What is DeedGrabbing?

My specialty!

We like to pay extra-close attention to the properties that are months, weeks, even days away from being lost to back taxes.

This might mean that a tax deed auction is coming up soon and the property is on the tax deed list. Or maybe a tax lien was sold against the property years ago, and now the tax lien investor is foreclosing.

In some states the counties themselves foreclose the property and become the sole owner without an auction of any kind! It doesn't matter how the the system works though, because no matter how it's set up, there's always a "drop dead date" where the current owner will lose the property permanently.

When it's down to a matter of weeks or days until an owner's "drop-dead-date", you will find that the owners have often completely given up on the property - they'll let you have it for just a few bucks to make it worth their time signing it over to you! Why would they do this?

Procrastination. Inheritance. Total Frustration with the Property. Relatives Living in the Property. Laziness. Stupidity.

Often some combination of the above. Even though just a small percentage of the property's value is owed in taxes, the owner cannot come up with the cash (or refuses to pay the taxes any longer), and they've written off the property in their own mind.

You'll be equipped to resell the property immediately, before the tax deadline, and make a nice profit. Or, if you choose, you can redeem the property with your own money and keep it!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie May 26, 2011 at 4:53 am

I have registered with your site using my email address and I have not received any response from your site. I don't know if I am registered or if I have just wasted my time.

I have re-registered hoping for a response.

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admin May 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

I emailed you personally. I assume you're looking to attend our webinar tonight?

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Paul M. July 19, 2011 at 4:26 am

With any new investing strategy, I'm always interested in what the "take up rate" is ... how many people nationwide are ACTIVELY involved in deed grabbing?

Part of the reason for my question is that I don't see too much posting activity on this site, which leads me to think ...

a. are there very few people actually deed grabbing?

OR

b. are people very busy deed grabbing but are keeping quiet about it for competitive reasons?

I'd be interested in any feedback.

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Rick Dawson July 19, 2011 at 4:40 am

Paul,

Not sure how many people nationwide are actively involved. Plus there is no "right" answer to that question - if a lot of people are doing it, people will say it's too competitive. If hardly anyone is doing it, people will say it doesn't work.

Then some people will get out and do it, and make money.

One reason there aren't many comments is that we just changed the site format over, to allow comments about 2 weeks ago. If we'd had this system in place all 3 years the site has been up, I'm sure there would be hundreds of comments for each post.

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Steve Lamb August 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm

just curious - is anyone picking up properties regularly or is a successful deed grab just an occasional windfall.

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Rick Dawson August 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

It depends how dedicated you are. To get consistent properties, you must constantly work sales and possibly be flexible about working outside your area. We got properties regularly from Florida when times were slow here, in Indiana.

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Steve Lamb August 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

but how are your students doing?

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Steve August 22, 2011 at 1:11 am

I did not get my email conformation tonight. I registered again and hope I get to here the webinar another night.

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Rick Dawson August 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Please check your spam folder - sometimes our emails go there!

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Stephen September 29, 2011 at 2:56 am

Rick,sounds very ingenious and a way to build quick cash in any market. Great job thnking it thru. I noticed the comments above are dated in August, and it is nearly October. Curious as to this site activity? I`ve either stumbled upon the beginning of something very new, great timing, novel,and "ingenious" of which the "public" does not know much about...or it is too good to be true and the folks are recognizing it as such.
I am leaning toward ingenious and timely. So, bottom line, and without beating around the bush...what is the total cost of your training material and do you provide mentoring/coaching thru some deals. I`ve got several cash investors too and am ready to test run the buggy.
Do you know of any one implementing this stratagy in California.
P.s. was listening to tonights webcast and unfortunatly ended mid way thru??? look forward to hearing more, and pedal to the metal.
SS

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Rick Dawson October 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

We've actually been around for over 3 years - but just changed the site over to allow comments, that's part of the reason why you're not seeing much.

It's not too good to be true, it's simply a strategy that works when it's applied. I make no claims that you can push a button and money starts coming out, it's a way to get in front of owners whose property is often free and clear, yet they're in a foreclosure situation.

People are implementing this in most states, and I know of nowhere that it won't work. Everything you need to succeed is found in my ebook. You may want to upgrade to get several hours of our conference calls and legal forms. We don't offer mentoring and coaching because everything is laid out step-by-step in the material and we're available for email questions.

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Paul October 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Rick,

I’m just starting to get my delinquent lists in, but feel I may be asking for the wrong thing ... I’m getting TOO MUCH data, in a very unhelpful format!

I contacted several counties in Texas and they told me they had the delinquent files available, so I purchased several, at prices ranging from about $5 to $40.

What I got was every delinquency from about “day 1” (e.g. 1974!), in raw format. They were literally very large data files in “flat format” (i.e. NO formatting or field separation), with a record format/spec sheet for each file. There was no name, address or property information. To get that, you also have to get the master tax roll table, then cross-reference to it via the account number!!!

(Also, the Texas counties say, upfront, that they do not provide any IT help with processing their data. You are literally on your own).

As a long-term IT guy (I started programming on mainframes back in 1972) and someone who does data formatting and data conversion for a living, the format makes perfect sense to ME, but I can see where this would be a monumental task for someone that does not have my skill-sets.

I will be writing up a separate posting on data formats, how to process, etc., but I’m just wondering if what I am receiving is the “typical” delinquent tax list (aka “TRW file”) that others are getting from their counties.

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Rick Dawson October 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Yes, you often receive the files in that format with 200,000 listings, etc.

Unlike your experience (including the files I've gotten from Texas), I have always received full property information with my file.

Usually I could identify that a column that had some kind of "paid" indicator in it, sort by that column and delete those records, and very quickly I was down to a manageable size of only delinquent records from the recent past.

That would be super if you could post your technique to handle the complicated files, for anyone who runs across that.

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Paul M. October 4, 2011 at 4:41 am

I’m starting to get my delinquent lists in, but feel I may be asking for the wrong thing, as I’m getting too much data, in very unhelpful formats …

I contacted several counties in Texas and they told me they had the delinquent lists available, so I purchased several, at prices ranging from about $5 to $40.

What I got was every delinquency from about “day 1” (e.g. 1974!), in raw format. They were very large data files in “flat format” … no formatting or field separation … with a record format/spec sheet for each file.

Also, it’s broken down … for each delinquency, there is a separate record for EACH taxing entity (school district, hospital, county, etc.), for EACH year of delinquency!

Finally, there is no owner name/mailing address or property information, whatsoever. That, I would have to look up on each county’s website, using the account number.

Is this what you typically get when asking for the delinquent taxpayer "list"?

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Rick Dawson October 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

No, I usually get a pretty complete file. I think you could sort by taxing authority and just choose one of them to keep. It would still indicate delinquency. And you could probably delete all those records more than a few years old.

Again, I don't usually have to do this. But a couple other solutions you could use:

1. If you're getting a consistent, though hard-to-use file format, get an Excel Macro written for you on elance.com or odesk.com. Describe to the programmer what you want to end up with after a file is processed, and they will program an automated routine that will do it all for you with the touch of a button. This is mostly useful if you're repeatedly having to process the same format of complicated file.

2. For property lookups, you could try a service like mozenda.com or once again have someone on elance or odesk write a script that will take the parcel number and look up the owner info, etc. that you want.

None of these solutions are perfect, or free, but do you think anyone else out there is going through the trouble? I highly doubt it. So it's actually a good thing when you think about it.

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Paul M. October 6, 2011 at 1:00 am

[Apologies … my two posts above were actually duplicates … the first post kept disappearing, so I rewrote it!]

200,000 delinquent records from one county, Rick? How about over 1,700,000? That’s exactly what I got on one of my lists, which included receivable entries for bounced check fees!

Rick … you must obviously be using charm to get your lists … else, I’m just asking for the wrong thing!

However, as this is probably a common scenario throughout the US, here is what I did with one county’s data …

[As background, their data showed the delinquent amounts broken out by each account number, by each delinquency year, by each taxing entity (school district, hospital, county, etc.). It was a very long list … over 1,700,000 records!]

After an email exchange with an IT person, I was able to clarify exactly what I was seeing and from that, delete out the junk, eliminate unnecessary [data] columns … and correct some errors.

After creating a new subtotal (aka sub-summary) file/table on just the CAD account number and delinquency year, I now had just one record for each discrete taxpayer and year. Therefore, the individual breakouts/amounts by taxing entity had now been aggregated. So, this new table was much smaller and much faster to process!

From this, using the master tax roll table (which I had already downloaded free from the Central Appraisal District [CAD] website), I was able to cross-reference on account number to obtain actual property information, along with owner names and addresses!

Now ... I can make my mailing selections!

Phew!

What did I learn from the above exercise? …

1.Some counties are still pulling their delinquent taxpayer data from older mainframe or minicomputers. Therefore, the data is often in a raw, “flat”, unfriendly format (… but not always … some counties do format it into an Excel worksheet, which is much easier to deal with).

[Caveat: Excel 2007 and later versions can accommodate over 1,000,000 records (“rows”), but earlier Excel versions are limited to approx. 65,000 records. This means that you may not be able to hold everything in one worksheet].

2. The counties I got my lists from did not provide IT help with converting data, but they would answer specific questions ( … e.g. “what is this field used for?”)

3. You will find a lot of junk data in records!

4. Some counties have their master tax roll available free of charge on the CAD site, but the tax office charges for the very same data … or vice versa! (I am finding that in North Texas, it runs about $40, if supplied on CD-ROM).

Therefore, always check both the CAD site and the tax office site for any county you are working, before you shell out any money! (They use the same account number to reference a property, so you will not have an issue matching data obtained from two different offices).

5. The master tax roll … that’s the master list of every discrete property/address within a county … is huge, with lots of data fields and many records. You can often download it (in zipped format) from their website, but you’d need a very fast Internet connection!)

Also, the master roll may actually be split into several different tables … owner name/mailing address … property address … etc., for processing efficiency. Every county is different.

6. The master tax roll will include a field that indicates the type of property … house, apt unit/multi-family, mobile home, commercial premises, vacant land, etc. You can really shorten the file down, using this code. (Each county will have a separate list of each code and its meaning).

7. If you cannot get/pay for help from the county, you are going to need knowledge of MS Access or another program OR hire help (as Rick mentioned above), in order to cross-reference the tables and to generate your final mailing selections.

8. The name and address information supplied is often not in a very pretty format for creating letters or mailing labels. Expect to do some editing when you have whittled down your selections. As an example, the name might be held as “DAWSON RICK” or even split over two lines (… e.g. for joint husband and wife ownership).

9. Keep your final mailing selection table and expand it … either in Excel or export to a Contact Manager program. Add new fields for what you want to track … date last mailed, follow-up date, etc. and this will enable you to keep tabs on everyone … where they are at, your notes, etc.

Hope this helps!

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Rick Dawson October 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Wow! Awesome tutorial for anyone getting some of those large, hard-to-manage lists.

As I said, this is not the norm, though it's fairly common. If you have to go through all this to process a list for mailing, you know you'll be the only one in the county doing it!

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luis January 30, 2012 at 5:13 am

You say go talk to the owner before he goes deliquent but his not the state he can sell me his propety. If he still owes the bank right. The state could

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Rick Dawson January 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Looks like you got cut off there. But I think I know where you were going. The owner can sell you his property whether or not he has a mortgage on it. However, unless that mortgage is very small in relation to the property value, I would steer clear of properties that have mortgages on them. Most properties that get close to the tax foreclosure or sale do not have mortgages or the bank would have paid them off already.

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Theresa January 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hello Rick, I am exicited about this program, I recieved a wealth of info attending the seminar and downloaded the Underground Strategy ebook.
My question, will I have access to the buyers data base if, I was to purchase the Deedgrabber Ebook? And get the info I need to connect sellers with the buyers. For I am not able to purchase your entire package at this time. But willing to work until I am able to purchase.

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Rick Dawson January 5, 2013 at 12:00 am

The buyer's database is purchased from an outside company regardless of which program you buy and is very inexpensive.

You can try listsource.com

You then need to send postcards/emails to them and either make a phone list of them or offer them any deals you have tied up.

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Theresa January 5, 2013 at 12:52 am

Hello again, Thank you for sharing. Oh, by the way, I just purchased your Deedgrabber ebook. Looking forward to a new adventure in RealEstate with the knowledge you to offer; I believe I will make the money my family needs and be able to purchase a home.
Thanks for answering my question in timely manner!

Many blessings to you and your family,

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De Strothers June 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Rick, I have been a skip tracer and genealogist for years. My motto is I find em dead or alive. I am interested in what you do. I have a fair understanding of tax sales and how they work. I think I understand what you do and maybe we could help each other.

Diane

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Rand Sturdy January 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Hi:
I am frustrated. I have entered my e-mail address on the space for getting the book: Deed Grabber's Underground Tax Sale Strategies Insider's Guide and e-mail course. I get a pop-up message to leave a valid e-mail address.
My valid e-mail address is: steadyr7@gmail.com I would like to receive the book and get on the mailing list for the Deed Grabber Tax Sale Newsletter.
Please help me get started. Thank you very much. Rand Sturdy E-mail: steadyr7@gmail.com

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Rick Dawson January 8, 2014 at 1:03 am

It worked for me when I entered it - so you should be all set.

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