What States Sell Tax Lien Certificates

Welcome to Tax Lien Code! You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about tax lien certificates and their potential for high returns. But what states sell tax lien certificates, and how can you start a tax deed investing business? This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to answer these questions.

What Are Tax Lien Certificates?

Tax lien certificates are financial instruments local governments sell to recover unpaid property taxes. As an investor, when you buy a tax lien certificate, you effectively pay off a homeowner’s debt. In return, you get the right to collect the debt plus interest. This transaction allows local governments to collect needed revenue and provides you, the investor, with the potential for a high return.

Which States Sell Tax Lien Certificates?

Several states across the US offer tax lien certificates, each with unique rules and processes. Here’s a detailed look at the specifics of a few states:


Texas is one of the states that sell tax lien certificates, making it a prime location for tax lien investing. Known for its vibrant real estate market, Texas also offers opportunities in the form of tax lien certificates. The Lone Star State holds an annual tax lien auction, usually in July, where these certificates are sold to the highest bidder. The interest rate on tax lien certificates in Texas can go up to 25%, meaning you could earn a substantial return on your investment.


Florida’s digital approach to tax lien certificates makes it an attractive option for investors. The Sunshine State offers an online bidding system for tax lien certificates, which allows investors to participate in the auction from anywhere. The maximum interest rate in Florida is 18%, which provides a potentially competitive return for tax lien investors.


Maryland provides a unique benefit to tax lien investors. The investor can foreclose on the property if a property owner fails to redeem their tax lien within two years. This could potentially turn a small investment into a significant real estate acquisition. However, remember that the foreclosure process can be lengthy and requires a good understanding of Maryland’s real estate laws.

Making Money with Tax Lien Certificates

Investing in tax lien certificates can be a potentially lucrative venture, providing an alternative avenue of income to traditional investments. This strategy allows investors to benefit from real estate without the typical demands associated with ownership. Here’s a comprehensive look at how you can make money with tax lien certificates:

Earn Interest

Investors primarily profit from tax lien certificates through the collection of interest. When a homeowner defaults on their property taxes, you, as an investor, step in to cover the cost. In return, the homeowner owes you the back taxes plus interest. This interest goes directly to you, the investor, and it’s the primary way you can make money from tax lien certificates.

Interest rates vary from state to state, with some offering rates as high as 36%. Depending on the state’s law, the rate is either bid down at the auction or fixed. If the homeowner redeems the certificate by paying their debt, you collect the original investment plus the accrued interest.

The interest that accrues on a tax lien certificate makes this investment attractive. Given that it’s backed by real estate, it’s seen as safer than many other high-interest investments. 

Furthermore, the return is substantially higher than most banks offer for savings accounts or CDs.

Acquire Properties

In some cases, the homeowner may be unable to pay off their debt within the designated redemption period. If this occurs, the tax lien certificate holder can initiate foreclosure proceedings on the property, depending on the state’s laws. This is the secondary way investors can profit from tax lien certificates.

Acquiring properties via tax liens is not most investors’ primary goal, but it is a possibility. If a foreclosure occurs, it means that you could potentially obtain the entire property for merely the back taxes owed, leading to acquiring valuable real estate at a fraction of its market value.

This does not mean it’s a straightforward process. The legal procedures, paperwork, and due diligence necessary to acquire the property can be extensive. Additionally, there are ethical considerations when dealing with distressed homeowners.

Despite the challenges, the prospect of acquiring a property at a fraction of its value is compelling. This aspect of tax lien investing represents an opportunity to potentially reap significant profits, especially for those willing to navigate the complexities of the foreclosure process.

Are Tax Lien Certificates a Good Investment?

Like any investment, tax lien certificates come with their own set of risks and rewards. They can offer high-yield returns, but it’s important to understand that this isn’t guaranteed. They can be a good investment for those looking to diversify their investment portfolio and are comfortable with a degree of risk. It’s advisable to get professional advice or do comprehensive research before investing.

How to Start a Tax Lien Investing Business

Getting into tax lien investing involves a few steps. Here’s a more detailed guide on how to start a tax lien investing business:

  • Research: Understand the legal and financial implications of buying tax lien certificates. Different states have different laws and procedures, so it’s vital to familiarize yourself with them.
  • Budget: Determine how much you’re willing and able to invest. This will largely depend on your financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • Find Opportunities: Use county websites and other resources to find upcoming tax lien sales. Make sure to research the properties associated with each tax lien certificate.
  • Bid: Attend auctions (either in-person or online) and bid on tax lien certificates.
    Remember that you’re bidding on the interest rate, not the price of the certificate.
  • Wait for Returns: After acquiring a tax lien certificate, you’ll need to wait for the homeowner to pay off their debt. This could take a few months to a few years. If they fail to pay, you could potentially foreclose on the property.


Putting money in tax lien certificates can give you a chance to earn a lot. Some places like Texas, Florida, and Maryland are great for this kind of business. But remember, knowing a lot about it and understanding the good and bad parts are very important. No matter if you’re in Overland Park, KS, or any other place, the Tax Lien Code gives you everything you need to know about what states sell tax lien certificates. Enjoy your journey to making money!