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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a property tax auction?
  2. What is an online property tax auction?
  3. What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
  4. Will it cost me anything to participate?
  5. Who do I contact if I have a question about how to use the website?
  6. If I have questions about a specific property, who do I contact?
  7. Does a property tax auction eliminate all other liens on a property?
  8. How do I get started?
  9. When can I place my bids?
  10. What is proxy bidding?
  11. What is the "One Minute Rule"?
  12. How do I submit my deposit?
  13. What is an ACH debit?
  14. When do bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?
  15. What form of payment is required for deposits and final payment?
  16. What happens if I fail to pay the balance within the period indicated?
  17. What happens to my deposit if I don't win any property?
  18. Where can I find additional information on the County's website?
  19. When are the property tax auctions conducted?
  20. Where can I get a list of properties scheduled for upcoming property tax auctions?
  21. What are the required fees?
  22. What does "Withdrawn" mean on the bid page?
  23. Can I obtain a property for sale at the property tax auction by paying the delinquent taxes prior to the property tax auction date?
  24. How soon can I take possession of the property after my purchase at the property tax auction?

  1. What is a property tax auction?

    Properties that have at least one installment of delinquent property taxes remaining unpaid for five or more years becomes subject to the Treasurer-Tax Collector's power of sale. The property(s) will be offered for sale at a public auction for a minimum bid. The minimum bid is typically the amount of property taxes owed plus all penalties and costs that have been applied to the property(s).


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  2. What is an online property tax auction?

    An online property tax auction is a public auction where bids are transmitted and received electronically through the internet using a computer and a web browser.


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  3. What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
    A bidder must have internet access and a web browser with the following versions:
    • Mozilla Firefox - version 27 or newer
    • Google Chrome - version 30 or newer
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - version 11 or Edge

    The auction site will not support older browsers.

    Free computer access is available at public libraries located throughout the County.


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  4. Will it cost me anything to participate?

    Registration on the website is free. However, a refundable deposit of $1500 is required for all registered bidders. The County's deposit rules must be followed. Please review the information on how to submit a deposit in the FAQ below.


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  5. Who do I contact if I have a question about how to use the website?

    Representatives of Grant Street Group are available via email to DeedAuction@GrantStreet.com or by phone at (877) 274-9320 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PT on business days to provide instructions and answer questions regarding the use of the website.


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  6. If I have questions about a specific property, who do I contact?

    Please contact the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at (714) 834-3411 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PT (Monday through Friday, excluding official County holidays).


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  7. Does a property tax auction eliminate all other liens on a property?

    Some liens may be dischargeable and others may not. Tax and property laws are complicated and bidders should thoroughly research outstanding or potential liens, mortgages, encumbrances or title defects prior to placing a bid on a property in a tax auction. It is best to seek legal advice of an attorney who can provide you with information about liens on a given property. Please be advised that you are solely responsible for researching property tax auction properties and you assume sole responsibility for making a bid at the online property tax auction. The Treasurer-Tax Collector does not make any representations or warranties as to the status of the title or liens on property auctioned through the property tax auction process.

    For more information please refer to the Orange County Internet Tax Auction Terms and Conditions.


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  8. How do I get started?
    • Register on the website
    • Review the recorded demonstrations on the Home page
    • Read the Property Tax Auction Instructions and documents
    • Submit the required deposit

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  9. When can I place my bids?
    All registered bidders with a valid deposit may begin placing bids on August 18 at 8: 00am PST. Parcels included in the sale have been separated into batches, which will close in 15 minute intervals starting at 3:00pm PT. Each parcel has its own unique closing time after which bids will no longer be accepted, with the exception of the "One Minute Rule." See FAQ below on the "One Minute Rule." Please note the close time listed on the Bid Page for the parcels you are interested in bidding.

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  10. What is proxy bidding?

    Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders input the maximum bid they are willing to pay for a property they would like to purchase. The system will then automatically enter bids on their behalf, as necessary, up to their maximum bid.

    If you enter a maximum bid that is the same as another lead bid, the first bidder to submit that amount would be deemed the leader. The trailing bidder would be notified with a message on the screen that your bid was submitted successfully, but you trail an earlier bidder at the same price. The non-leader would have to increase his/her maximum bid to become the leader.


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  11. What is the "One Minute Rule"?

    If a bidder becomes a leading bidder (as displayed by "leader" in the bid status column) in the last minute of the sale, the Auction Clock will change to reflect a new Auction Close Time and the sale will be extended one (1) minute to allow additional bidding. This will continue until that bidder remains leader for one (1) minute (at which time the auction closes and the leading bid becomes the Winning Bid). Be aware that submitting a bid higher than the "best bid" may not trigger overtime due to the automatic proxy bid. The bid you submit must make you the "leader" in order to trigger overtime. When you submit your bid you will get a message on your screen that indicates your bid has been accepted and your status is now leading or you are now trailing.


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  12. How do I submit my deposit?

    An advance deposit of $1,500.00 must be made online through the electronic auction website via eCheck (ACH/Electronic Debit). Your deposit must be submitted by August 10 at 5:00pm PT.

    To submit your deposit online:

    1. Log in with your user name and password
    2. Click the "My Payments" link on the left hand tool bar *Click "Submit Deposit"
    3. Enter your banking information as instructed on the screen and click "Submit".

    You will receive an email confirmation of your payment submission.

    Please note that once you submit your deposit, any requests for a refund will be processed once the sale has concluded and reconciled (approximately two weeks after the last sale closes).


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  13. What is an ACH debit?

    An ACH debit is an electronic funds transfer from your bank account, initiated by the Treasurer-Tax Collector with your prior authorization. For more information on ACH, please visit the NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, at www.nacha.org.

    Funds must be drawn from a U.S. financial institution in U.S. currency. Some types of money market, brokerage, and/or trust accounts cannot accept ACH debits. Please check with your financial institution prior to initiating payment on the website.


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  14. When do bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?

    Winning bidders are required to submit final payment to the County of Orange Treasurer-Tax Collector within five (5) business days from the close of the auction.


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  15. What form of payment is required for deposits and final payment?

    Deposits:

    Advance deposits must be made online through the online auction website at https://octaxauction.mytaxsale.com via eCheck (ACH / Electronic Debit).

    Your Deposit must be submitted by August 10 at 5:00pm PT before you can bid in a sale. Payments will show Pending as we process your payment. On the sixth (6th) business day, your payment becomes Valid unless it is rejected by your bank. You will be notified via email if this occurs.

    If you do not bid or do not win, your deposit will be refunded. Refunds are processed within ten (10) business days of the sale closing. We do not process early refunds for any reason, including parcels being removed from the sale.

    Final Payment:

    Payment in full must be made to the County of Orange Treasurer-Tax Collector within five (5) business days from the close of the online property tax auction. The only acceptable forms of payment shall be:

    1. State or federally chartered bank-issued cashier's check made payable to the County of Orange paid in person or mailed to:

        County of Orange 
        Attn: Internet Property Tax Auction
        P.O. Box 1438
        Santa Ana, CA 92702-1438
      
    2. Cash (U.S. Currency only) - paid in person at the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 601 North Ross St., Santa Ana, CA 92701

    Payment must be made in U.S. currency only. No other forms of payment are accepted, including wire transfers, personal checks, money orders, business checks, traveler's checks or credit/debit cards. Please reference the parcel number(s) your payment is to be used for.


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  16. What happens if I fail to pay the balance within the period indicated?

    The properties offered at this property tax auction shall be sold to the highest bidder. The highest bidder for each property shall pay in full within five (5) business days from the close of each auction. In the event the highest bidder on an auction fails to comply with this requirement, then that bidder's deposit shall be forfeited to the County of Orange. Winning bidders who do not submit timely payment on any auction item won will forfeit their deposit to the County of Orange and may be banned from future auctions.


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  17. What happens to my deposit if I don't win any property?

    Refunds of the bid deposit shall be made by Grant Street Group to unsuccessful bidders within ten (10) business days after the close of the property tax auction. We do not process early refunds for any reason, including parcels being removed from the sale.


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  18. Where can I find additional information on the County's website?

    Additional tax sale information can be found on the County's website at octreasurer.com/taxauction.


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  19. When are the property tax auctions conducted?

    The 2021 property tax auction is scheduled to take place August 18.


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  20. Where can I get a list of properties scheduled for upcoming property tax auctions?

    You can view the list of items for sale by clicking on the auction dates listed in the auction calendar.


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  21. What are the required fees?

    If you are the winning bidder, a documentary stamp tax of $.055 (fifty-five cents) shall be added for each $500.00, or fractional portion thereof, of the final sales price.


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  22. What does "Withdrawn" mean on the bid page?

    This means that a property has been withdrawn from the sale and is not available for bidding. Properties may be withdrawn from the sale from time to time and the auction site will be updated daily to reflect any such changes.


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  23. Can I obtain a property for sale at the property tax auction by paying the delinquent taxes prior to the property tax auction date?

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


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  24. How soon can I take possession of the property after my purchase at the property tax auction?

    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 weeks following the property tax auction.


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