as many as 6,000 liens. However most of these liens are not worth owning. On many, the lien is significantly more than the value of the property. ex: $170,000 lien on a $1,000 empty lot.

If you were to buy Baltimore leftovers without knowing the local values or inspecting the property the odds are you would be throwing your money away. I am not saying you might loose money I am saying you probably will lose money.

I recommend you learn you local market and rules to start.

Good Luck - Ned

Small_crab1_copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC

Lien Investor · Mokena, Illinois

I agree with Ned that a tax lien investor should start with their own local area. Learn the rules of the auction, the redemption periods, the laws of the state and the whole process.

That said, I also know people who live in tax deed states and they want to invest in tax liens instead of tax deeds.

That makes it harder to start. I still say you should know the area you're investing in. That means traveling to the city/county where you will purchase liens. Know the values, the market, and the properties you bid on for the liens.

Learn the all the rules for that county/state/city. Also know that no matter how much you learn before you ever bid - there are going to be things you don't know.

Somehow in 2 years of research on AZ liens before I ever bid, I missed that you need to notify 30 days in advance of filing the foreclosure - the last known owner and lienholders of a property. Not a big deal, but it just pushes the process back another 30 days and costs money for refiling the paperwork.

I live in IL and spent 10 years buying liens in IL before I ever started looking out of state. However I took a couple of years studying the AZ market, learning everything I could about it, then took the plunge - and found I needed to learn more.

I get to AZ about every 18-24 months so I do know the areas I am buying in. The process is much simpler than most east coast auctions. AZ you do not bid premiums. You only bid down the interest rate you receive.

Either the owner pays within 3 years, or you can then foreclose. You have to pay the subsequent taxes to keep your liens or the county auctions the lien the next year and the new buyer pays you off.

But there are still questions you need to know in that simple environment. Like - what if I don't want to pay the next year taxes, but nobody buys the lien in the next auction? This is where Ned is dead-on correct in saying - know the rules. If you're going to venture out of your local area - you need to know it as though it IS your local area.

Simple advice - if your state is a lien state, then start there. If your state is a tax deed state and you want to buy liens. Find the closest lien state and get there often and make the effort to learn all the rules and the market.

My Biggerpockets Blog - Lien Online Me

Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Hi, Travis, Ned, & Jerry!

First, thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to offer advice on tax lien investing; I really appreciate it!!! Secondly, I live in Georgia, which is a tax deed state. So, I will definitely follow all your advice and become familiar with the market in the closest tax lien state (I believe Alabama is, I just need to confirm it), and apply it when I start to invest in tax liens (I plan to start low as it pertains to the purchase price). Finally, and once again, thank you guys so much!!!! I really do appreciate you!!!! : )

Wholesaler · Baltimore, Maryland

Originally posted by @Gwendolen McCloud:
Hi, Travis, Ned, & Jerry!

(I plan to start low as it pertains to the purchase price).

Gwendolen McCloud, You are welcome. I started with a very modest amount of money to buy two over the counter tax liens. Today I have many people who invest with me and I manage a significant portfolio of liens. I wish you the best and keep asking good questions.


Small_crab1_copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC

Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Hi, Ned!

Once I'm ready to purchase tax liens online, can you recommend any reputable sites where I can purchase them? Jerry and Christopher were kind enough to offer two great suggestions, and I just thought you might know of sites as well. Any help you can offer will definitely be appreciated!! Have a wonderful day!! : )

Wholesaler · Baltimore, Maryland

These are companies that host online auctions, some may offer certificates over the counter after the main sale.

- Ned

Small_crab1_copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC

Real Estate Investor · Fairburn, Georgia

Thank you so much, Ned!! God bless you!! : )

Real Estate Investor · Pembroke Pines, Florida

This has help me a lot too, thanks Gwen for asking and thanks everyone else for such in depth answers...

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