Buying Tax Liens on Properties in Long Island NY ?

Ok I need some help here from the tax lien pro’s…My wife and I were house hunting today in LI NY…I couldnt help but think about business while we were checking out these homes…After doing a little research on the Nassau County website I found out that investors are allowed to purchase tax liens at the Feb 15-18th,2011 tax sale…My questions are many so I will post them and anyone that can help I appreciate it…

  1. How long can a person NOT pay their taxes until the house goes into foreclosure?
  2. It says that every 6 months there is an allowable %10 interest penalty allowed to be added to each lien…So is it fair to say that over 6 months is %20?
    3.Anyone have references of LI attorneys working with investors buying tax liens in Nassau County

The area Im concentrating on is Mill Neck,Matinecock,Upper Brookville,Muttontown,Brookville…The reason why, these areas are considered Gold Coast and extremely affluent areas…Yet they have been hit pretty hard from the downturn on Wall Street’s job market and Hedge Fund industry…In this relatively small geographic area there are something like 600 homes for sale…And the median tax bill per home is like $25,000-$30,000 per home per year…The homes are typically around 1.2-4.0 range…I just figured there has to be a good portion or atleast a small portion of the 600 homes on the market in arrears with these high property taxes…I’m assuming that most investors would be more interested in the free and clear homes tax liens vs the homes that are upside down or mortgaged up high…Any advice would be helpful and I have the number to call tomorrow but I doubt the tax office will answer all of my questions…ty for any responses…

Notice To Tax Lien Purchasers
The following amendments to the Nassau County Administrative Code have taken affect with the February 2001 tax sale.

Sec. 5-44.0 of the NC Administrative Code requires the charging of a $100.00 per day registration fee for each person who intends to bid at the tax lien sale.

Sec. 5-39.0(b) “For tax liens purchased in 2001 & thereafter, the rate of interest payable by the property owner…shall be the maximum rate as set forth in section 5.40.0.” That section states that the maximum interest & penalties which a tax lien may carry is 10% of the purchase price for each 6 month period starting with the date of tax sale through the end of the 24th month.
The portion of the 10% interest for each lien sold that is owed to Nassau County will be called the “Differential Lien.” The “Differential Lien” will be included in all redemption payments.

The “Differential Lien” must be paid separately to Nassau County 1) by the Tax Sale Buyer as part of his tax deed application or 2) by the property owners when a Tax Sale Buyer surrenders his lien for cancellation.

Purchase of Lien:

The lien you have purchased must be fully paid for within thirty days of the date of the lien sale. You will be notified by the County Treasurer’s Office by regular first class mail within 10 days of the due date. Failure to pay the ninety percent when due will result in automatic loss of the lien plus your total down payment, which consists of the required ten percent down payment (rounded up to the nearest dollar) together with any additional sum provided with that required down payment. Requests for extensions of time to pay the ninety- percent balance will not be considered.


All liens purchased at the 2008 sale may be redeemed by the property owner or interested party at any time prior to either the Treasurer’s issuance of a tax deed or the commencement of a foreclosure action in court. Neither of these events can occur before February 17, 2011 at the earliest. All redemption payments will be charged the total interest rate due at the time of payment. The County Treasurer will pay you the appropriate interest for your lien paid by the property owner or interested party. The interest collected will be in accordance with the provisions of the Nassau County Administrative Code which call for the same rate as bid at sale for the first twenty-four month period calculated at six-month intervals beginning February 17, 2009. In cases of one-year hardship extensions, interest on the lien for the 25th month through the 36th month will be at five percent per six-month period of time.

Notice to Redeem

When serving Notices to Redeem, the Office of the County Treasurer will insist on strict compliance with all applicable sections of the Nassau County Administrative Code. Copies of the Code and the recent amendments thereto, are available at the Office of the Clerk of the County Legislature, located on the first floor of the County Executive Building, One West Street, Mineola, New York.

Okay, I am sure not that expert you are looking for. But I am trying to unravel your Nassau County tax lien rules–

So if you find a $2 mill. house with $90,000 in unpaid taxes–
$30K/year 2008
$30/2010. The owner can redeem the tax lien by paying the tax, penalties and interest up until Feb. 2011.

You pay $100/day to bid at the sale. Let’s say you bid $90K, get an acceptance, and pay 10% cash of $9K and the balance with 30 days. You will also pay a 10% Differential Tax Lien. So you could potentially get that house for around $100K?

Are the other liens–State and city taxes, IRS, contractors’ liens, mortgages wiped out at the tax sale?

What’s interesting is that an owner with a $2 million house that he can no longer afford is probably going to act just like an owner with a defaulting $200,000 mortgage–he’s just going to walk. It’s a matter of scale; human behavior will be the same.

Thanks for sharing, please educate us as you figure it out. Don’t worry, I won’t be coming out there to outbid you. I am busy with my $27,000 'lil house here.


slammed with stuff right now…about the best I can do:


QUESTIONS? Because of the volume of questions, Mr. Loftis can only handle questions from existing clients or prospective clients.


Furnished Owner
I will keep the forum updated as I progress through my research…I called my business litigation attorney and was scolded…He said “do you ever rest”?..He said he has someone in mind that I can speak to…Its worth it to look into especially being the nature of the area…Awesome homes but hard hit by the recession…Many people living above their means and many that are house rich and cash poor…I will be calling the tax office tomorrow and arranging to purchase the list…Nassau County is decently large in size but I’m only interested in possibly 6 affluent areas…


When I get home I will check out the link…tia…

at the very least…if you’ve never read one of his books…I’d get the 2nd edition of this one…which came out in November of 2007:

nice area…Mill Neck…best of luck.

as a side note…maybe you have a workable window, (between now and February), where you can deal direct with the homeowner(s) on your terms…(skin and bones of one on one could be more lucrative than the horse race of an auction)…just a thought…


In the State I live in tax sale properties are a gold mine for me. First, they allow me a LOOK at the weaker hands out there. In most states these properties a listed on county web sites MONTHS before the sale takes place. I make it a point to contact the listed owners and politely ask if they would like me to pay off their debt and BUY the home at the same time. I JUST purchased an ocean front home from a woman listed on a tax sale schedule. She owed NOTHING on this home but the $6000 in back taxes.

As far as buying the tax liens (which is what you are doing at a tax sale) this can be VERY LUCRATIVE, it just takes TIME to get clear title because the home owner is allowed, in some states, YEARS to pay the back taxes (with INTEREST) to the high bidder.

The best thing you can do is talk to a local attorney that knows the local process.
The BEST introduction you can get is from your CURRENT real estate attorney. I would simply stop buy the local town halls the properties you’re looking at are in and ASK the employees there what attorneys handle tax sales in that area. THEN…Have your attorney make the phone call and the introduction. The advantage in doing it this way is…Your attorney can explain your business plan, your PAYMENT history to his firm. Whenever I deal with a new attorney, in say an out of my state transaction, I ALWAYS have my attorney call and make the introduction. LAWYERS spend a LOT of time chasing DEAD BEAT, non paying, or SLOW paying clients…Whenever a new client walks in the door that attorney wonders if the work he will be doing will be worth his effort. If he receives a call from ANOTHER attorney that explains what a VALUED CLIENT you are and how QUICKLY you pay your bills…You get that attorneys attention, you get GREAT SERVICE, and you get excellent pricing.

I JUST purchased an ocean front home from a woman listed on a tax sale schedule. She owed NOTHING on this home but the $6000 in back taxes.

was wondering how you found that oceanfront one…

as usual…great work…and great advice.


Great advice…I always have my attorney do my contacting with other attorneys…Its amazing the different level of communication an attorney gets…I have 2 closings and one payoff coming in on a loan to take care of this week but I will be following up…I was surprised that Nassau County allows tax liens to be bought because in the 5 boroughs of NY the business is closed off to investors…And even if I have to sit on these liens for multiple years is not a big deal…I look it as buying an option on the house…Whats the worst case scenario?..I either make %10 per every 6 months on my money or get the option to foreclose (which Im well aware is not reality)…Truth being alot of these homes are NOT selling because of lack of funding and the high taxes in the area… Certain homes have been marked down numerous times…One particular home listed on 12 Serenite Lane (Muttontown) belongs to singer Alicia Keys and she has marked down the house from $4mill to $3.25 in one year…And the house isnt worth a $ over $2.6…With taxes of 35k a year…

I had my attorney speak with this larry loftis guy…Oddly enough my attorney’s office is less than 2 miles from this guy’s…Anyhoo…Tax liens may be a decent part of my portfolio…They typically are yielding between %7- %10 now and may not be as porfitable as HM but still a solid addition to my portfolio…Mr.Loftis was articulate and took his time to explain in great detail all the aspects of the business…ty for the lead…

glad to hear it…

btw…thanks again for the pdf.

I called my business litigation attorney and was scolded...He said "do you ever rest"?

know the feeling well…can’t even sit through a nice meal, (chiles rellenos de queso, tecate y mariachi en vivo), without having to ask the waiter for a slip of paper from his ordering pad:


btw…thanks again for the pdf

You mean the pdf rental agreement I emailed you from my imaginary rental units…LOL…Anytime…You know I will help out anytime I can…As you have always done for me…One hand washes the other… :beer

Funny you said that…Just the other day I was eating and asked the waiter for his pen to starting jotting down numbers during a meal with one of my business brokers…

Hey guys,

I was trying to find out more information on tax lien auctions and found this forum. I currently live on Long Island, but I’m having a lot of trouble finding out when auctions are taking place and where they are taking place. I was able to find out that the nassau county auction takes place in February, but I am having trouble finding auctions in other places, especially since I want to find an auction to go to this summer. If you guys could please let me know how to get a hold of when and where these auctions take place and any other advice you can give for someone who has never even been to one, I would greatly appreciate it. Please let me know if having only around $4,000 worth of investing money (as I am only 20) is ok. Thank you again for your time(s). - Jonathan