You need to learn the following to get the business going:
1. What States to work in
2. Where to get the lists of people owed money due to overages
3. How to find the people who are owed money
4. What to say in your marketing to the people owed money
5. What paperwork to use
6. How to submit the claims for the money
This article covers the first steps and gives you important information to keep you on track. The most important information we give you is what states to work in and who to contact for the lists.
There is No Benefit to Working Your Own State!
DO NOT automatically assume your state is the place to start working. If your state is in the list that appears below, you could work your local county first if you wish. If not, then pick another place.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of taking on “busy work” such as running to the post office, running to the bank and doing other work that other people could do for you at low cost. Such busywork can make you feel “busy,” but it takes your time away from the critical tasks of orchestrating the efforts of others. The efforts of others can be leveraged and is how people do well without working constantly and how people get rich!
Doing Deals, Not “Staying Busy”
To make a good business, you need to work through other people and you need to avoid “running errands” which is what poor businesspeople do. Use the phone, email, post office and, most of all, the efforts of other people!
If you insist on doing the “errands” of the business you will be forced to work your local area. You will not be able to work in areas away from your locality. With that limitation in place you are unlikely to be working the best leads and will instead be very busy and not making nearly the money you can make. Resolve to act like a true businessperson and avoid errands and accomplish your work through the efforts of others.
I hope you now see that unless you live in a large county that has overages, you should likely explore other counties at least at the same time you’re working your own.
I firmly recommend you work only during times and in states where they do not limit what you can charge to help recover an overage. I set out the States and Timeframes in this guide (below). If you run into a time limitation, understand that there are plenty of other states to work in and plenty of overages to work–in fact new overages are being added across the U.S.A. every business day.
Don’t Fall For the “Finder’s Fee” Myth
A very common mistake is to read that there are limitations on finder’s fees and they then jump to the conclusion those limitations apply to overages from Tax Foreclosures.
Usually the conclusion is faulty because people don’t investigate thoroughly. They are reading about money left over from a lost bank account, or held by the state treasurer or that has been held for a long time and has been deemed “abandoned property.”
In most states there are NO finder’s fee limits on recent Tax Foreclosure overages. It is true that often you need to work within specific timeframes. Once the initial timeframe is past you can be subject to limitations on what you can charge. We have done the research for you to map out the Timeframes and the States you can work in.
Where to Start
Pick any of the states we recommend to work in.
We recommend working in one state and just going through all the counties in that State. That makes legal compliance easy (the compliance laws are state laws) and by the time you are finished all the counties in a state there will be more overages available in the counties you finished months ago.
There are a few considerations to guide your decision about which state to work in and which county to start in.
To be clear, you can work in any county within a state. Counties with higher populations will likely have more overages just because they have more tax sales. Thus higher-population counties are likely to have more overages.
That being said, go and get lists from any county within these states and you are likely to find overages to work. New ones are added every time there is a tax sale so it is a pond that is being restocked all the time!
TIP #1 – Work Tax Sale Overages
This is the easiest tip of all – just work tax sale overages – they’re easier to work than other types of claims you might make – such as mortgage foreclosure overages.
Mortgage foreclosure overages are more complex because you sometimes have to file a petition with a court to get the money (not too expensive but an extra step). So I recommend starting (and perhaps staying with) tax foreclosure overages.
Also, do not try to work lost bank accounts and other property that appears on state treasurer’s websites. Those are a waste of time. They are very often subject to finder’s fee limits and a prospective customer for you can easily find them on the internet.
TIP #2 – Finder Fee Limits DO NOT APPLY While the County Holds the Funds
You may come across information that says there are limits to what you can charge for helping recover an overage.
It is very common for people to stop analyzing the laws there, assume they cannot do the business and quit! Good for those of us who stick with it, but since you are one of “our people,” we do not want you to quit and miss out on this great business opportunity!
Finder’s fees limitations, if they exist at all on tax foreclosure overages, almost always apply ONLY after the funds have been with the county for an extended time period such that the state labels the funds “Abandoned” or “Lost” property.
We have done the research so you can know what to work on where there is NO limit on your fees. In Tip #3 I give you the information you need to work on the overages when there are no limits on what you can charge.
TIP #3 – Work THESE States – During These Times
If you work the States listed below within the indicated timeframes you will not be subject to limits on your “Finders Fees.”
So do the smart thing – work these states – and remember that every month new overages are added around the country, so you can do this month, after month, after month!
Timeframes when there are NO Finder’s Fee Limitations by State
|States||Timeframe When No Finder Fee Limits Apply||Who to Get List From|
|State 1||Sales that have occurred within the past 6 months||City or Borough Tax Collector (they may both be holding overages so apply to both)|
|State 2||Sales that have occurred within the past 3 years||County Treasurer|
|State 3||Any Sale that has ever occurred – no time limit||Tax Collector|
|State 4||1 year after the tax foreclosure sale||County Treasurer or Collector of Taxes|
|State 5||Sales that occurred within the past 5 years. Not that lienholders (i.e. mortgages) are paid out from the overages before the former owner.||Tax Commissioner|
|State 6||Sales that have occurred within the past 1 year||County Tax Collector or Treasurer|
|State 7||Sales that occurred at least 60 days ago up to 3 years and 60 days ago||Treasurer|
|State 8||Sales that occurred within the past 1 year||Local tax collectors or Constables|
|State 9||Overages are created after tax lien is foreclosed and deed issued. This happens after a lien is sold and foreclosed upon. Lienholder can foreclose after holding the lien 6 months. Work overages that have been on hand and available at least 24 months but less than 3 years (dates will vary depending upon when the lien was foreclosed).||Local Tax Collector or Constable|
|State 10||Sales that occurred within the past 3 years||Local Tax Collector|
|State 11||Funds that have been on hand less than 2 years. Funds are “on hand” starting two years after the tax lien sale so you end up working overages from sales at least 2 years ago and no more than 4 years ago.||Treasurer|
|State 12||Overages that been on hand for 3 years or less (from Tax Deed sales)||Auditor or Treasurer|
|State 13||Sales that occurred within past 5 years, but overage must be at least two years old.||County treasurer|
|State 14||At least 12 months but no more than 5 years from the time of the sale||Local tax collector|
|State 15||Any overages on hand from sales that occurred at least 24 months ago but no more than 5 years ago||County Treasurer|
|State 16||1 year from time of tax deed sale||County Treasurer|
|State 17||1 year from the time overage becomes available (Overages become available approximately 1 year after the tax sale)||County Tax Collector or Treasurer|
|State 18||1 Year from the date of the sale||County Treasurer or County Auditor|
We DO NOT Recommend working in any other states. We do not recommend these states because there is some challenge-they limit finder’s fees from as soon as they hold the funds or there is some other issue. Since you will make all these requests for lists without leaving home, it doesn’t matter if you work your own state or one far away!
Join me for an upcoming webinar to discuss which states these are and more about how you can get started in the overages business.
Webinar Date: November 20, 2014
Webinar Time: 12:00pm EST
(9:00am PST, 10:00am MST, 11:00am CST)
Webinar Date: November 20, 2014
Webinar Time: 9:00pm EST
(6:00pm PST, 7:00pm MST, 8:00pm CST)