BiggerPockets Podcast 056: Syndicating Deals, Investing without Tenants, and Tax Liens with Ankit Duggal

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Dealing with tenants can be a pain… which is why on today’s show we’re going to go beyond tenants and look at some “no-tenant” methods of investing in real estate.

Specifically, we’re going to talk with real estate investor Ankit Duggal about his journey from real estate agent to syndicator to house flipper to landlord and finally to tax lien investor. Ankit has a great story and offers hundreds of great pieces of advice on this show perfect for both the new investor or someone looking to add some new skills to their investor tool belt!

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In This Show, We Cover:BiggerPockets Podcast _ Real Estate Investing and Wealth Building 9.42.11 AM

  • Getting started at a young age
  • Transitioning from Agent to Investor
  • How Ankit financed his early investments using other people’s money
  • Your three circles of influence for raising money
  • The three team members you need before syndicating
  • Investing with close family members
  • What is a tax lien and how (and why) to buy one.
  • Earning 18% on your money through Tax Liens
  • Why tax liens have almost no risk
  • How to do your due diligence on a tax lien
  • And lots more!

Books Mentioned in this Show

Links from the Show:

Tweetable Topics

I’m not “money-driven” – I’m “lifestyle-driven.” (Click to Tweet!)

Educated yourself as an investor. That’s the first step in any investment. (Click to Tweet!)

I don’t believe in ‘get rich quick.’ You gotta put in the time and effort. (Click to Tweet!)

Connect with Ankit

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Ankit did a fantastic job of explaining the basics of tax lien investing. I want to remind those people that listen that Tax Liens are discussed in a BP forum dedicated to “Tax Liens, Notes, Paper & Cash Flow Discussion”.

    As Ankit explained Tax Liens are different in every state so you really need to learn the rules for your state. Some states are Lien states where you buy the lien, and some states are Deed states where you are actually buying the deed to the property.

    I loved how Ankit said “to have a strategy” when you look at investing in liens. It really does help you beat the big boys.

    Once you understand what can be done with lien investing, you can then start looking at investing in liens in Self-Directed retirement accounts. Imagine getting great returns tax deferred, or even tax free, in a Roth account (at least until sometime in the future when the government decides they “have” to tax Roth earnings).

    My lien investing in Arizona and Florida is different than Ankit’s lien investing in NJ. One big difference is that in Arizona there is a 3 year redemption period. If you buy the next year’s taxes you don’t get the maximum rate (in NJ you do get the max 18% rate). In AZ you get whatever rate with which you won the lien. In AZ the max rate is 16%. So if you win a lien with 7% and you also pay the next year taxes when they come due, then you earn 7% on that lien amount next year as well – not 16%. Different state – different rule.

    As Ankit emphasizes – each state (and sometimes county and even city) is different and you really need to understand the rules for where you invest. Great show gentlemen!

  2. Knowing thing or two is good but asking right questions is very important. One need to know subject well enough or dig deep enough to ask right questions I can say Brandon and Josh have done great job. Covered just about everything. If one wants, with help of this podcast can really start new investment business.

  3. I recently attended 3-day richdad training here in NJ with my wife at a deep discount rate of $200 (I saw people who spent $500) and learned about the tax lien/deed investment in very high level. Although that training wasn’t designed for tax lien/deed, I learned WAY MORE from this podcast.

    Thanks for sharing great information, Ankit! I’m really glad to find a local real estate investor.

    Great job for the podcast, Josh and Brandon!

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Hey Marvin –
      If you thought this show was good, listen to the previous 55 shows (all free, of course). Along with the thousands of articles and hundreds of thousands of discussions, there’s no better place to get amazing real estate content. See you around and thanks for the comment!

    • Ankit Duggal

      Hey Marvin,

      Like Josh said. You should avail yourself to all the free resources at BP. I have a personal gripe with investment information being so expensive i.e. $200 for a high level seminar. I am glad you find the podcast helpful. Thanks for the listen.

  4. Ankit, thanks for sharing all the awesome tips/info. I read about tax liens long ago and got more here than that self taught course. I’m going to relook at this again and see if we can add this to our strategy.

    Is the tax lien going to be your primary business from now on? If not, what do you plan to do after the tax liens?


    Continue doing what you guys do. The jokes/jabs brings some levity to a subject that can sometime be dry (definitely not this podcast). If people like the info but not the jokes, they can push on. Otherwise, there are other ways on BP for them to get the same info. Keep it up!

  5. Michael Gammage on

    This was a awesome podcast gents. I consider myself I buy & hold (landlord) investor in the making but I will do a little research on the Tax Lien Certificate investing model. I live in California where the state does not offer certificates but instead tax lien property auctions. Good thing is the neighboring states Arizona and Nevada does. Question, I immediately went to Amazon to look for reading material on the subject Ankit can you recommend a good book or some must reads??

    J/B I listen to the podcast every Thursday evening on the 5 FWY headed from Burbank to Long Beach please keep telling ya jokes dudes it helps me survive the LA traffic. Enlightenment and entertainment… Priceless

    • Ankit Duggal


      Here are the books that I would recommend:

      Profit by Investing in Real Estate Tax Liens: Earn Safe, Secured, and Fixed Returns Every Time by Larry B. Loftis

      Zero Risk Real Estate: Creating Wealth Through Tax Liens and Tax Deeds by Chip Cummings

      The other item I would recommend reading is the tax deed/lien statute in Arizona and Nevada before investing in those states.

      Thanks for the listen.

  6. I’ve read some of Ankit’s other posts on Tax Liens on the biggerpockets blog but I really couldn’t wrap my brain around it until I listened to the podcast. There’s really good information about syndication and tax liens. It seems like Ankit has gone through the initial hardships from flipping, buy & hold, and arrived at Tax Liens.

    Tax Liens seem like the ultimate endgame comparable to Triple N Leases when you factor all the lack of headaches, low risk, and high interest rates. Even in comparison to note investing, it seems like there’s even less risk other than doing your own due diligence.

    Thanks for the great podcast guys. Keep up the jokes and good work.. I think I’ll add you on Facebook now. 🙂

  7. Very interesting podcast. I didn’t really know much about tax liens until I heard this podcast, but after listening to it I became intrigued. Unfortunately, I found out that not only does it vary by state – but not all states even conduct tax lien sales. Apparently, mine (California) does not. They only do tax DEED sales.

    • Ankit Duggal


      Thanks for the listen and glad you found it interesting. You can always invest in tax deeds if you are willing to be more hands on. There are other BP members who are investing in tax deeds in California so make sure to check out the forums.

    • Ankit Duggal thank you so much for the wealth of info! You really outlined a lot of different asset classes here and it was nice to get a general overview of them all. I too was taken back when I heard my first podcast with all the joking around but after fast forwarding through the beginning of a few I started to really “get” the humor.
      What particularly stuck with me this episode was the great energy all you guys had.
      I am trying to find my niche so this podcast really spoke to me. Thanks again all for keeping it lively!

  8. Loved the podcast – I love the humor as I usually listen to this on the way to and from work and I don’t mind laughing while stuck in traffic.

    This podcast blew my mind and I would love to dig in and learn more about this. I saw the list of books already from another post but I was also wondering if there is a specific site or business to go to in order to get solid lists. Or do I just purchase these from the municipality?

    Thanks again!

    • Ankit Duggal


      It seems to be reoccurring theme of listening to the Podcast during traffic. Josh and Brandon should continue with the jokes to help alleviate the traffic boredom so I am glad other listeners like their comedy.

      I would recommend contacting the county or municipality to get the list directly as the list is a public notice hence you should be able to get it for free if you contact them via a letter or fax request.

    • Ankit Duggal

      Thanks Burke. I am glad it motivated you to take action as that is what i wanted it to provide to the listeners. Just take action and don’t be overly timid as investing is not a 1,000 batting average game. If you can bat a 700 out a 1000 you are doing extremely well.

  9. Another great podcast!

    As a newbie I never understood what benefit a tax lien property played for a REI was. I live in NJ and have seen the list of tax lien properties in my local newspaper but never understood why publish that information, I now understand.

    Ankit you really provide some fresh new ideas to the whole tax lien niche and really an idea to possibly look into down the road for me.

    Thank you for sharing

  10. Awesome show Ankit, Josh, and Brandon!

    Ankit, I believe I recall you saying that when you structure a syndicate anywhere under 500k, you don’t use a PPM. Did I hear that correctly?

    My question would be, is that because in that range you only use people who are close to you and you are taking somewhat of a chance that they know you and the investment well enough already to not sue if it goes south? I can definitely see how the cost of a PPM if you are only doing a small syndicated deal could be pretty costly.

    • Ankit Duggal


      Thanks for the listen. You don’t need a PPM for under $1 million syndicates based on my lawyers telling me accordingly. I do have an investment business plan for investment offering that I provide to my capital investors which is explains the risk of loss in depth along with the target investment strategy. I work with people other than my second circle of capital raising contacts even in smaller syndications as it allows capital investors who want to invest as little as $5,000 per unit to test out the investment process and test the firm an investment operator. I hope I answered your question. If not feel free to private message me further.

  11. Mind blowing podcast. Thanks to Ankit, Josh, and Brandon for another killer episode.

    a. You described your evolution away from flipping (as a means of current income) to buy-and-hold as a means of long-term asset growth; you then moved to a different strategy. Do you think that tax liens offers a path competitive with buy-and-hold toward a decent passive income stream down the road?
    b. Being a landlord has it’s pain, but there are some possible tax benefits. What are your thoughts on the tax implications of liens and how it compares with buy-and-hold?
    c. Any thoughts on tax liens vs note investing? It seems like they can accomplish roughly the same outcome. Notes tie up one’s capital for a much longer time period, but are that much more hands-off. Tax liens seem to turn over much more quickly; at first glance, it seems like they are more work than notes.

    Truly outstanding podcast. I’m super grateful for your input and for sharing your experiences.


    • Ankit Duggal


      Glad you found the podcast helpful. Below are the answer to your questions:

      a.I believe that tax liens provide a competitive passive income stream once you have built up a large dollar value portfolio that consists of multiple duration value of liens.
      b. Yes owning hard asset real estate will provide you better tax advantages than owning paper whether be tax liens or notes. Unless your income is in the highest tax bracket then the depreciation and interest expense deductions are truly not why an investor buys into buy and hold as it is more so for passive income stream.
      c. I believe that notes can be more “hands on” even after you have completed the initial due diligence associated with buying the debt paper. Why do i say you have to be more hands-on? As an investor you have to monitor monthly payments with your servicer. If the borrower falls behind then you need to initiate a special servicer to complete a workout i.e. short debt payoff, sheriff sale. That said you can make a lot of money in notes and given the right underwriting they can be a very safe asset class. The key difference between notes and liens are the monthly cashflow that a note throws off but a lien does not. To me notes are a great secondary investment asset class within my investment model as they are a ton of on-going work and are still secondary to a tax lien in terms priority of re-payment within the capital stack. Now this is truly just my opinion, and I know there are a lot of BP members who will disagree with me.

      Happy Investing!

  12. Brother Ankit, I’m blown away with the frameworks you were leading us through. Makes me want to sign up for an MBA in finance. Very inspirational and though-provoking. I’m going to take a close look a tax liens now.

    Brandon, your interviewing skills have come a mighty long ways!!! I remember Josh prodding you to say something and barely being able to hear you. Congratulations!!! Bill my account for a glass of chocolate milk or whatever you drink.

    • Ankit Duggal

      I appreciate the kind words Al and thanks for the listen

      Al fellow listeners is very innovative in his urban marketing investing thoughts and strategy. You should definitely look into tax liens especially in urban markets as you will have a great competitive advantage given your comfort in these investment zones.

  13. Great show guys.
    Lots of killer info in here Ankit.
    I have always been interested in tax liens but all the different rules in different areas makes it hard to really figure out what you need to do. Nice to get a very understandable explanation of how they work where you are buying.
    Might not be at all like where I would be looking but at least there is more hope that I can at least figure it out. 🙂

  14. Jonathan Makovsky on

    Ankit, you crushed this podcast – amazing job!

    Josh/Brandon, you’re great hosts and thanks for bringing an all-star line-up through 56! I look forward to you bringing back some of the guests to dig a little deeper. (BTW, the humor is classic – keep it up.)

  15. Shouts to Josh, Brandon, and the BP community!! Ankit, your insight is amazing, it’s really got me thinking!

    How are your profits from these lien-payouts taxed? (If not coming from a ROTH) Are they viewed as short/long term capital gains? interest dividends? Are there any reasons you might need to set up an LLC or similar in order to handle this particular asset class?

    Regarding SEC monitoring, if under $1M doesn’t require a PPM (federal law?) and you are able to syndicate smaller deals for as low as $5,000 in per investor, in what capacity are accredited investors required in this business strategy? Is advertising these “deals” restricted as well?
    I’m immediately thinking crowdfunding – how this business model might incorporate it as a strategy for raising capital…

    Lastly – Josh and Brandon,
    Is there an International forum to the site? Sharing foreign RE investment strategies could be a great way to explore some basic ideologies/overall strategies and approaches… like studying forms of martial arts from around the world to innovate you own mastered style. Maybe a future podcast(s)??

    • Ankit Duggal


      Thanks for listening and I am glad that the podcast got you thinking. That was one of my goals when I was doing the podcast.

      How are your profits from these lien-payouts taxed?
      Profits from the liens are taxed at ordinary income tax rates of each member if the liens gets redeem in under 12 months and as long capital gains rate when the redemption takes more than a 12 month period.

      Are there any reasons you might need to set up an LLC or similar in order to handle this particular asset class?
      Yes. Limited liability protection and the ability to create ownership carveouts for each capital partner.

      Regarding SEC monitoring, if under $1M doesn’t require a PPM (federal law?) and you are able to syndicate smaller deals for as low as $5,000 in per investor, in what capacity are accredited investors required in this business strategy?
      REG 506 is the key regulation to watch for the PPM requirement and you must also consult for state securities statues. You are limited in each offering in how many unaccredited investors you can bring into an offering. So if at $5,000 investment unit you need more than the unaccredited investors cap then accredited investors have to be involved as well. I would highly suggest you consult with a securities lawyer in your state for further guidance.

      Is advertising these “deals” restricted as well?
      You cannot advertise as of yet to unaccredited investors based on my understanding without registering under Reg A. As the crowdfunding rules still have not been finalized so doing that right now is not viable. You can advertise to accredited if you register your offering with the state under Reg D.

  16. Great podcast, very informative! Ankit, what kind of ownership structure and payouts are you using with your tax lien syndication? Is it combined with other investment types or are they separated? Do you allow plain ol’ regular folk, sophisticated, or accredited investors only?

    I enjoyed this a lot because it was different stuff than the standard “buy and hold SFR” / flip / wholesale type topics. Not that I’m complaining about that, but it’s these other types of topics that grab my interest because they are new to me and I know so little about them. Plus, I’m somewhat lazy and the idea of a more hands-off approach intrigues me.

    • Ankit Duggal


      Thanks for listening. I am lazy as well so that is why tax liens appealed to me. I must say that without going through the flipping and buy-hold investing models; I would not have realized how much i wanted a more hands-off approach.

      Now to answer your questions:
      What kind of ownership structure and payouts are you using with your tax lien syndication?
      Usually we utilize a Limited Liability Corporation ownership structure wherein the limited capital partners own a relative portion of each lien certificate and payouts vary by the relative syndication underlying asset credit quality. In our last syndication the capital partners were making a projected 8% return per annum on their invested capital

      Is it combined with other investment types or are they separated?
      We have not done a hybrid investment syndication as of yet, but it is something that we are considering to help bring in quarterly cashflow dividends into future syndications. For now it is a pure asset play syndication within the tax lien asset class

      Do you allow plain ol’ regular folk, sophisticated, or accredited investors only?
      Our syndications have involved both accredited and sophisticated investors. We are usually selective on who bring in as capital partners into our offerings and it is vetting process from both parties (ourself and the capital partner).

      Happy Investing!

  17. Awesome Podcast!!! Ankit, you’re a huge inspiration for all of us new investors running around like chicken with no heads! You’re age and motivation gives me some perspective on the importance of a long term strategy. This is seriously probably my favorite podcast to date.

    You Rock!

    • Ankit Duggal

      Thanks Mark for listening. You rock for doing that and taking the right steps for your real estate investment business. I am glad that your take away from the podcast was to create a long term investment plan and I look forward to hearing about your future success.

  18. Very cool insight into Tax Lien investing and thanks so much for sharing Ankit.

    Is your transition into Tax Liens at all dependent on where you perceive the cycle to be?

    How do you think this investment class might be affected by rising/high interest rates?

    Thanks again in advance for your response

    • Ankit Duggal

      Hey Doug,

      Thanks for listening. The original reason that I started looking into alternative proxy assets was to earn a return while diminishing risk given impending rising real estate price increase and lack of distressed inventory. Rising interest rate negatively impacts all fixed rate investment assets but you have to remember the average duration of a tax lien investment is much shorter than a bond/note hence the impact is diminished.

    • Michael Dorovich on

      (Assuming you wanted to hold the tax lien until it is redeemed.) If you held it for the next few renewal periods, you would be paying the taxes in addition to the amount you originally invested until the lien is paid off. Is this right?

      Thanks again for an awesome podcast. 🙂

  19. Wow, Great podcast! I’ve been investing in Tax liens for a couple years now but always looking to learn how to grow it(investor’s money).
    Would you be willing to explain your structure? Ex. If I invest $10,000 with your company…what kind of percentage would I get in return? Who ‘s name is the lien held under?
    Have you ever thought about going to rotational counties to get the full % without competition? Just a thought…
    Once again, GREAT PODCAST!!!!!

  20. Awesome Podcast Ankit, Josh & Brandon!!

    Ankit, it was great to meet you on Tuesday. Your knowledge and experience is very impressive & motivating! Hope to connect with you again.

  21. Great podcast on tax liens! It seems like with the popularity of tax liens a lot of auctions are bidding down the interest rates on a lot of the liens.

    Also, I would love to invest in a state like Texas, but unfortunately they do not have any online auctions yet for Texas, so unless you fly out there, it is impossible to bid auctions, unless this has changed or there is a work-around for it.

  22. Omg… What a great podcast… Ankit… Salute to you, man… Josh and Brandon, thanks for asking very good questions. I am sure, I will have to repeat few times… DP

  23. Jim Gardner on

    I would like to learn more about how you finance your investments w/ other people’s money Ankit. Is this something your clients benefit from as well?

  24. This podcast is very insightful and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Especially due to the fact it feels like you’re learning syndication and tax liens from Aziz Ansari!

  25. Great podcast, but I was disappointed that you did not cover the potential negatives like what happens if the owner declares bankruptcy? Does that invalidate your tax lien or interfere with your ability to foreclose? What happens if the city/county has thousands of dollars of liens against the property over the years for failure to mow the lawn, etc.? Here in Florida those can add up quickly for weekly lawn mowings and can be expensive relative to cheaper home values for a tiny house. What about contractor liens against the house? What about IRS liens against the house if the owner failed to pay taxes? I really wished you discussed these issues and how you would do your due diligence to try to avoid these in the first place– or how to deal with them after the fact. Thank you.

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