Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

1. When does the right to redeem a tax-defaulted parcel subject to the power to sell cease?

The right ceases at the close of business on the last business day prior to the sale.

2. Is the tax sale publicly advertised?

Yes. State law dictates that the notice of tax sale must be published three times in successive seven-day intervals before the tax sale date, in a general-circulation newspaper published in the county.

3. How is the minimum price determined on a property offered at the tax sale?

State law dictates that the minimum price for a tax-defaulted parcel offered at a public auction for the first time shall be no less than the amount necessary to redeem the parcel, plus cost. The minimum bid maybe set at a greater amount at the tax collector's discretion.

4. Can I mail in or submit a sealed bid for a property in the auction?

No. The public auction requires you to be present in order to bid on the properties.

5. Can I obtain a property available at the tax sale by paying the delinquent taxes thereon prior to the tax sale date?

No. Legal title to tax-defaulted property subject to the tax collector's power to sell can be obtained only by becoming the successful bidder at the county tax sale.

6. How do I find or see a property I'd like to bid on at the tax sale?

Vacant or unimproved land has no address therefore we can provide only the approximate geographical location. Its approximate location can be determined through the use of county assessor plat maps and a map book. Exact boundary lines of a property can be determined only by conducting a survey of the property, initiated at the purchaser's expense. Improved properties frequently bear a situs (street) address.

7. How does a bidder pay for property at the tax sale?

Payment must be made in cash, cashier's check, certified check or money order for the minimum bid. Thereafter, the balance may be paid by personal check. If your check does not clear the bank, you will forfeit the minimum bid and legal action may be take to recover the remaining bid amount.

8. Do liens or encumbrances on a tax defaulted property transfer to the new owner after the purchase of the property at a tax sale?

  • Any lien for installments of taxes and special assessments, which installments will become payable on the secured roll after the time of sale.
  • The lien for taxes or assessments or other rights of any taxing agency which does not consent to the sale under this chapter.
  • Liens for special assessments levied upon the property conveyed which were, at the time of sale under this chapter, not included in the amount necessary to redeem the tax-defaulted property, and where a taxing agency which collects its own taxes has consented to the sale under this chapter, not included in the amount required to redeem from sale to the taxing agency.
  • Easements constituting servitude upon or burdens to the property; water rights, the record title to which is held separately from the title to the property; and restrictions of record.
  • Unaccepted, recorded, irrevocable offers of dedication of the property to the public or a public entity for a public purpose, and recorded options of any taxing agency to purchase the property or any interest therein for a public purpose.
  • Unpaid assessments under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 (Division 10, commencing with Sections 8500 of the Streets and Highways code) which are not satisfied as a result of the sale proceeds being applied pursuant to Chapter 1.3 (commencing with Section 4671) of Part 8.
  • Any federal Internal Revenue Service liens* which, pursuant to provision of federal law, are not discharged by the sale, even though the Tax Collector has provided proper notice to the Internal Revenue Service before that date.
  • Unpaid special taxes under Mello-Roos community Facilities Act of 1982 (Chapter 2.5 commencing with Section 53311, of part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) that are not satisfied as a result of the sale proceeds being applied pursuant to Chapter 1.3 (commencing with Section 4671) of Part 8.

9. How can I determine what use I can make of a tax sale property before I purchase it?

Consult the zoning department of any city within which a property lies or the zoning department of the county for a parcel in an unincorporated area (not within a city boundary). Examine the county recorder's records for any recorded easements on a property. You can also order a title search report from a local title insurance company.

10. How will the title in the deed to the purchaser be vested?

Title is vested in the name if the actual purchase. If the title is to be vested differently, we require a notarized letter from the individual you are representing, stating the manner in which title is to be vested.

11. How soon can I take possession of a property after my purchase at the tax sale?

Generally, the successful bidder may take possession of a property after making payment in full and complying with any conditions set forth by the tax collector. You should consult an attorney for information regarding possession. Most title companies will not insure title on properties sold at a public auction for at least one (1) year after the tax deed has been recorded. Legal action to challenge a tax sale must be commenced within one (1) year of the tax recording date.

12. What steps should I take if there occupants living on the property or personal or personal property left on the premises?

This is a civil matter that could involve eviction proceedings or a disposition of personal belongings. You may wish to seek private legal advice.

13. What happens if I am the successful bidder but decide that I don't want the property after all?

Be sure you want the property before you bid. ALL SALES ARE FINAL AND THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS. If you default, under California State Law, the county cannot resort to the second highest bidder and will be required to take legal action against you. Failure to consummate the within the specified time shall result in the forfeiture of any deposit made and all rights that the purchaser may have had with respect to the property. Failure to consummate the sale will also bar the bidder form participating in future tax sales in Colusa County for up to five years.