Payment Plan Arrangements

What types of Payment Plans are available to me for unpaid secured property taxes?
Payment plans are only available on secured property tax bills once they’ve fallen into the category of “Prior Year”, in other words after the end of our fiscal year, June 30th.
When can I start a 5 Pay Plan?
Payment plans are only available for Prior Year unpaid taxes; therefore the earliest you can start a 5 Pay Plan is after July 1 of the year in which your taxes become delinquent.
What is required to start a 5 Pay Plan?

To start a 5 Pay Plan for delinquent taxes, you must complete an application and make an initial payment of 20% or more of the redemption amount (total taxes which includes penalties, fees and interest) plus a set up fee of $25.00. This initial payment must in the form of a certified check, money order or cash. (Please do not mail cash if you are starting the payment plan by mail).

Note: Please call our office at (714)834-3411 to find out the minimum amount required to start the plan.
How do I get an application?
You may download an application from our website.
You may also request an application by phone to be mailed to you or drop by our office to pick one up. (See office hours and location under “General Information”).
Will I get monthly statements or bills on my 5 Pay Plan?
No. Statements are only sent out annually in March to remind you of the April 10 deadline. Please call our office at any time during business hours to get payment or payoff amounts.
Can I pay on my 5 Pay Plan more than once per year?
Yes, you can pay more than once a year: however, each payment must be 20% or more of the original defaulted amount plus accrued interest at the rate of 1.5% per month on the unpaid balance.
Do I have to pay with a certified check, money order or cash each year?
No, you only need to pay your initial payment with a certified check, money order or cash. Subsequent payments can be made in any form including personal checks or on-line at ocgov.com/octaxbill.
Can I pay off my 5 Pay Plan before the fifth year?
Yes. A payoff can be made at any time. There are no pre-payment penalties.

Is it necessary to keep paying my current year taxes while I’m on a 5 Pay Plan?
Yes. Non payment of your current year taxes by April 10 each year will result in "defaulting" the plan.
What will cause my 5 Pay Plan to “default”?
Non payment of your current year taxes OR non payment of the minimum 20% payment on the plan by April 10 each year will "default" the plan.

What happens if my 5 Pay Plan “defaults”?
You can restart the 5 Pay Plan as long as the earliest delinquent date has not surpassed five years. 5 Pay Plans can not be established or restarted if the taxes become subject to the Tax Collector's Power to Sell.
What is required to restart a 5 Pay Plan?
To restart the plan, you must complete another application and provide an initial payment of 20% or more of the delinquent amount plus a set up fee of $25.00. The initial payment to restart the plan must be in the form of a certified check, money order or cash.

What happens if the 5 Pay Plan defaulted and five years has surpassed the earliest delinquent date?
Your property will become subject to the Tax Collector's Power to Sell. In order to avoid the sale of the property, you will have to pay all delinquent taxes in full, including penalties and accrued interest. A 5 Pay Plan will no longer be an option. 
What types of payment plans are available to me for unsecured property taxes?

California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 4837.5 allows taxes due on escape assessments for prior fiscal years to be paid over a four-year period at the option of the assessee if the dollar amount owed for each assessment on the plan is over $500.00 and a written request for unsecured taxes, the written request for installment payment shall be filed with the tax collector prior to the date on which those taxes become delinquent.

If an escape or underassessment was due, in whole or in part, to the error, omission, or other fault of the assessee, interest at the rate of .75% per month (9% per annum) shall be added to the outstanding balance starting with the month following the date of the deadline for filing the written request. Participation in the payment plan will not stop a lien(s) from being filed.

What is required to start a Four Year Payment Plan?
To initiate a four year payment plan, you must do the following:
  1. Pay at least 20% of the total taxes due plus a processing fee of $48.00 per assessment prior to the deadline for filing the written request.
  2. Pay at least 20% of the original amount due in each succeeding year plus a $9.00 per assessment maintenance fee by August 31st each year. Any amount paid in excess of the 20% payment will be considered a pre-payment of the next installment due and applied as such.
  3. Complete and sign the Four Year Payment Plan Agreement and mail to our office on or before the deadline to file a written request.
What is required to maintain a Four Year Payment Plan?
To remain in good standing on the installment plan, you must pay the installment amounts in full by the due date, plus applicable interest and an annual maintenance fee of $9.00. In addition, all property taxes must be kept current during the time the plan is in effect. The plan will be terminated should any other property taxes become delinquent or if the property changes ownership. Upon termination, all penalties will revert back to the original delinquent date and the total bill will become due and payable.
Will I be notified when a payment is due?
Reminder notices may be sent as a courtesy. If you do not receive a notice, please contact our office or visit our website at ocgov.com/octaxbill for the amounts due and any current year taxes outstanding. Failure to receive a reminder notice does not provide a basis for delayed payment, waiver of interest or penalties or reinstatement of a defaulted payment plan.
If I cannot pay the full amount of taxes due, may I pay one delinquent year separately from other years?
No, once taxes become delinquent they may not be paid separately. When the redemption amount is calculated, the total outstanding taxes due for all delinquent years are combined and assigned a Tax Default Number (TDN).
What payment option is available to me for delinquent taxes?
If you are unable to pay the full redemption amount (i.e., unpaid taxes for all delinquent years plus penalties, costs and other charges), you may open an Installment Plan of Redemption. This allows you to make payments on your delinquent taxes over a five-year period beginning with the date you open the installment account.
How do I open an installment plan of redemption?
To open an installment plan, you must:
  1. Download a copy of our 5 Year Installment Plan of Redemption Form
  2. Make an initial payment of at least 20% of the redemption amount due plus a start up fee of $25.00. Payment must be in the form of certified funds i.e. cashier’s check or money order only.
When may I open an Installment plan?
You may open an installment plan after the date on which the property has become tax defaulted (June 30th of the applicable fiscal year). You may not initiate a plan if taxes have been delinquent for five or more years at which time the property becomes subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell.
When may I open an Installment plan?
You may open an installment plan after the date on which the property has become tax defaulted (June 30th of the applicable fiscal year). You may not initiate a plan if taxes have been delinquent for five or more years at which time the property becomes subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell.
How often will I be required to make installment payments?
Under the installment plan you are required to make at least one payment each year for five years, in addition to paying each year’s annual secured property taxes. By April 10th of each year (or the corresponding last payment date for annual secured property taxes) you must pay at least 20% of the outstanding property taxes due (redemption amount) plus penalties and interest accruing at the rate of 1-1/2% per month on the unpaid balance. If you fail to make any installment payment or fail to pay your current year’s taxes or any supplemental taxes due on or before April 10th (or the corresponding last payment date for annual secured property taxes) each year, then your account will default. You can, however, pay the total unpaid balance plus accrued interest any time before the fifth and final payment is due.
Do my installment payments cover my current annual taxes?
No. Your installment payments NEVER include your current year’s taxes. All current year taxes must be paid separately and must be paid by April 10th of each year (or the corresponding last payment date for annual secured property taxes).
If I default on an Installment Plan of Redemption, may I open another one?
If your first account defaults for any reason you may open another account on or after July 1st of the following fiscal year. You may NEVER reopen an installment account during the fiscal year in which the property becomes subject to the power of sale. When a subsequent installment account is opened, the redemption amount is re-computed as though no previous payments had been paid. This means you will be charged the 1-1/2% monthly penalty on the original unpaid taxes as though no Installment Plan had ever been started.

Each time you open an account, you have five years to pay the full redemption amount due. However, it is to your advantage to keep an installment account current in order to reduce the amount on which the additional penalty is calculated. You must pay the start –up fee each time you open an Installment Plan and pay at least 20% of the outstanding property taxes due (redemption amount) plus penalties and interest which have accrued at the rate of 1-1/2% per month on the unpaid balance. Any previous payments will be credited after the initial 20% due is calculated and applied to the re-computed redemption amount.
What is the advantage of paying my prior year delinquent taxes on the Installment Payment Plan?
As long as the Installment Payment Plan is in good standing, you will have five years to pay the delinquency without worry that the property will become subject to the Tax Collector's Power to Sell and have the property sold at public auction. It is important to note that if your prior year tax bill includes special assessments for the repayment of debt service obligations under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 of the Streets and Highways code, and/or special taxes for payment of debt service on bonds issued pursuant to Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (CFD’s), the installment payment account will not prevent or delay foreclosure action on behalf of the bondholder pursuant to Section 53356.1 (a) of the Government Code.
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