So I get the following spam today:
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 20:06:09 +0800
To: email@example.com (that ain't me)
Subject: Secrets you aren't supposed to know!
Wealthy people and banks have been using these programs for decades to make 5, 10 or even 20 times more on their investments than the average investor.
Find out what they don't want you to know.
We have and we are willing to teach you! You can do this part-time, full time or big time.
We will supply you with EVERYTHING you need to make unlimited profits in this phenomenal market. We have taught thousands of individuals, just like yourself, how to tap into this phenomenal income stream. Many of our clients have QUIT THEIR JOBS and now work only for themselves!
If, and only if, you are ready to learn, motivated, and ready to invest in yourself, simply visit our site and find out more!
VISIT OUR SITE TODAY http://neo2.neotraffix.com/govseccert/
To be removed from future mailings, click below, and send mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=autoremove Please allow 72 hours for removal.
Okay, so occasionally I'll check out a spam, and using Lynx (no way am I going to even attempt looking at this site with IE) I view the site. To my surprise it's readable and it seems that the Big Secret is … Tax Liens! To learn even more, send some money to us and we'll send you this book yada yada yada.
Well, I think, if it's such a good idea, why sell the information on doing it? Why not keep it quiet and keep making money? Or, if you are feeling altruistic, give the information away.
Off to Google to research this. Of the few pages I read, I think I get the idea behind this: the owners of the property become late in paying taxes on said property, the local government (county or state) will then aution off the tax debt. The action is based on the interest rate, which starts at the highest rate the local government can charge for late taxes (one example was 14%) and then goes down. When you win the auction, you pay off the tax debt right there, and then get to collect the payments from the owners at the interest rate you won the auction at (that, at least, is one method—there are several more but they're variants on that).
But the big payoff is when the property owners default on the taxes—if that happens, you then own the property! Real estate, pennies on the dollars! Hype hype hype.
The idea seems solid, and the information you get is usually listings of when and where the auctions are being held, as well as some advice, but I did find this on Google which I doubt will make any of those books:
Infomercial makers and Internet hucksters are promoting investing in unpaid property tax bills as the latest road to wealth. Purportedly, buying so-called tax-lien certificates yields fat interest checks or even ownership of the distressed property.
What could be wrong with that?
For one, it doesn't work in California.
I just love Google.