Tax Lien Investing: An Investor Goldmine?

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By Les Christie, CNNMoney

NEW YORK -- Jean Norton's first foray into tax lien investing was hands-down a lucrative one.

Norton, who was a marketing director at a tech firm at the time, had bought and sold real estate for years. She had heard about investors who were making nice profits buying liens on homes with overdue property taxes. So in 2009, she attended a seminar to learn how to put her own skin in the game.

Soon afterward, she bought more than $20,000 in liens at auctions in foreclosure-riddled Florida that were promising to pay 17 percent to 18 percent in interest. Within two years, she got her entire investment back, plus double-digit returns.

"It was always a nice surprise to get a check in the mail," said Norton, now 55.