Monday, December 01, 2008

Tax Lien Lady’s Rant: Buyer Beware!

I’ve just yet another e-mail from a subscriber to my newsletter who tells me that they are very interested in my courses, but they’ve already spend a great deal of money with someone else’s coaching program. And since their investment is non-refundable, and it was a lot of money, they don’t want to buy any of my programs. And then they go on to ask me a very important question that they have about tax lien investing and they even give me their phone number just in case I would like to discuss their very important question with them.

I guess they were not able to get the answer to their question from the coach that they paid thousands of dollars to, so they figure that they’ll just ask me. The problem is that if I do answer them, they may not like the answer that I give them. I may be telling them the exact opposite of what they’ve been told by their so-called “expert” tax lien investing coach. I may not think that the strategy that they’ve paid thousands of dollars to learn is any good in today’s market at all.

OK, this is my rant. I’ve had enough, so I’m warning everyone who subscribes to my newsletter and reads my articles now, “Buyer Beware,” just because someone says that they’re an expert in tax lien investing doesn’t mean they are. Check them out before you hand over your credit card number and spend thousands of non-refundable dollars to buy their program. You can google the name of the company and see if anything negative about them comes up and you can ask to see some proof that they know what they are doing. How about asking to see a sample of their tax lien portfolio before you give them your hard earned money? Do they have experience in your state, or the state that you are going to invest in?

You should find out exactly what support you are going to get. If you’re paying a few hundred dollars, you should at least get unlimited e-mail support to have someone answer your questions, and some regular coaching sessions or classes. If you’re paying thousands of dollars, that should include phone support and one-on-one coaching as well, not just teleseminars where anyone can call in and ask a question.

Beware of anything that sounds too good to be true. Sometimes in their zeal to sell you their product, companies will make claims about tax lien investing that simply aren’t true. Here are a couple of the buzz words in the industry that really make me mad:

“Government guaranteed” – they throw around this term to make you think that you’re guaranteed to get paid on a tax lien, when in reality no one guarantees that you will be paid. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence on tax sale properties.

“You can get the property” – this almost never happens with tax liens, and even if in a rare circumstance you did foreclose on a property, in most states it would take at least a couple of years before you can even start the foreclosure process.

“You don’t have to go to the tax sale, you can do this from your computer,” – this is partially true. Some counties do have online tax sales, but there are only 4 states that I know of that have counties with online sales. And that’s only some of the counties in those states, not all of them.

“You don’t have to bid at the tax sale, you can buy left-over liens from the county” – also only partially true, some counties do have left-over liens, but many of them don’t. If you are interested in left-over liens, you have to get the list right after the tax sale, as all of the good liens get picked over pretty quick and all that’s left is the junk. So if you think that you’re going to get properties that are ready for foreclosure and foreclose on them, this is only likely to work with junk properties (properties with no value because it’s unbuildable land).

O.K., I’ve had my rant and vented and hopefully I’ll save someone from making the same mistake that I see over and over again – paying thousands of dollars for a program that they are unhappy with, and that doesn’t help them go out and buy profitable tax liens. When you’re ready for a program that will really show you step-by-step what to do to start your own profitable tax lien portfolio, then check out the courses at My most expensive course is way under $1000 and I have many courses under $100. And even before you’re ready for one of my courses, you can read all of my articles for free at and check out my free Tax Lien Investing Tips podcast on iTunes.

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