Frequently Asked Questions
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If you would like to receive information on properties that may be offered at the next Orange County Property Tax Sale Auction, please complete the following information.
March 14, 2013: Auction #1384 results, click here.
May 31, 2012: Auction #1383 results, click here.
June 29, 2011: Auction #1382 results, click here.
The Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector annually offers for sale, real property located in the County of Orange. This property has become subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell due to non-payment of property tax for five or more tax years. The sale of “Tax-Defaulted Property Subject to Power to Sell” is conducted by the County Treasurer-Tax Collector pursuant to the provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code 3691. The Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector DOES NOT offer tax lien certificates, sealed bids or over the counter sales.
AS A BIDDER YOU AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AUCTION CONTAINED HEREIN. THE HIGHEST BIDDER IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO COMPLETE THE PURCHASE. FAILURE TO COMPLETE A PURCHASE CONSTITUTES A BREACH OF CONTRACT AND MAY RESULT IN LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU.
The next tax auction sale date has not been set.
Prospective purchasers for the live auction will be required to register and be assigned a bidder card number. Registration will be held the day before the auction between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 625 N. Ross St. in Santa Ana. A deposit will be required at the time of registration (please see deposit information below). Registration will not be permitted on the day of the auction sale. We will require valid picture identification at the time of registration such as a valid driver’s license, valid military ID card, or a valid California ID card.
A $5000.00 deposit will be required on the day of registration. Deposits must be in the form of cash or cashier’s checks only. Cashier's Checks should be made payable to the County of Orange, Treasurer-Tax Collector. Deposits will be applied to the final bid purchase price. If the successful bidder does not remit full payment timely, the bidder’s deposit may be forfeited, along with any rights the bidder may have in the property. Deposits will be refunded by the Orange County Tax Collector to the unsuccessful bidders who have complied with the Terms and Conditions of the Auction contained herein. Deposits will be refunded immediately following the Auction at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector.
The minimum price at which properties may be offered for sale shall be an amount not less than the total amount necessary to redeem the parcel and the costs of the sale. The minimum bid is indicated on the auction list next to the legal description. The properties in the sale are in item number order. They will be auctioned in that order. If there is an item number not offered (missing) from the tax sale list, it means that the item has been redeemed or withdrawn prior to the sale. If there is a numerical gap between item numbers on the tax sale list, the same holds true. Where property has been offered for sale at least once and no acceptable bids have been received, the Treasurer-Tax Collector may offer that property at a reduced minimum bid
A list of properties to be offered for sale will be available on the County Website prior to the sale date. Properties being offered will have been published in the Orange County Register as they appear in the auction handout. Parcels for which no bids are received may be re-offered before the close of the auction.
For your convenience, maps showing the general location and dimension of all the parcels for sale are available for purchase in the Assessor's Office. For map questions only, contact the Orange County Assessor's Office at 11 Civic Center Plaza, Room 142, Santa Ana, CA. 92701 (714) 834-2727.
For other auction information, please contact the Orange County Tax Collector's office at (714) 834-3411.
All payments must be in the form of cash, or cashier’s checks. Cashier’s checks are to be made payable to the County of Orange. No personal checks, money orders or traveler’s checks will be accepted. Payment must be made immediately upon being awarded the successful bid.
Title to “Tax-Defaulted Property Subject to Power to Sell” does not pass to the purchaser until a Tax Deed is issued. DO NOT trespass on the property, engage in any activity or make an expenditure on any property you may purchase until you have received your Tax Deed. This includes any attempt to collect rents, improve property, evict, or in any way contact tenants. Tax Deeds will be recorded within approximately one month after the sale. After the Tax Deed is recorded, the Tax Deed will be mailed directly to the respective purchaser by the County Clerk-Recorder. The Treasurer-Tax Collector does not provide the purchaser with a title insurance policy.
Prospective purchasers are advised to contact title insurance companies prior to the auction to obtain information regarding the availability of the title insurance for properties to be purchased at the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Public Auction.
Occasionally, a piece of property is sold at auction after redemption has been made or is sold in error. In this case, a refund of the purchase price and statuatory interest, if any, will be made with full understanding and agreement of the purchaser that the Treasurer-Tax Collector has no further liability in the matter.
If the validity of the Tax Collector’s Deed is challenged by judicial proceeding, that action must be commenced within one year by the former owner or his/her party of interest, after the recording date of the Tax Collector’s Deed. (For this reason a title company generally will not insure title for at least one year). This judicial proceeding can refer to an alleged invalidity or irregularity in the procedures of sale. If litigation by a former owner is successful and a court holds a Tax Deed void, the Court shall determine the correct amount of taxes, penalties and costs that should be paid, and the Court shall order the former owner or other party of interest to pay such amounts within six months. If such amounts are not paid in accordance with such order, the Court will not hold the Tax Deed void. When a court holds a Tax Deed void, the purchaser is entitled to a refund from the County of the amount paid in purchase price for tax, penalties and costs. A claim for refund shall be presented within one year after the judgment becomes final. The right to redeem “Tax-Defaulted Property Subject to Power to Sell” will terminate at 5:01 p.m. on the last business day prior to the first day of the auction.
This is a buyer beware sale. DO NOT attempt to purchase property at the auction unless a thorough investigation has been made as to the exact location, desirability and usefulness of the property. Parcels are sold on an “as is” basis, and the County makes no representation or warranty, real or implied, as to the properties’ condition or suitability for any use. The County in no way assumes any responsibility, implied or otherwise, that the properties are in compliance with zoning ordinances, or conform to building codes and permits, or are free from latent or patent defects. An investigation may reveal that the property is in a street or alley, in a flood control channel, landlocked, dedicated to public use for street or other purposes; or improvements which may be shown on the tax sale list no longer exist at the time of auction, or a lien may have been or will be placed on the property. Streets shown on maps offered by the Orange County Assessor’s Office may or may not exist, and in some cases may be future streets. All properties should be investigated thoroughly prior to their purchase.
Toxic Waste Properties
The California Department of Health Services maintains the Superfund cleanup list of sites contaminated with toxic materials. The State Controller’s Office requires that property sites, which are on the Superfund list, be withdrawn from the sale. If a property is approved for sale and later found to be on the Superfund list, the Controller will formally rescind their authorization of the sale of that property. Please be aware that contaminated property sites that are not on the Superfund list may be offered for sale. If the Tax Collector has knowledge of contaminated property, that information will be provided to you. However, please be aware that the Tax Collector is not always aware of the condition of the properties in the sale. Therefore, it is ultimately the purchaser’s responsibility to investigate before making a purchase.
A Tax Deed will cancel all private liens (i.e. Deeds of Trust, Mechanic’s Liens, Judgments, etc.) as well as all prior delinquent taxes. Public liens such as Improvement Bonds, Demolition Liens, etc. may not be discharged with a Tax Deed. Pursuant to Section 3712 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the Tax Deed conveys title to the purchaser free of all encumbrances of any kind existing before the sale, except:
Please be advised that the Office of the Treasurer Tax Collector may, from time to time, receive requests from members of the public for the County’s Bidder List which may contain names and contact information on all bidders. The County’s Bidder List is a public record within the meaning of the Public Records Act and thus must be disclosed. The Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector is not required to notify bidders that it is releasing this information.
Pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code Section §4675, any party of interest in a property sold at public auction may file with the county a claim for the excess proceeds, in proportion to his or her interest held with others of equal priority in the property at the time of sale, at any time prior to the expiration of one year following the recordation of the tax collector's deed to the purchaser. Parties of interest and their order of priority are:
In order to make a claim for the excess proceeds, please complete the Excess Proceeds Claim Form along with documentation to support your claim as follows:
If you are a party of interest as defined in (a) above, attach a copy of the trust deed or other evidence of lien or security interest which sets forth the original amount of the lien or interest, the total amount of payments received reducing the original amount of the lien or interest, and the amount still due and payable as of the date of sale of the tax-defaulted property auction held by the Tax Collector.
If you are a party of interest as defined in (b) above, attach copies of all documents (e.g. deed, death certificate, will, court order, etc) supporting your claim.
In order for the Excess Proceeds Claim to be considered by the Orange County Tax Collector, claims must be received by the Tax Collector on or before the expiration of one year following the date of recordation of the deed to purchaser. The Tax Collector will submit your claim to County Counsel for review. Following County Counsel’s review, the claim will either be approved, denied or require additional documentation. The Tax Collector’s Office will notify you of the action taken by County Counsel if multiple claims are received. If a claim is approved, the Orange County Auditor-Controller will issue a check for payment. By law, the Auditor-Controller cannot issue a check for payment of an approved claim until 90 days following the action taken by County Counsel if multiple claims are received.
Please mail completed forms and supporting documentation to:
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