Property Tax Sale Auction

No. Depending on the type of tax sale, you will either need to bid at the tax sale if it is held in person, or you need to bid online if the tax sale is conducted online through an internet sale. Anyone wishing to bid on tax sale properties being offered the day of sale must be registered prior to bidding

No. Legal title to a tax-defaulted property subject to the Tax Collector’s power to sell can be acquired only through the Treasurer-Tax Collector by being the successful bidder at the tax sale, and by paying the full purchase amount, including the Documentary Transfer Tax.

Vacant or “Unimproved” land has no address or “situs” location and “Improved” properties may bear a street address. For your information, maps showing the general location or dimension of all parcels for sale may be purchased through the Office of the Assessor. For map questions only, please contact the Assessor at (714) 834-2727.

For in person tax sales, payment must be made in cash (US currency only limited to $10,000) or a state or federally chartered bank-issued cashier’s check made payable to the County of Orange. No other forms of payment are accepted, including personal checks, money orders, business checks, traveler’s checks or credit cards. You must have the required payment in proper form with you before you bid on any property at the tax sale. Payment must be made immediately upon being awarded the successful bid.

For internet sales, the winning bidder will have five (5) business days from the close of the sale to submit payment. The final amount due will be provided upon acceptance of the winning bid. Payment must be made in cash or a state or federally chartered bank-issued cashier’s check made payable to the County of Orange and paid in person at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 601 N. Ross Street in Santa Ana.

All successful bids must be paid in full. For in person tax sales, the purchaser must go directly to the cashier to make payment immediately after the bid is declared successful. All payments must be in the form of cash (US currency only limited to $10,000) or a state or federally chartered bank-issued cashier’s check (payable to the County of Orange). No other forms of payment will be accepted. The deposit will be applied to the final bid purchase price. If there is an overpayment of the final amount due, a refund will be made by the Auditor-Controller.

For internet sales, the winning bidder will have five (5) business days from the close of the sale to submit payment. The final amount due will be provided upon acceptance of the winning bid. Payment must be made in cash or a state or federally chartered bank-issued cashier’s check made payable to the County of Orange and paid in person at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 601 N. Ross Street in Santa Ana.

A successful bidder who does not have sufficient funds to pay for his or her purchase cannot complete the transaction and will be disallowed from participating in any future auction. The bidder’s deposit may also be forfeited, along with any rights the bidder may have in the property, and the property will be re-offered for sale.

The successful bidder may take possession of a property after making payment in full and after the Tax Deed to Purchaser has been recorded, which is generally within a few days of the tax auction.

State law requires that the minimum bid on a tax-defaulted parcel offered at a public auction for the first time be no less than the total amount necessary to pay all of the delinquent taxes on the parcel plus the costs of conducting the sale. In addition, the winning bidder will be also required to pay a Documentary Transfer of $.55 per $500 of sales price.

The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the last business day prior to the scheduled Property Tax Auction.

Tax Auctions occur annually.

The Treasurer requires all prospective purchasers to register for the tax sale. A deposit in the form of a state or federally chartered bank-issued cashier’s check (payable to the County of Orange) is required at the time of registration for all in person tax sales.

A bid deposit is required of each bidder prior to bidding on any property if the tax sale is conducted as part of this internet property tax auction. The deposit payment shall be made electronically to the tax sale vendor directly by the established deadline. Registration will not be permitted through the mail or in person for internet tax sales.

For in person tax sales, the deposits will be refunded immediately after the tax auction is concluded at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector. For internet tax sales, deposits will be refunded by the tax sale vendor. Refunds of the deposits will be made to unsuccessful bidders within ten (10) business days after the close of the internet tax sale.

This means that the item has been redeemed (paid in full) or withdrawn prior to the sale.

No bids are allowed below the Minimum Bid unless a property has been offered for sale at least once, no acceptable bids have been received, and the Treasurer-Tax Collector elects to offer that property at a reduced minimum bid.

You may inquire at the Office of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder at 601 N. Ross Street in Santa Ana or call them at (714) 834-2500. In addition, you can search their website using the Online Grantor/Grantee Index Search for possible liens.

Pursuant to Section 3712 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, tax deeds convey title to the purchaser free of all prior encumbrances (mortgage liens, judgment creditors, etc.) of any kind EXCEPT liens specified by Section 3712, Lis Pendens actions and any Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) liens that, pursuant to provisions 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. (IRS liens will be announced at the time of the tax sale.) You will need to research liens on the properties to determine if the properties are encumbered in any way. Payment of the bid amount at a tax-defaulted public auction may or may not discharge these types of obligations.

Properties may be removed for various reasons, including, but not limited to: payment of the delinquent taxes, bankruptcy filings, and problems with the notification to parties of interest in compliance with Revenue and Taxation Code section 3701.

It is recommended to delay any improvement on the property for a one-year period from the date the tax deed is recorded. The owner and/or a lienholder has one year to initiate proceedings to challenge the validity or irregularity of the tax sale.