Posted over 9 years ago

Tip for Narrowing Tax Lien list

Online tax lien auctions can have lists of liens available that number in the thousands of liens - and some counties have tens of thousands of liens available.

Be Prepared

The old Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared is great advice for getting ready for a tax lien auction. Below is a typical beginning of a list of liens available. It can be daunting to think you have to wade through a list of thousands of liens to find liens that interest you.

I always have my list of areas in the county that interest me for lien investing. I like to know the areas I invest in, so when I drive around and I find an area I like, I write down the streets and addresses. When I'm back near a computer, I'll go to the county GIS map website and I'll determine the PIN (Parcel Identification Number) for the areas I like.

That creates a PIN list that I rank in the order of my investment preference. In the list above you can see the PIN column starts with numbers 100-06-XXX. If I know an area in the county that I like is 401-2X-XXX, then I will filter the list of available liens to that specific group of PIN numbers.

Keep in mind that PIN numbers are generally successive - meaning if my home PIN number is 123-45-678 then my next door neighbor is probably 123-45-679. So I can filter my list using a "Begins with" filter.

By applying the Filters to each column at the top and then clicking on the filter icon (red arrow at top of column) the spreadsheet then opens a pop up to allow me to choose how I want to filter my list:

Normal 1482526047 Filter On Pin 1

I choose "Text Filters" (in yellow highlight) which then opens the next box and I choose "Begins With... (red arrow on right side above).

This opens another box and I fill in the beginning of the PIN number so that the spreadsheet filters the list that only contain the PIN that begin with my number for the area I like:

Normal 1482526106 Filter On Pin 2

That results in a much narrower list that I can start to analyze:

Normal 1482526137 Filtered Pin

If there are no results, then I know there are no liens available in that particular area in the county.

Having this list ready of my preferred PIN area for the county helps me analyze a long list of liens much faster.