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Overdue Property Taxes

If unpaid property taxes are left unaddressed, the County could ultimately auction the property to recover taxes owed. If you act quickly, you have a better chance of saving your home.

Overdue Property Taxes


What happens to a property with overdue property taxes?

If you do not make your complete annual property tax payments, the County of Los Angeles Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) will impose late fees. If unpaid property taxes are left unaddressed, it could accumulate additional fees and penalties, and the County could ultimately auction the property to recover taxes owed. This process takes some time, but if you act quickly, you have a better chance of saving your home.

Here’s an overview of how your overdue property taxes can lead to an auction by the TTC:

Upon the failure of the property owner to meet the payment obligation of his or her property tax by the final due date, usually June 30 of each year, the TTC sends the property owner a Notice of Impending Sale followed by a Notice of Auction.

The default initiates a 5-year waiting period for residential properties and 3-year waiting period for non-residential commercial properties. During this time, the delinquent taxes, interest, and penalties are accumulating until they are all redeemed.

At the end of the 5-years for residential properties and 3-years for non-residential commercial properties, if the tax is not redeemed, the TTC has the power to sell the property. Please be advised, that the TTC proactively conducts home visits prior to the auction.

What notices does the TTC provide to advise constituents of the auction for overdue property taxes?

  • Statement of Prior Year Taxes- Pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) Section 2612, this is a tax bill that includes the annual and total defaulted property taxes, penalties and costs due; this also indicates the first year of property tax default and applicable scheduled auction. 
  • Courtesy Notice- Mailed in March or April.
    Pursuant to R&TC Section 3365, this notice shall show that the property has been tax defaulted and is approaching five years unpaid taxes on residential or agricultural property, or three years unpaid taxes on non-residential commercial property or vacant land, and unless sooner redeemed or an installment plan is initiated, the property will be sold. It will become Subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell at 12:01 a.m. on July 1. 
  • Notice of Impending Power to Sell- Mailed in June.
    Pursuant to R&TC Section 3365, this notice shall show that the property has been tax defaulted and is approaching five years unpaid taxes on residential or agricultural property, or three years unpaid taxes on non-residential commercial property or vacant land, and unless sooner redeemed or an installment plan is initiated, the property will be sold. It will become Subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell at 12:01 a.m. on July 1. 
  • Official Notice of Auction or Sale- Pursuant to R&TC Section 3701, this notice shall state the date, time, and place of the proposed sale, the amount required to redeem the property, and the fact that the property may be redeemed up to the close of business on the last business day prior to the date of the sale, and information regarding the rights of parties of interest to claim excess proceeds if the property is sold and excess proceeds result from that sale.

What should I do if I have received the official Notice of Auction or Sale?

The TTC sends notices of auction or sale to parties that may have a recorded interest in the tax-defaulted property. The notices alert those parties that the property may be sold if the taxes, penalties and costs are not paid by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the last business day prior to the auction. Parties that do not have a recorded interest in the property should disregard the notices. Parties that have a recorded interest should contact the TTC immediately.

When is the deadline to pay off property taxes, fees, and costs, so that a property is not sold?

The deadline to pay off property taxes, fees and costs, to save a property from being sold, is 5:00 PM Pacific Time on the last business day prior to the date of auction.

Can you sell your home with overdue property taxes?

The most common way to sell a house with property taxes owed is to pay back the property taxes using the proceeds of the home sale or giving the buyer a credit equal to the amount you owe.

If you hire a Real Estate Agent to list and handle all of the procedures the Agent may have the experience to work with the TTC to delay the auction. Also, an Agent lists the property everywhere on the web and advertises it, thereby, getting more exposure for the sale.

If you decide to use a Real Estate Agent please be sure to check the California Department of Real Estate License (DRE) to confirm that the Real Estate Agent is licensed to perform this service.

What is the impact of the auction to your credit score?

Unpaid or overdue property taxes no longer have a direct impact on your credit. Now that tax liens no longer show up on credit reports, they do not have any direct influence on your credit score either. Even so, unpaid property taxes can still cause you a lot of problems. Therefore, it is recommended that you stay current with your property tax payments.

Can tax liens be included in a bankruptcy?

If you owe property taxes, those debts could be eligible for discharge in chapter 7 bankruptcy and a partial discharge in chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Who can you call for free and reliable help?

If you are behind on your property taxes you should contact the County of Los Angeles Treasurer and Tax Collector directly to find out if there are any other available options.

Watch out for scams!

Scammers sometimes mail you documents that mimic your property tax bill and ask you to submit your payments and personal information to them, rather than TTC. In order to avoid these types of scams, it is crucial that you thoroughly read every document that you receive, especially if they are asking for your personal information and money.

Don’t become a victim of a property tax related scams. If you have been scammed call us right away to file a complaint. All our services are free!

If you have any questions, for DCBA, please contact us through one of the methods listed below:

If you have any specific questions regarding your property taxes, please contact TTC through one of the methods listed below:

County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: May 16, 2022

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