Tax Delinquent List vs Tax Sale List?? Difference?

11 Replies

Hello all.  Was just wondering if I could get some clarity on this question. My county has readily available a full list of properties that are slated for the upcoming tax sale. I am wondering if there is a different, more comprehensive list that would be considered the actual “tax delinquent list” that everyone talks about vs an upcoming tax sales list?

Also, the other question would be assuming the tax sales list is different - would you still be able to direct market to these properties and purchase them just like usual as long as it is before the actual tax sale auction date?

Thanks for your insight!

Regarding the list, each jurisdiction is different so maybe someone from Tennessee can answer that about the sale.

as to direct marketing, yes you can market to them (we actually talked about doing that during my last investment class - smile) and one of your acquisition costs would be bringing the tax current.

@JJ Conway

Ok great, that is good to know regarding being able to market directly to them as long as it’s before the actual tax sale.  Interestingly, as I was looking at the results of the most recent tax sale auction, I was surprised to see that for the most part, the winning bids actually weren’t nearly as bad or overbid as I would’ve imagined in this overheated market. 

Thanks for the response!

Very different list.

Some accounts can go delinquent for years before they are foreclosed on....just saw one in Dallas that was about 20 years delinquent.  Not sure what the city strategy on that was to wait so long.    So you could have been after the owner for the last 20 years to sell.

Now it has gone to court, the taxing entity has won a judgement and sometime soon it will be scheduled for auction.  So once it hits the tax sale list you have to act fast typically and make your deal in the next 30-60 days around here.

Before that....well normally they'll go delinquent for 3-4-5 years before they go to court to get a judgement and sale date....so you have more time.

Hope that helps.  Also around here you can normally get the tax sale list for free online....but the delinquent list most often you have to pay.  I got one county for free the other day, but the next county over wanted $200.   I told the first county I would bring them back 1-2 reams of paper for their efforts.  I know everyone is on a budget and I might need their help in the future.

@Bruce Lynn

That is really great insight - thanks!  So I was correct - it was too easy for that tax sale list to be the actual delinquent list. So in your experience, when you call up the county (assessor?  Treasury?), are you actually calling it a “tax delinquent list”, or are you using another label for it?  Thanks again. 

Everybody is different that you ask, so you have to be clear what you need or want.  Good example is last Tuesday in the county that wanted $200 for the delinquent list, turned around and said here is a free list.  The free list was the "struck off" list.  Properties that had gone through at least one sale and did not sell and therefore hit the "struck off" list.  Mostly junk no one wanted...small lots, land locked lots, nuisance homes, homes that present eminent danger, etc.  There can be finds there, but typically is slim pickens on that list.  I think you have to know what you want, ask the right person for what you want, and then work according to what you get.

So typically in my area the struck off list is free and sometimes online.  The sale list is free and normally online.  However just the deliquent list is often going to be more work to get and may cost money.   You might also want to limit it by a year or two.   Of course the whole system could be different where you live from where I live.  Different states have different systems.  I only know about Texas and no where else.

@Bruce Lynn

Don’t mind the extra work and don’t mind the extra cost. $200 seems pretty reasonable to me for the quality of leads you can get from it. When you say to limit it to 1-2 years, what exactly do you mean by that?  Do you mean to target the properties that have been delinquent for 1-2 years max?

Also, re: tax sale list - recognizing that one would need to move more quickly on potential leads from that list, have you still had any successful deals from directly marketing to this list as well?

@Tae C. Call your local county and ask to speak to the treasurer. If you listen to BP Podcast #39 with @Seth Williams , it is about land, but he has some great tips about finding these delinquent lists that helped me find exactly what I was looking for.

The Clerk gave me the run-around for two weeks, and then I just asked to speak to her supervisor, which sure enough was the Treasurer.

Not to thread jack, but for these properties what is usually the approach i would think that most of them are run down and most people just put a little money into them and put them out for wholesale, but on the other hand i am sure there are people that go the entire way with fixing the properties. Just curious to see what everyone is doing with properties like this as i have a lot in my area.

This thread has a lot of good answers. @Bruce Lynn  Thank you! Just wanted to add that tax lien states operate differently from tax deed states.  In tax deed states, if you can get the delinquent list, there's ample time (maybe up to 2 years) to market/approach owner before property goes to judgement and auction but if you obtained a list in a lien state, you won't have a lot of time before those properties go to sale. The thread below also has a lot of good info:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/12/topics/198...

@Tae C.     sorry for the delayed response.   I say you want to try to limit the list if you can.   You may only want lists with homes and not lots.  Or the other way around.  If they can give you the assessed value you may want a list where the assessed value is more than the delinquent taxes.....and a whole lot of other factors.  You may want a list where the taxes are only delinquent 2-3 years....  You may only want properties with values $100,000 or more.   Here I'm just throwing out various options....you have to decide what you want, what works for you, what fits your purchase and exit strategy.

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