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Redemption Information

Q.  What happens if I fail to pay my property taxes on time?
A.  If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill at the Tax Collector's Office by 5 p.m. On December 10* or payment is not postmarked by that time and date, then that installment becomes delinquent, and a 10% delinquent penalty is incurred. If you fail to pay the second installment at the Tax Collector's Office by 5 p.m. on April 10,* or payment is not postmarked by that time and date, it becomes delinquent, and a 10% penalty on the unpaid taxes as well as an administrative charge of $38.63 are added. Likewise, if you fail to pay any supplemental tax bill installment by the applicable delinquency date, the same penalties and charges accrue as for delinquent annual taxes.

If there are ANY unpaid taxes as of 5 p.m. on June 30, then the property becomes tax defaulted.** Once the property has become tax defaulted, a redemption fee of $36.77 and additional penalties begin to accrue at the rate of 1-1/2% per month of the unpaid taxes. This monthly penalty is added at 5 p.m. on the last day of each month (or the following business day if the last day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday).


Q.  What happens if I fail to pay my delinquent taxes?
A.  Your taxes can remain unpaid for a maximum of five years following their tax default, at which time your property becomes subject to the power of sale. This means that after giving official notice of the pending sale, the property will be sold at a public auction or acquired by a public agency if you do not pay the taxes before the date on which the property is offered for sale or acquisition.


Q.  What is the amount required to redeem tax defaulted property?
A.  The amount needed to redeem tax-defaulted property in full is the sum of the following:

1.  The total amount of unpaid taxes for all delinquent years.
2.  A 10% penalty on every unpaid installment.
3.  A $38.63 administrative charge for each delinquent year.
4.  Monthly penalties of 1-1/2% of the unpaid taxes accrued to date.
5.  A redemption fee of $36.77.


Q.  How do I obtain an estimate of the amount required to redeem my property?
A.  To obtain an estimate of the amount required to redeem your property, you should contact the office of the Tax Collector by letter, telephone, or in person. The location and mailing address is County of Riverside, Treasurer-Tax Collector, 4080 Lemon Street, 1st Floor, Riverside; P.O. Box 12005, Riverside, CA 92502-2205. The telephone number is (951) 955-3900 or (877) 748-2689 for those taxpayers in the 951 and 760 area codes. Whether making your request by letter, phone, or in person, you will need to provide the assessment number which you can find on a previous tax bill, or the address or legal description of the property. Also, be sure to specify the date on which you wish to redeem so that the penalty can be calculated properly.


Q.  Can I redeem one delinquent year separately from other years?
A.  No, one year's delinquent taxes may not be redeemed separately from other years' delinquent taxes. When the redemption amount is calculated, the total taxes owed for all delinquent years are combined.


Q.  What happens if I cannot pay the full redemption amount?
A.  If you are unable to pay the full redemption amount (i.e., unpaid taxes for all delinquent years plus penalties and charges), you may open an installment plan of redemption. This plan allows you to make payments on your delinquent taxes over a five-year period beginning the date you open the installment account.

It is important to note that if your tax bill includes special assessments for the repayment of debt service obligations under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 of the Streets and Highways code, and/or special taxes for payment of debt service on bonds issued pursuant to Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (CFD's), an installment payment account will not prevent or delay foreclosure action on behalf of the bondholder pursuant to Section 53356.1 (a) of the Government Code.


Q.  How do I open an installment plan of redemption?
A.  1. Make an initial payment of at least 20% of the redemption amount and
2. Pay your current year's taxes.
3. Pay a start-up fee of $19.22.
4. Sign and submit an Installment Payment Plan Application and Agreement            

If you open an installment account between July 1 and the following April 10, the current year's taxes and any supplemental taxes must be paid by April 10 or the account will default. To open an account between April 10 and June 30, the current year's taxes (plus any penalties and charges) must first be paid in full.


Q.  When may I open an installment account?
A.  You can open an installment account after the date which the property has become tax defaulted (June 30) and within five years of that date (at which time your property becomes subject to the power of sale).


Q.  How often will I be required to make installment payments?
A.  Under the installment plan you are required to make one payment each year for five years, in addition to paying each year's annual taxes. By each April 10 you must make one payment of 20% or more of the redemption amount, plus interest (which accrues at the rate of 1-1/2% per month on the unpaid balance once the account has been opened), and pay an annual maintenance fee of $36.36.  If you fail to make any installment payment or fail to pay your current year's taxes or any supplemental taxes on or before April 10 of each year, then your account will default. You can, however, pay the total unpaid balance plus accrued interest any time before the fifth and final payment is due.


Q.  Do my installment payments cover my current annual taxes?
A.  No. Your installment payments NEVER include your current year's taxes, which must be paid separately.


Q.  If my first installment account defaults, may I open a second account?
A.  If your first account defaults either because of your failure to make at least one installment payment between July 1 and April 10, or because of your failure to pay your current year's taxes in full by April 10, you may open another account. However, the second account may not be opened until July I of the following fiscal year. You may NEVER reopen an installment account in the fiscal year that the property becomes subject to the power of sale.

If you default a second time, you may open a third installment account. However, if you default a third time, no further installment accounts will be permitted and your property will become subject to the power of sale the following June 30. In that case, your property will be sold at a public auction or acquired by a public agency if you do not pay the full redemption amount before the date on which the property is offered for sale or acquisition.

Each time you open an account, you have five years to pay the full redemption amount. However, it is to your advantage not to default on an installment account, since there is an additional penalty. When a second or third installment account is opened, the redemption amount is re-computed as though no previous payments had been made. This means you will be charged the 1-1/2% monthly penalty on the original unpaid taxes as though none of those taxes had been paid. However, as soon as the first payment on the second or third account has been made, you will be given credit for any previous payments against the re-computed redemption amount.  You must also pay the start-up fee each time you open an installment plan.


Q.  How do I find out more about the Installment Payment Plan?
A.  For more detailed information please read our information on Installment Payment Plans, which contains the  Application and Agreement that you must sign when entering into this Installment Payment Plan. It is important that you read the information carefully as there are specific payment dates which must be adhered to in order to keep the plan in good standing.

*If either December 10 or April 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 p.m. the next business day.

**If June 30 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes must be paid by 5 p.m. of the next business day or the property will be tax defaulted.