Tax Lien Certificates

A Directory of Tax Lien Certificate Sales Information

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Tax Sales

A sale often sponsored by the government (e.g., county, municipality) for the purpose of disposing of real property.  County governments, to dispose of real estate that is in tax delinquency, conduct the most widely known tax sales.  These sales, often called tax lien certificate sales or tax deed sales, are conducted annually in most counties in the United States.  Canada also conducts tax sales.  However, in Canada, most sales are only tax deed sales. 

At tax sales, investors bid on either tax lien certificates that represent the debt due on the property, or tax deeds that represent actual ownership in the property.  Tax lien certificates usually pay the investor an interest rate that can range from 8 to 50 percent.  Tax deeds do not usually pay an interest rate (except in hybrid states that have a redemption period following the sale); instead, investors that buy tax deeds receive the entire property, often for only the penalties and interest due.

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