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What Happens If You Don’t PAY Property Taxes

What Happens If You Don’t PAY Property Taxes

Getting a notification from the county tax collector that your house will be sold because you have fallen behind on your property tax payments can be unsettling. Reading this article, you may learn what happens if you don’t pay property taxes, everything there is to know about your property taxes, and the possibility of your house being sold at a tax sale auction.

How do Property Taxes Work?

Ad valorem taxes, known as property taxes, are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of the real estate by the applicable tax rate. They can be levied against land, structures, and other types of property like a property management company and are paid for by the owner. Local governments are in charge of collecting these levies. The state and municipal governments receive a portion of the funds to fund other government initiatives like roads and schools.

If this is your first home purchase, you might need to become more familiar with property taxes and townhome property management. However, property taxes are a considerable cost of home ownership, as homeowners quickly discover. The average annual property tax payment in the US is $2,350. California’s median annual property tax bill is $3,550 which is nearly 30% more than the national average.

Overview of Tax Sales 

The following steps are frequently included in the tax sale procedure after it you will face the things that happen if you don’t pay property taxes:

Notice Sent Via US Mail   

Before selling unpaid taxes, the county mails a notification to the taxpayer informing them that the taxes are “delinquent” or past due. The past-due notification typically includes a deadline to pay the taxes. The collector will publish a notice that it will sell your taxes unless you pay the taxes due by the deadline.

You can submit certificates of the error to the county collector before the deadline specified in the overdue notice if you believe you were entitled to property tax exemptions because of your age, income, or disability. For a refund, you may only go back three years.

While the county considers your refund request, submitting certifications of mistake should temporarily remove your property from the tax sale procedure.

A Notice Of Defaulted Properties Published 

The county collector will then add your property to a list of properties with neighborhoods printed in the neighborhood paper.

Additionally, the county will send you a notice via registered or certified mail.

Tax Sale

The county may only auction off your unpaid taxes if you pay the taxes or submit certifications of error by the yearly tax sale deadline.

The Redemption Window  

You still have the option to buy back the unpaid taxes from the county clerk within 30 months after they are sold to a tax buyer. The tax buyer might consent to extend the 30-month window to offer you more time to pay. However, the tax buyer is not required to extend the deadline.

The Process Of Redemption

You must ask the county for an “estimate of redemption” to learn how much you must pay to recoup the taxes. The estimate of the redemption charge can be as low as $10, but it often rises with time. Before the 30-month cutoff, you should apply for the estimate of redemption.

You must pay the county clerk the entire sum shown on the estimate of redemption to redeem the taxes. Delinquent and current taxes, interest, penalties, and fees are all included in this.

The cost of administration, interest, and fines may be high.

Tax Deed

The tax buyer may request a tax deed from the court if you do not redeem the taxes from the county clerk within the 30-month window. The tax buyer acquires property ownership once the tax deed is recorded. They may then force you to leave the house.


The tax buyer can submit a motion to eject you from the property in the same circumstance as it requested the tax deed after receiving a tax deed. It is unnecessary to initiate a new case for the eviction or issue a new summons to evict you.

Do You Still Have to Pay Property Taxes if Your House is Paid Off?

You might be wondering if you still have to pay property taxes if you have paid off your house. The short answer is “yes” Previously; your property taxes might have been seized because of your monthly mortgage payment. For instance, your lender may have received additional funds from your mortgage payment. After that, your lender used that sum to cover your property taxes. Impounding works like a regular savings plan for your real estate taxes. If your mortgage has been paid off, you are in charge of paying your property taxes on time.

When are Property Taxes Due?

Property tax bills may come annually, semi-annually, or in smaller installments. Property taxes are paid bi-annually in California. Some states have grace periods, but there is no grace period in California. Property taxes are delinquent if not paid by December 10 and April 10. The good news is that most county offices now allow you to pay your property taxes online. Go to your local county’s website and search for “property tax” or “tax collector”. Here’s a complete list of California county tax collector offices.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Property Taxes?

If you don’t pay your property taxes, there could be major repercussions. First of all, late payment fines might be very high. California’s property tax late payment fines are 10% of the total amount owed. The prior missed payment penalty amount is increased with each additional one. There is an extra 10% penalty assessed every six months if unpaid for any overdue penalties and sums. Payments are applied first to penalties, then your property tax amount, which worsens the situation.


Procedures for tax sales vary greatly from location to location. Consider speaking with a real estate lawyer, tax lawyer, or foreclosure lawyer if you need to catch up on your property taxes and are at risk of or have already experienced a tax sale. These professionals of Skybridge property can explain your rights and any potential choices you may have to keep your house.