Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Book Reviews

Here are my reviews of some of the more prominent tax lien investing print books that are on the market. These books can be found on my resource page at

Tax Lien$: The Complete Guide to Investing in Tax Liens in New Jersey
by Michael Pellegrino

5 stars - Must Have for Anyone Investing in NJ Tax Liens
This is a book that I refer to often for my tax lien investing in New Jersey. New Jersey has very complicated tax lien laws and has become a very competitive state to buy liens in. I recommend to anyone who wants to get involved in investing in New Jersey tax lien certificates that they read this book first. I found the chapters on foreclosure and what can go wrong very helpful.

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

4 stars - Great Resource
This book is a very good resource for tax lien investing and covers some states very well. Because state laws are so different and always changing, it's not feasible to write a book that has current information for every state. This book accurately describes tax lien and tax deed investing procedures for most states. I found this book to be the most complete book in print about tax liens that I have found and it even has some information on deeds. I strongly suggest this book to anyone who want to get involved in investing in tax lien certificates or tax deeds.

The 16% Solution: How To Get High Interest Rates by Joel S. Moskowitz

3 stars - Good for Basic Information
This is one of the books that I keep in my library, probably because when I bought it five years ago, it was the only book available about tax liens. Even though it's a newer addition then when it was first written, it's still dated and now there are other books available that are more complete. It's a good book for basic information about tax liens in the most popular tax lien states. Don't buy it if your interested in tax deeds, it has no information about tax deed states. Because state laws constantly change some of the information is no longer relevant.

Happy and Prosperous Investing,
Joanne Musa

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tax Lien Teleseminars

Hi All,

I just created a new blog, just for information on my FREE tax lien teleseminars. My next teleseminar will be a one hour Q&A session with me. You can get the details at, or check out my new blog at I have a lot of great interviews with other tax lien and tax deed investing experts lined up for you this summer, so go to my Tax Lien Teleseminar blog and check it out.

Happy and Prosperous Investing,
Joanne Musa

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to Use Tax Lien Manager to Protect Your Investment in Tax Lien Certificates

By Joanne Musa

You probably know that Tax Lien Manager can help you to do your due diligence and help you prepare for the sale, but did you know that it can also help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your investment is profitable?

The first thing that you need to do to ensure that your tax lien is profitable is to record your tax lien certificate with the County. Your tax lien certificate must be recorded in the county records, or it is worthless. In some states this is done for you and you pay a recording fee when you purchase your lien. In most states, including New Jersey, this is something that you will be responsible for and I suggest that you do it right away, as soon as you receive the tax lien certificate. With Tax Lien Manager you can print out a letter to send to the county clerk with your tax lien certificate(s). In the Lien Menu, select Current Liens and click on the Payments tab and the County Filing Letter button. You can use the drop down menus to include all of your tax liens for that county. You can keep track of the filing fees that you pay and print out affidavits to the tax collectors. You even have two different affidavit letters to choose from. Tax Lien Manager will even print the envelopes for you.

The next thing that you want to do to maximize your profit in a tax lien certificate is to pay the subsequent taxes on time. Tax Lien Manager can help you do this by letting you know when you can pay quarterly taxes. You’ll see the reminders for quarterly taxes on the calendar. Tax Lien Manager also provides you with a letter to the tax collector requesting the amount of subsequent taxes due. You can print this letter and either mail it or fax it to the tax collector. When you mail in your payment for subsequent taxes, include an affidavit printed out from Tax Lien Manager with your payment. All of these tasks can be done from the Payments Tab in the lien property information screen of Tax Lien Manager. You can even print the envelop using the Tax Collector-Envelopes button on this screen.

The third step in maximizing your profit is keeping track of when the redemption period is over for your tax lien(s). Tax Lien Manager will tell you when the redemption period is over for each of your liens. You’ll see the reminders on the calendar. Then you can decide if you want to continue to pay subsequent taxes and hold the lien longer, start the foreclosure process, or sell your lien to another investor.

With Tax Lien Manager you can print a request for a title search and mail or fax it to your title company. Just put the contact information for your title company into Tax Lien Manager by clicking on the Title Search Company button in the Table Maintenance Menu. Your request for a title search will then be atomically populated with your information and your title company’s information. You can even choose between several title search companies. You can also print a pre-foreclosure letter with Tax Lien Manager. If you decide to assign your lien to another investor or if your lien redeems, Tax Lien Manager can tell you the redemption amount of your lien. You can use this to set a price for your lien or to compare with the redemption amount that the tax collector gives you.

All of these tasks are done from the Acquisition/Redemption/Foreclosure tab in the Lien Property Information Screen. To access this screen from the Main Menu click on Liens and from the Lien Menu choose which group of liens you want to look at. Then you can choose individual liens in that group. Put your cursor on the lien that you want to change or view and click on the Change or View button. Now you are in the Lien Property Information Screen. The Acquisition/Redemption/Foreclosure tab lets you track redemptions, title searches and the foreclosure process. You can track bankruptcies and DEP issues with the with the Bankruptcy/DEP Issue tab.

Joanne Musa works with investors who want to reap the rewards of tax lien and tax deed investing. She is the author of the Tax Lien Lady’s E-books, Tax Lien Investing Secrets and Tax Lien Lady’s State Guide to Tax Lien and Tax Deed Investing. For more about tax lien investing e-mail For more information about Tax Lien Manager√§, go to

© 2005 Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site so long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided to the email provided.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Calculating Premium for Tax Lien Sales in New Jersey

In order to calculate how much premium you can pay for a tax lien, you first have to know what your bottom line is. In other words, what is the lowest return that you are willing to accept on your investment? Then you can calculate just how much premium you can pay and still make the profit that you want. I use Tax Lien Manager, a software program for New Jersey tax lien investing created by DataVentures I LLC to do this for me. Tax Lien Manager computes premium for a 4%, 5% and 6% return based on the assumption that the lien will be held for a minimum of one year and that you will pay all subsequent taxes when they are due. Here’s how you can calculate how much premium you can pay if you don’t have software that does this for you like Tax Lien Manager.

Once you know the return that you want, you then have to know how many tax quarters are open at the time of the sale and what the annual taxes are. Let’s assume that you are going to a tax lien sale in August and that the municipality is on a calendar year. As of August 10th, you will be able to pay 3 quarters of open (subsequent) taxes on any tax liens that you buy.

When you pay premium for a tax lien certificate, your profit consists of the redemption penalty + the interest on your subsequent tax payments. Your total investment is the certificate amount + premium + subsequent taxes paid. Your total return on your money is total profit divided by your total investment:

Redemption Penalty + Interest on Subsequent Taxes

Certificate Amount + Premium + Subsequent Taxes Paid

For this example, let’s assume that the certificate amount is $2000.00 and the annual taxes are $4000.00. The redemption penalty is $2000.00 x 2% or $40.00. Since it’s after Aug 10th and you can pay 3 quarters of open (subsequent) taxes, interest on the subsequent taxes is 18% x $3000.00 or $540.00. Your total profit is $40.00 + $540.00 or $580.00. Your total investment without the premium is the Certificate Amount + Subsequent Taxes Paid or $2000.00 + $3000.00 = $5000.00. Calculate premium with a 5% return on your money as follows:

$40 + $540 / ($2000 + $3000 + X) = 5%, where X=premium.

$580 / ($5000 + X) = .05

Multiplying both side of the equation by (5000 + X), you get:

580 = .05 (5000 + X)

580 = 250 + .05X

Subtracting both sides of the equation, you get:

330 = .05X

Dividing both sides of the equation by .05, you get:

X = 6600, or premium = $6600.00.

This is a simplified equation and does not take into account interest on future subsequent payments. If the lien is held for one year and you keep paying the subs, your actual return will be higher. If you are using Tax Lien Manager, you will get a more accurate result based on paying one year of subsequent taxes.

Joanne Musa works with investors who want to reap the rewards of tax lien and tax deed investing. She is the author of the Tax Lien Lady’s E-books, Tax Lien Investing Secrets and Tax Lien Lady’s State Guide to Tax Lien and Tax Deed Investing. For more about tax lien investing e-mail To find out more about Tax Lien Manager, go to