About Government Tax Lien Network

Published on: Mar 26, 2015

Government Tax Lien Network claims to help you earn a government-guaranteed 16% – 50% return on your money, and to teach you how to buy real estate for pennies on the dollar, by investing in tax liens.

According to Government Tax Lien Network, their team of experts can help you achieve financial independence and security by teaching you the same techniques used by “sophisticated investors, banks, and high net worth individuals for over 150 years.” This includes showing you how to find good deals, what properties to buy, and where.

Government Tax Lien Network claims that their members also have access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of tax liens, properties, and insider information. In fact, GTLN guarantees that you’ll have the opportunity to buy a property within 7 days of signing up.

But when it comes down to it, are Government Tax Lien Network’s claims based in reality, or are they simply too good to be true? Consider the following:

What is a Tax Lien?

A tax lien “is a lien imposed by law upon a property to secure the payment of taxes. A tax lien may be imposed for delinquent taxes owed on real property or personal property, or as a result of failure to pay income taxes or other taxes.”

Here’s a brief example of how a tax lien works: Let’s say you are delinquent on your $10K county taxes for one reason or another, which are funds that the municipality requires in order to fund infrastructure (road, highways, sewage, etc.), schools, fire and police employees, and many other types of public services.

Eventually, the county will sell your $10K delinquency to an investor in order to recoup their money, who, according to the Tax Lien Network’s promotional video, will earn a guaranteed return on their investment of anywhere between 16% and 50%, depending on the state in which you live.

Then, if you eventually pay your $10K in taxes, the county will write a check to the investor for the original investment amount, plus the interest that’s been paid as a penalty by you. On the other hand, if you never pay your taxes, then the house becomes the investor’s, free and clear.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But are tax liens really a solid investment option? Let’s find out.

Are Tax Liens Good Investments?

Potential Benefits of Tax Liens

As stated in the Government Tax Lien Network’s promotional video, the interest rates for tax liens can go as high as 50%, depending on the state in which you live (although Investopedia claims interest rates only go as high as 36%). As such, you stand to make a decent chunk of change while holding the lien (we’ll talk more about this in the next section).

In addition, if the property owner is unable to repay the lien, the investor has the ability to foreclose on the home, which means that they have the potential to gain real estate at pennies on the dollar.

Potential Pitfalls of Tax Liens

First, according to a 2012 article in Forbes, “Twenty-eight states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow those liens to be sold to private investors.” In other words, not all 50 states offer tax liens as alluded to in the Government Tax Lien Network’s promotional video. As such, if you don’t reside in one of these states, it will be much more difficult to invest in tax liens.

Next, despite GTLN’s “guaranteed” interest rates of 16% to 50%, the article states that “After all expenses are figured in, individual investors typically earn 4% to 7% a year, and 99% of sold liens are redeemed by the property owners, says National Tax Lien Association Executive Director Brad Westover.” This means that, not only are the returns much lower, but if you’re expecting to get a “free” property out of the deal, it appears that this rarely occurs.

In fact, even in instances where the homeowner is unable to pay back taxes, they may be able to have them waived by filing for bankruptcy. If this occurs, you as the investor will basically be holding a worthless lien, and will have lost your investment capital.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to bid on liens you’re interested in purchasing. And often times, investors (who are often made up of big investors) will bid more than the amount of the lien itself, which can cut deeply into your overall return on investment. You’ll also need a decent amount of capital to begin, and it could be years before you see this money again (assuming you make money on the investment at all).

Are There Other Tax Lien Companies Out There?

Next, keep in mind that there are dozens upon dozens of tax lien companies similar (or nearly identical) to Government Tax Lien Network, so it’s important that you research all your available options before making a decision.

And because the Government Tax Lien Network website doesn’t provide detailed information about the information their team provides to its investors, or how this is different than the competition, there’s no way to discern how well they stack up.

GTLN’s “Opportunity to Buy”

Finally, although Government Tax Lien Network claims to guarantee that you’ll have the chance to buy a property within 7 days, this doesn’t mean that the property will necessarily provide a solid return on investment, or even that you won’t be outbid by another investor.

In other words, in the instance of tax liens, “opportunity” does not necessarily translate into “wise investment.”

Are Investors Making Money with Government Tax Lien Network?

Overall, the only online review available for the Government Tax Lien Network at the time of our research was on BiggerPockets, where several members claimed that you can get much of the same information for free by searching online, reading books, and even speaking directly with clerks at the county assessor’s office. They also noted that many of these types of companies tend to downplay the risks associated with tax liens and overplay the potential benefits, and that it’s a high-stakes transaction not suitable for inexperienced investors.

Unfortunately, neither Government Tax Lien Network or its subsidiary, Real Estate Workshops, are listed with the Better Business Bureau.

Can the Government Tax Lien Network Help You Make Money?

Chopping to the Point: Considering that investing in tax liens comes with a huge amount of risk, you’ll need to learn as much about the process as possible before handing over your money, especially if you’re new to the industry.

Once you’re sufficiently knowledgeable though, Government Tax Lien Network provides some information about how their system works or what sets them apart from the competition.

Because of this, you’ll definitely want to research all your tax lien options before making a final decision.

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8 Customer Reviews for Government Tax Lien Network

Average Customer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 1 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  6
Bottom Line: 25% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-8 of 8
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  • 8 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it

    I went to the two-hour presentation in our area recently. I would not consider this presentation educational, but an enticement to get you to pay $799 for the next 3-day course.

    About half of the info was false. It's easy to do it in Texas as we are a DEED state, not a LIEN state. There is a difference. Presenter Sherman said he had bought several liens in Texas online recently, but that's impossible as no county currently sells online here in Texas. He often mixed up the terms lien and deed, which are entirely different. There was plenty of additional misinformation such as the amount of REO sales and discounts for them. Additional statistics show he is not in the market in our area.

    He kept promoting that he is filming a TV show and needed success stories, but I've seen online that he was telling this same story a year or so ago in other places. Not sure if it is true or not or wishful thinking.

    I did like that he said it is not easy and you have to work. Rarely do you hear that at other seminars.

    I seemed to be one of the few who did not rush back to the table to sign up. I feel sorry for those folks. Hopefully, they learn something and are not easily scammed out of their money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 8 people found this review helpful

    False

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Mar 31, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I attended Andy Sherman's GTLN presentation. Just about everything he said was false. He is filming a 16-episode syndicated reality show of successful GTLN participants. He said REO investments are 56 cents on the dollar (not even close in today's Dallas market). He said GTLN will "give you hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest" several times, with no credit checks. And regarding the dinner to be provided, the hotel charges $40 for crackers and water, so he handed out $20 Omni Visa card.

    I did not flock to give my credit card to his teammates.

    It's surprising how many people are so gullible and do not verify or validate what the professional BS'er says.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Total scam, do not waste your money!

    The two people I personally dealt with were Greg Fisher (1-877-901-1167 ext 405) and Erin Darby (1-877-901-1167 ext 409).

    During the short two hour presentation for which they demonstrated their software, it appeared to be amazing, and a one-stop place where you could go to buy over the counter tax liens. They also stated that most people buy the software just because the Government Tax Lien network pays for all of the counties OTC Tax Lien CDs, which in some counties costs $200.00.

    However, once they got their money, and I logged in, it turned out to be a total sham. The over-the-counter CDs were nonexistent, and when I called the company, they said that the software was a demo.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (1)
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    • May 31, 2017

      GTLN Support Staff, Account Manager

      Hi Joanne, I don't know who you spoke with, but the software is definitively not a demo. You are more than welcome to call our office and someone can show you how to access the OTC's.

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  • 9 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Didn't learn more than I already knew

    • Orlando, Florida,
    • Jan 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I went to the two-hour presentation and just like any other "sales" presentation, Jay was well versed on tax liens and didn't PUSH the three-day seminar. I personally didn't learn anything I haven't read about online, but I will say the software they own is VERY helpful, but I'm not sure if I wanted to do a three-day seminar for $697 to gain lifetime access to the software.

    Their software breakdown gave you all the current country's selling tax liens, updated weekly, and gave you direct links to the county tax office and a one click buy option after you did the research, which included a Google link to the property, and a link to the county's property assessor's office. I would pay a monthly fee for that if that was an option!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Buyers Beware

    • Richmond Hill, Ontario,
    • Aug 17, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently attended the 1 day seminar to learn about the program. The speaker came across very polished with an impressive visual presentation. Most of the people in the audience were seniors and I could tell based on their participation, who will sign up. The $800 (for 2 people) registration for the 3 day course attracted a lot of people.

    Yes they served the meal in a lunch box. Nothing fancy. Research, research, research.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 31 out 35 people found this review helpful

    Total scam

    • Florida,
    • Jun 24, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Like the others who wrote, they are total scam artists. We were lied to at the event and told we had to sign-up on the spot or the price would double. We already knew we couldn't attend the April 8th date they were talking about, but they said there were a lot of other dates for future training to pick from and that someone from their office would call us on Monday. Monday came and went and when we received no phone call we started to research and found how many people have been scammed.

    We requested a refund within the 3-days and they won't refund. Like others say, the credit card companies won't help and this company could care about any BBB rating. They even lied about the 'lunch' it was not a hot meal but as others said a stupid boxed lunch. They can't help but lie, they lie about everything! Keep your credit card to yourself. Who is interested in a class action suit here?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (3)
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    • Jan 18, 2017

      Narayan Sardesai

      I received the printed invitation in the mail. I attended one presentation by Real Estate Workshops, LLC. This company was promising free smart watch and two DVDs, just for attending the sales event. While listening to the presentation, I smelled a rat so to speak and surmised that this must be a scam.

      I did not sign up, thank God, but I was waiting to receive the watch and low and behold, the watch never showed up. This convinced me more that this was a scam and I was not getting involved it. Folks, please be aware of these scammers and don't be their victim. Save your precious money.

    • Mar 2, 2017

      Joanne Lehman

      I am for a class action lawsuit!

      Thanks, Joanne.

    • May 31, 2017

      GTLN Support Staff, Account Manager

      Hi Laura,

      If you requested a refund in a timely manner, we are more than happy to get that taken care of for you. Please call our office as soon as you can so we can look into that for you.

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  • 26 out 34 people found this review helpful

    Good info

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Dec 26, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    Overall, it was pretty good and we learned a lot. They fed us lunch all three days. What they offered on the website isn't all that, but the software is good. They offered a full refund if you follow their instructions and don't make three times your investment. They also offer funding up to 90% of the deal and up to 100% of rehab if the numbers are good. They offer two packages starting at 40k to 30k, but if you don't need all of that they will offer mentorship or whatever you need.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 51 out 54 people found this review helpful

    Bait and Switch

    • Washington, D.C.,
    • Apr 22, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Government Tax Lien Network is a cover for a larger scam. They are a group of real estate investors who bring you in by promising to teach you all about the amazing tax lien opportunity but once you sign up they won't talk to you or teach you about Liens at all. We were encouraged to stay away from tax liens. They are actually recruiting for their $50,000 (yes I said Fifty Thousand Dollar) real estate investment mentor program. Run!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (5)
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    • Oct 20, 2015

      Yashika

      Thank you for your review. After the initial free session did you pay for the 3 day workshop? And is that where you found out about investor mentor program?

    • Oct 22, 2015

      Danielle

      Hi Yashika,

      Yes, I paid for the 3 day workshop and that's when I figured out what it was. In hindsight I'm happy I did. I met some wonderful people and discovered other opportunities in Real Estate Investment. I still was disappointed.

    • Dec 8, 2015

      Jordan

      Hi,

      I have to fully agree with Danielle, I just recently completed their 3 day "workshop". I should have had flags springing up all over the place when our "free gifts" for attending the introductory session never materialized, even when asking for them specifically. Secondly, they claim (and show you, including buying several tax liens over the internet) that when you buy into the 3 day workshop you will have lifetime membership to this website. Well, the website they exhibit is not the website you get membership to. I was deeply disappointed to discover this is exactly what they say it is not "too good to be true" and a bait and switch scam as well. However, like you, Danielle, I got several really good ideas from these people, but I'm convinced I can find most, if not all, the same information online. Best of luck to you.

    • May 31, 2017

      GTLN Support Staff, Account Manager

      Danielle,

      I am sorry to hear that you didn't find the 3-Day Workshop very informative about tax liens. As an educational company, we will always offer services for people to further educate themselves in real estate. By no means, are our services mandatory. Since you attended the 3-day workshop, you should have access to our tax lien site, if you need assistance with that please call our office and one of our representatives will be happy to help you.

    • Jun 19, 2017

      Martha

      When are you supposed to get the two free DVD's?

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