Defaulted Tax Information

We do not sell ‘Tax Lien Certificates’ nor does any county in the State of California.

Tax Auctions

Our auction is an internet sale only. Bidders must register in order to participate. Potential bidders that do not have internet access may register to bid “offline” by contacting Bid4Assets customer service at (877) 427-7387.


Merced county retains the right to reject any and all bids for any reason.

Merced county may withdraw a property from the auction at any time before or during the sale.

Merced county reserves the right to cancel the sale of a property at any time prior to the issuance of the deed.


Properties in Merced County that have had tax delinquencies for five or more years, may be offered for sale by the Tax Collector.

The primary purpose of the tax sale is to return the tax defaulted property to the tax rolls. Offering the property for sale achieves this by either selling property or forcing redemption. The secondary benefit is the distribution of the proceeds from the sale, in lieu of taxes, to the various taxing agencies.


The former owner’s right to redeem the property ceases at 5 p.m. the last business day prior to the auction date.

The former owner has a one year challenge period to prove that the sale is invalid. This must be done in a court of law.

Order of Sale

The properties are in numerical order and will be auctioned in that same order. Items missing or not offered have either been redeemed or withdrawn prior to the sale.


Bidders must register in order to participate online.


Successful bidders will be notified by Bid4Assessts and full payment will be required within a specified time after the auction – usually within in 72 hours. Payments must be in the form of certified funds (cashier’s check, postal money order, or wire payment).

In addition a California documentary transfer tax will be added to, and collected with, the full purchase price. This tax is calculated at the rate of $0.55 for each $500 of fractional part thereof.


The property to be sold may be approximately located from maps available for viewing on the website. Maps may also be purchased at the Merced County Assessor’s Customer Service counter, Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 2222 M Street, Merced, CA 95340. The maps show the approximate dimensions and general geographical location of the properties. Copies of maps are also offered for sale by the Merced County Assessor’s Office.

Buyer Beware


Research before you invest.

There are absolutely no refunds of purchases, nor refunds of deposit.

The sale of “tax auctioned” properties should not be equated to real estate sales by licensed salespeople, brokers, or realtors. The Tax Collector cannot guarantee the condition of the property nor assume any responsibility for conformance to codes, permits, or zoning ordinances. Before tax auctioned property is purchased, it is absolutely necessary that the prospective purchaser (bidder) research records pertaining to the property. Some of the departments and offices to check with are Planning Department, Building Inspector, Environmental Health Department, Recorder’s Office, Assessor’s Office, etc.

Tax Defaulted property will be sold on an “as is” basis. The County assumes no liability for any other possible encumbrances recorded or not recorded.

Should the successful purchaser desire a survey of the property, this must be done at the purchaser’s own expense.

It is possible that property sold at the tax auction may not be developable under existing laws. While all possible assistance is given in locating properties in maps, the exact location, desirability, and usefulness of the property must be researched and determined by the prospective purchaser.

The title searches obtained by Merced County prior to the auction are not public record. All bidders should review each recorded document concerning the property. These documents are public record in the Recorder’s Office.

Deed Information

If the purchaser wants to have a name other than their own placed on the deed, a notarized document to that effect must be on file with the Tax Collector.

The Tax Collector’s Deed will be issued in the purchaser’s name (and spouse’s name is desired) approximately three to six weeks after the sale.

We do not maintain a list of encumbrances that will remain following a tax sale. It is the bidders’ responsibility to research this information. Please refer to the following Revenue and Taxation Code:

Section 3712 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code states: “The deed conveys title to the purchaser free from all encumbrances of any kind existing before the sale, except;

  • Any lien for installments of taxes and special assessments, which installments will become payable upon the secured roll after the time of the sale.
  • The lien for taxes or assessments or other rights of any taxing agency which does not consent to the sale under this chapter.
  • Liens for special assessments levied upon the property conveyed which were, at the time of the sale under this chapter, not included in the amount necessary to redeem the tax-defaulted property, and, where a taxing agency which collects its own taxes has consented to the sale under this chapter, not included in the amount required to redeem from sale to the taxing agency.
  • Easements constituting servitude upon or burdens to the property; water rights, the record title to which is held separately from the title to the property; and restrictions of record.
  • Unaccepted, recorded, irrevocable offers of dedication of the property to the public or a public entity for a public purpose, and recorded options of any taxing agency to purchase the property or any interest therein for a public purpose.
  • Unpaid assessments under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 (Division 10 [commencing with Section 8500] of the Streets and Highways Code) which are not satisfied as a result of the sale proceeds being applied pursuant to Chapter 1.3 (commencing with Section 4671) of Part 8.
  • Any federal Internal Revenue Service liens which, pursuant to provisions of federal law, are not discharged by the sale, even though the Tax Collector has provided proper notice to the Internal Revenue Service before that date.
  • Unpaid special taxes under Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (Chapter 2.5[commencing with Section 53311] of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) that are not satisfied as a result of the sale proceeds being applied pursuant to Chapter 1.3 (commencing with Section 4671) of Part 8.


All lien holders have a one year time period to claim excess proceeds. This does not affect the buyer since excess proceeds is the amount remaining after the delinquent taxes have been satisfied. The former owner may also claim excess proceeds. During this one year challenge period, it may not be possible to obtain a clear title to the property from a title company. In the event that the former owner is successful at overturning the sale, then any improvements done to the property would not be reimbursed to the person that made them.

As a bidder, you are responsible to know the laws pertaining to tax auctions, and the laws pertaining to ownership and the associated liability you will assume as the owner. Here is a link to the California Revenue and Taxation Codes, Sections 4521-4531. At that site you will see references to other code sections, to access them use this link to all California Codes where you may search each code, section, or use a specific word as your search key.