Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 6. Tax Sales
CHAPTER 7. Sale to Private Parties After Deed To State
3701. Notice to assessee. Not less than 45 days nor more than 120 days before the proposed sale, the tax collector shall send notice of the proposed sale by certified mail with return receipt requested to the last known mailing address, if available, of parties of interest, as defined in Section 4675. The 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, as defined in Section 4674, if the property is sold and excess proceeds result from that sale.
The tax collector shall make a reasonable effort to obtain the name and last known mailing address of parties of interest.
The validity of any sale under this chapter shall not be affected if the tax collector's reasonable effort fails to disclose the name and last known mailing address of parties of interest or if a party of interest does not receive the mailed notice.
History.—Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 615, in effect January 1, 1980. Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, substituted "45 days" for "21 days", and substituted "60 days" for "28 days" in the first sentence of the first paragraph. Stats. 1986, Ch. 1420, effective January 1, 1987, substituted "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 sale" for "prior to the time of sale" after "redeem" in the second sentence of the first paragraph. Stats. 1996, Ch. 800, in effect January 1, 1997, substituted "120 days" for "60 days" after "nor more than" in the first sentence, and substituted "The notice shall state" for "The contents of the notice shall include" before "the date, time," and substituted "that" for "such" after "proceeds result from" in the second sentence. Stats. 1998, Ch. 497 (SB 2233), in effect January 1, 1999, deleted "After receiving the written authorization of the Controller, and" before "Not less" and substituted "certified mail with return receipt requested" for "registered mail" after "sale by" in the first sentence of the first paragraph. Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 194 (SB 1832), in effect January 1, 2005.
Note.—Section 7 of Stats. 1979, Ch. 615, provided that Sections 1, 2, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.5 of this act shall apply with respect to the sale of tax-deeded property which is approved by resolution of the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 3699 of the Revenue and Taxation Code after the effective date of this act. Section 8 thereof provided no payment by state to local governments because of this act.
Note.—See note following Section 2194.
Construction.—A county's failure to discover the whereabouts of the owner of a parcel of property before proceeding with a state tax sale of the property violated both the due process clause of the United States Constitution and this section where, although the county mailed the owner notice of the pending sale, it did so with full knowledge that the notice would not reach the owner since for a year the county's tax bills had been returned marked "undeliverable". Sinclair & Valentine Company, Inc. v. Los Angeles County, 201 Cal.App.3d 1021. A county's failure to make a reasonable effort to obtain a secured lienholder's last known mailing address before proceeding with its tax sale of the property violated both the due process clause of the United States Constitution and this section. The county's sole reliance on a lot book report, which would not provide notice of documents recorded after the creation of a lien, did not constitute a reasonable effort. Bank of America v. Giant Inland Empire R. v. Center, Inc., 78 Cal.App.4th 1267.
Decisions Under Former Section 3701
Construction.—The provision of Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 3701, regarding the efforts of the tax collector to ascertain the address is valid provided that due process has otherwise been afforded to the delinquent taxpayer, Philbrick v. Huff, 60 Cal.App.3d 633.