Tax lien certificates (TLCs) are a unique type of investment sold by counties through auctions in the United States of America. TLCs are secured by the real estate, but give you no immediate rights of ownership in the property. They’re a way for you to earn very high interest that’s guaranteed by the county. What’s unique about TLCs is that your investment can be very small – because it corresponds to the taxes that you’re paying off.

When property owners fall behind on their property taxes, the law allows counties to sell certificates that cover the particular year’s delinquent taxes. In return, the person buying that certificate earns interest.

Each state has its own interest rate, according to law. Florida and New Jersey pay 18%, Illinois pays up to 36%; Louisiana and Kentucky pay 12%, and Colorado 9%.

That said, there are some conditions that alter those rates – except when you buy what’s called ‘struck-off’ or ‘overt-the-counter’ liens.


‘Over-the-counter’ liens are the main subject of our upcoming book. A follow-up from the Canadian tax sales book, this book, on TLCs,  will show you yet another alternative way of earning part-time income even with very limited funds.

To be one of the first 200 people to get an e-book at 25% discount, send an email expressing your interest and we’ll let you know once the book is available.

  Tax lien certificates
 paid 18% a year on these lots in Ocala, Florida.

North Ocala lot obtained through tax certificate