County Tax Sales Boast Bargains

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The Luzerne County Courthouse in Pennsylvania saw a surge of people armed with cash who were in search of properties at discount prices. At the time, there were more than eight hundred properties ready to be sold and one of those went, unbelievably, for just over seventeen hundred dollars.

The property that sold for little was a chunk of land in the Pennsylvanian mountains. This type of land is typically used for hunting and recreation and can go for significantly more on the general market.

However, there were several properties sold that were used for a variety of different purposes. The forty-seven that were actually scooped up by those buyers went for a total of $400, 739.27. That is an average price of just over eighty-five hundred dollars. Each bid started with the amount in liens owed by the original homeowner, which were taxes dating back to 2008 and, in several cases, prior years.

Originally, the sale was supposed to consist of more than three thousand properties, which was likely the reason for the vast amount of interest it received. However, property owners, in fear of losing their homes, were able to come up with their share of the owed taxes.

Northeast Revenue was responsible for the sale, and they received seven hundred sixty-six thousand dollars in back taxes on the day before the sale. This is a small amount compared to the amazing fourteen million collected by the company since it took over operation of the county office. This reduced the outstanding money owed by more than thirty-five percent. The outstanding debt before the sale still stood at a whopping twenty-four million dollars.

Despite the large amount still outstanding, sales like this are good for the county and the buyers. One such buyer was able to pick up a total of twenty-five properties for a total of one hundred seventy-two dollars. That is less than seven thousand dollars per property.

As for the properties that didn't sell, they will now be entered in a "free-and-clear" sale, where bidding starts at the total of legal and administrative fees. In such a sale, the buyer no longer assumes responsibility for the liens and outstanding debt. At such a sale, thirty-seven properties were sold for $187,860.75, or an average of $5,077 per property.

What is simply amazing about this process is the amount that investors can make by buying these properties. W-Cat, Inc, a company known for causing scandal, is said to have owed $35,900 in delinquent tax for properties, which are market valued at more than 1.2 million dollars. The company faces serious legal trouble, however, for government involvement, which including accepting kickbacks from its detention centers.

Tied to the same man is company, Big Kahuna Realty, which owns a property assessed at 1.2 million dollars. The company owes back taxes amounting to forty-one thousand dollars. Given these examples, it is clear to see how one can stand to make a tremendous amount via these investments, which is exactly the reason buyers always come armed and ready to buy.

Brent Crouch is the owner of Government Tax Sales. He has dedicated this site to providing a free state tax lien list.

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