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How many Federal tax liens are filed each year?

The IRS files far fewer Forms 668-Y, Notice of Federal Tax Lien, than most tax professionals presume. In fact, the number of liens filed each year has been rapidly dropping over the past several years.

According to the annual IRS Data Book, here are the number of IRS tax liens placed on public record each year:

2009: 965,618 2010: 1,096,376 2011: 1,042,230 2012: 707,768 2013: 602,005 2014: 535,580 2015: 515,247 2016: 470,602 2017: 446,378

As you can see, the number of tax lien records filed by the IRS peaked in 2010 at just shy of 1.1 million. In the intervening seven years, annual lien filing volume has dropped a whopping 59%.

At the same time, however, the number of IRS Collections cases has been steadily increasing each year. In 2010, the IRS started the fiscal year with 9.6 million open tax debt cases. We started fiscal year 2018 with almost 14.1 million open tax debt cases, and increase of 45%. It’s interesting to note that the number of tax debt cases, and the dollar amount owed to the IRS, has skyrocketed during one of the strongest periods of economic recovery in American history. This clearly indicates that many small businesses and individuals have still been feeling the impact of the 2007-2008 crash many years after it happened.

So why has the IRS been filing fewer …
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Detailed Explanation of Tax Lien “Token” System

In the past, this service has operated under a variety of different pricing options. Most often, there were tiered pricing plans, with decreasing per-lien costs for each tier.

In order to create a nice, even number of tax lien downloads for each tier (say, 600 instead of 589), each tier credited an amount to your account that was actually different than what you paid in dollars.

Confusing?

Yeah, it was on our end, too!

So, here’s an ode to simplification. All that other crap is gone now. Instead, we’re now using a token system.

Remember old video game arcades that ran on tokens? When I was a kid, these stores all operated the same: For every game, there was a very simple system: 1 token = 1 game play.

Trade dollars for tokens, then play games. Very simple, very straightforward.

Compare that to some other arcade places. Some games were two quarters, some were three quarters, etc. This is basically equivalent to how this site used to operate.

Now, we’re using tokens. From now on, pricing will be quoted based on how many tokens you get. Then, it’s simple: 1 token = 1 tax lien.

Phone numbers will continue to be provided free of charge for those lien records that we are able to find a phone number through our search system. Whether there is …
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Site update completed – yay!

The migration of this system to a new server is complete.

The server migration came with a significant number of changes to the code base that the site runs on, which introduced a lot of bugs (mainly login issues).

These bugs have all been squished, and the site has returned to normal operation. If you are still having login issues, please contact support.

There are a number of functionality updates that we will be applying to the site over the next couple weeks. We will do these at night (U.S. time) in order to minimize disruption of service during the business day.

We hope you enjoy the new faster, leaner tax lien system!

Tax lien database migration and server upgrade

On Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, we will be migrating the tax lien database and this entire web site to a new server.

Due to the sheer size of the database this process may take several hours. During this time, you will not be able to login to your account, download mailing lists, create batches, obtain data counts, or any other functions.

We have chosen to do this on a Saturday so as to hopefully minimize the inconvenience to our customers. Once moved to the upgraded server, the tax lien database system should be significantly faster.

Thank you for your patience while we conduct this upgrade.

Federal tax lien volume picking up

During the federal government shutdown in October, the IRS stopped filing new federal tax liens. That put a major damper on marketing efforts for those of us that rely heavily on tax liens for our marketing.

We’re starting to see lien volume picking up again finally. There was a full two weeks of nothing, then two more weeks of just a trickle. Literally over the course of the past few days, we’re finally starting to see a significant uptick in lien records we’re picking up. We’re still a long ways from the 400+ liens per day above our $5,000 threshold that we’re used to seeing across the country, but it’s back above 200 per day and growing.

This hickup in the flow of lien filing was a good time to remind ourselves about two important marketing rules:

1). Make sure that you’re wringing every ounce of value from your existing lien lists by contacting them multiple times over a lengthier time period.

2). Never rely on a single prospecting method to bring in all your clients.

No business, no matter how small, should have less than three different methods for bringing in new leads. Tax lien marketing is lucrative and powerful, but it shouldn’t be the only trick up your sleeve. If you’re not simultaneously utilizing non-lien marketing to help bring in clients, then you’re …
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Why Are There Only X Number of Liens For My Criteria Available?

We get a lot of questions pertaining to why only so many leads are available for a given set of selection criteria. This is a very good question, and I will attempt to answer it here.

First and foremost, one must understand that liens are a finite resource. In other words, there are only a limited number of them. In 2010, the IRS filed 1.1 million Notices of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL). The vast majority of these liens were against individuals owing less than $10,000.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the IRS only filed 707,000 tax liens. That’s for the entire United States.

In 2013, the IRS only filed 602,005 tax liens.

So, the number of lien filings is going down. As of March 2012, the IRS changed the threshold for filing a lien, raising it from $5,000 to $10,000. Anybody with a lien filing less than that amount is a repeat offender, and is pyramiding their tax debt liability.

Let’s go back to that 707,000 liens filed in 2012. Keep in mind that, under most circumstances, we don’t collect lien data on liens less than $5,000. Therefore, those smaller liens won’t even be in our system, and those liens (for repeat offenders that are growing their tax debt) are usually only a couple thousand dollars.

Last year (2012), we collected data on about 250,000 federal …
» Continue Reading: Why Are There Only X Number of Liens For My Criteria Available?