Change of Ownership & Transfer Process

Why did I receive a Change of Ownership Statement (COS)?
A Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) is required whenever a document evidencing a change of ownership is recorded. If a PCOR is not received, the Assessor Department will mail you a Change of Ownership Statement (COS). The owner of the property is required to complete and return the form, under Section 480 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Failure to file a completed COS will result in a penalty bill of up to $2,500.
Why did I receive a COS when there has not been a change of ownership or sale of property?
A Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) is required whenever a document evidencing a change of ownership is recorded. If a PCOR is not received, the Assessor Department will mail you a Change of Ownership Statement (COS). Failure to file a completed COS will result in a penalty bill of up to $2,500.
Do I need to fill out a Change of Ownership Statement (COS) if I don't own the property anymore?
If you receive a Change of Ownership Statement (COS) in the mail, you must complete and return it to the Assessor Department to avoid penalties of up to $2,500, even if you don't own the property anymore.
Do I have to provide the purchase price and financing information?
Yes. Purchase price and terms of the purchase are required under Section 480(c) of the R&T Code.
My name is not spelled correctly on the property tax bill. How can I have the spelling corrected or changed?
The name on a property bill must appear exactly as it did on the last recorded document. If the name was spelled incorrectly on the recorded document, you must record a new document with the Clerk-Recorder. If the name is misspelled due to a typographical error on our part, we will gladly correct it. Please call our office at 714- 834-2929 or 714-834-2932 (Deeds section) for more information.
Why does my tax bill still have the previous owner's name on it?
By law, the tax bill is issued to the owner of the property as of lien date January 1st each year. If you purchased the property on or after January 1st, the prior owner’s name will appear until the following year.
Where can I obtain the necessary forms to change title?
Most stationery and office supply stores carry blank documents that can be used to change title, such as a Grant Deed or Quitclaim Deed.
Can you help me to fill out my deed so that I can change the title to my property?
The Assessor Department cannot advise owners on title changes. You should contact an attorney or a title company for assistance.
Should I notify the Assessor Department when an owner of real estate dies?
If you are authorized to act on behalf of an estate, you should file a PCOR with a copy of the death certificate with the Assessor Department within 150 days of the date of death. If the estate is probated, the PCOR should be completed and returned to the Assessor Department when the inventory and appraisal is filed with the court.
How do I notify the Assessor Department of the death of a real estate owner?
The administrator of the estate should file a PCOR and copy of the death certificate within 150 days of the date of death. If the estate is probated, the PCOR should be completed and returned to the Assessor Department when the inventory and appraisal is filed with the court. For more information, please call 714-834-5031(COS Information).
Why is a PCOR or COS required if property is held in a trust, and the owner(s) of the trust dies?
A change of ownership occurs as of the date of death. Even though the property remains in the trust, the beneficial interest has transferred from the owner (decedent) to the beneficiary of the trust. A PCOR or COS is required.
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