Tax Lien Certificate Sale – What Happened to the Properties?

This is the very last post (for this year’s sale!)  of my continuing saga describing the tax lien certificate sale in my county. In my previous post – Tax Lien Auction Sale – Who Are These Bidders, I shared observations on how the people who actually bought the tax lien certificates at the sale.  As you know, if you read that post, I was NOT one of them.

Keep in mind that I am only relaying my experiences with this sale and am not suggesting that you should invest in tax lien certificates based on my experiences.

This final post shares my analysis of the results of the sale – as far as the properties go.

Analysis of the Sale Results 
‘The list’  (the county’s list of properties with tax liens) had 97 properties on it – and two of those had taxes paid while the sale was in progress, but before the Collector hit that property to sell the lien on it.

Of those, 57 had no bids. Most of those were being offered for the 2nd or 3rd time in the tax lien sale and most belonged to developers and were empty lots in subdivisions that never got developed.

Over all, out of the 30 registered bidders, only 11 people actually won bids – some did bid but never won anything.

On the properties with bids, the county ended up with more than $100,000 over the bid amount.

On any property that had a lien sold for more the ‘the list’ total amount, the extra money does not earn any interest for the tax lien holder (they do get 10% on ‘the list’ total amount), but the current property owner does have to pay the amount over the total due amount back to the county who then gets it back to the bidder if the property is redeemed.

Sounds like a great deal for the county, an OK deal (at least now when regular interest rates are close to zero) for the bidder and a lousy deal for the homeowner who ends up having to pay that much extra to the county to redeem their property.

I was surprised that the sale was over so fast, that so many properties were not bid on at all and that bidders ran the amounts of the tax lien certificates up so high on the properties that did get bids.

Did these results surprise you?

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