Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–1341. Notice of delinquency.

(a)(1) On or before May 1, the Mayor shall send a notice of tax delinquency by first class mail to the person who last appears as the owner of the real property on the tax roll, at the last mailing address shown on the tax roll, as updated by the filing of a change of address in accordance with § 42-405. If the premises address is different from the address of record of the owner, the Mayor shall send a duplicate copy of the notice to the premises address, addressed to “Property Owner.”

(2) The notice required pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be in substantively the following form and may include a payment coupon or enclosed bill:

“THIS IS A NOTICE OF DELINQUENCY FAILURE TO PAY TAXES WILL HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE LOSS OF TITLE TO THE PROPERTY

“Subject Property: [Identify by taxation square, suffix, and lot number, or parcel and lot number, and by premises address, the real property to be sold]

“TO AVOID TAX SALE YOU MUST PAY $ [Amount Subject to Sale] by May 31, 20__)

“The amount that you must pay to avoid the tax sale may be less than the total amount owed on the real property account. This amount may include fees or fines due to other DC agencies that have been certified to the Office of Tax and Revenue to be included in a tax sale pursuant to D.C. Code § 47-1340.

“According to the Mayor’s tax roll, you own or may have an interest in the real property listed above. Notice is given that unless you pay the amount stated above or fall within one of the limited exemptions from the tax sale, the Office of Tax and Revenue may sell this real property at tax sale.

“If the property is sold at tax sale, the purchaser may have the right to file a lawsuit to foreclose on the property. You must act now to avoid additional costs and significant expenses, as well as potential loss of title to the property.

“Payment to the “DC Treasurer” may be made online at www.taxpayerservicecenter.com or at any District branch of Wells Fargo Bank or mailed (with payment coupon from tax bill) to the Office of Tax and Revenue, Real Property Tax Administration, PO Box 98095, Washington, DC 20090-8095 (please write your square, suffix and lot numbers on the check). You should keep a copy of your proof of payment in case there is a later dispute about the payment.

“If payment is not made before May 31, 20__, the amount listed on this notice may no longer be accurate. In that case, you must contact the Office of Tax and Revenue at ______ to obtain an updated payoff amount.

“YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING A HARDSHIP FORBEARANCE OR FREE LEGAL SERVICES. PLEASE SEE THE NEXT PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

“Should you have additional questions, please call the Customer Service Center for the Office of Tax and Revenue at (202) 727-4TAX (4829).

“RESOURCES FOR REAL PROPERTY TAXPAYERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

“Real Property Tax Ombudsman. Homeowners and other interested parties may be eligible for assistance from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman. If you need assistance with a tax sale or related property tax matters, contact the Real Property Tax Ombudsman at ___________.

“Classification Disputes. If your real property is classified as vacant or blighted and you believe this classification is incorrect, contact the Vacant Building Enforcement Unit of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs at ______ for information on how to appeal the property classification.

“Hardship Forbearance. You may be eligible to defer, or postpone, payment of the past due amount. For information on how to apply for this deferral, please contact the Office of Tax and Revenue at ___________.

“Senior Citizen and Low-Income Tax Relief. Senior citizens and low-income households may have additional rights to defer property taxes. If think you may be eligible for this tax relief, please contact the Office of Tax and Revenue at _______ for more information.

“Additional Legal Services. Free and reduced-cost legal services may be available to low- and moderate-income households. You can get a list of service providers from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (above).

“Housing Counseling Services. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. You can get a list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (above).”

(b) Subject to the Mayor’s authority to cancel the sale under § 47-1366(b)(3)(A) and (B), the failure of the Mayor to mail the notices of delinquency as provided in subsections (a) and (b-1) of this section, or to include any taxes in the notice of delinquency, shall not:

(1) Invalidate or otherwise affect a tax;

(2) “Invalidate or otherwise affect a sale made under this chapter to enforce payment of taxes;

(3) Prevent or stay any proceedings under this chapter; or

(4) Affect the title of a purchaser.

(b-1)(1) At least 2 weeks before real property is offered at a tax sale under this chapter, the Mayor shall send a final notice of delinquency, by first class mail to the person who last appears as the owner of the real property on the tax roll, at the last address shown on the tax roll, as updated by the filing of a change of address in accordance with § 42-405. If the premises address is different from the address of record of the owner, the Mayor shall send a duplicate copy of the notice to the premises address, addressed to “Property Owner.”

(2) The notice required pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be in substantively the following form, and may include a payment coupon or enclosed bill:

“THIS IS A NOTICE OF DELINQUENCY. FAILURE TO PAY TAXES IMMEDIATELY MAY HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES WHICH MAY INCLUDE LOSS OF TITLE TO THE PROPERTY

“Subject Property: [Identify by taxation square, suffix, and lot number, or parcel and lot number, and by premises address, the real property to be sold]

“TO AVOID TAX SALE YOU MUST PAY $[Amount Subject to Sale] by [Last Business Day before tax sale]

“The amount that you must pay to avoid the tax sale may be less than the total amount owed on the real property account. This amount may include fees or fines due to other DC agencies that have been certified to the Office of Tax and Revenue to be included in a tax sale pursuant to D.C. Code § 47-1340.

“According to the Mayor’s tax roll, you own or may have an interest in the real property listed above. Notice is given that unless you pay the amount stated above or fall within one of the limited exemptions from the tax sale, the Office of Tax and Revenue may sell this real property at tax sale.

“If the property is sold at tax sale, the purchaser may have the right to file a lawsuit to foreclose on the property. You must act now to avoid additional costs and significant expenses, as well as potential loss of title to the property.

“Payment to the “DC Treasurer” may be made online at www.taxpayerservicecenter.com, at any District branch of Wells Fargo Bank, or mailed (with payment coupon from tax bill) to the Office of Tax and Revenue, Real Property Tax Administration, PO Box 98095, Washington, DC 20090-8095 (please write your square, suffix and lot numbers on the check). You should keep a copy of your proof of payment in case there is a later dispute about the payment.

“If payment is made less than 10 calendar days before [the last business day before tax sale], you must provide a copy of the receipt directly to the Office of Tax and Revenue in order to ensure that your property is removed from the tax sale.

•“You may FAX the receipt to (202) 478-5995; EMAIL the receipt to [email address]; or HAND-DELIVER a copy of the paid receipt to a Tax Sale Unit representative in the Customer Service Center located at 1101 4th Street, SW, Suite 270W, Washington, DC 20024.

•“Do not mail your paid receipt.

“YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING A HARDSHIP FORBEARANCE OR FREE LEGAL SERVICES. PLEASE SEE THE NEXT PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

“Should you have additional questions, please call the Customer Service Center for the Office of Tax and Revenue at (202) 727-4TAX (4829).

“RESOURCES FOR REAL PROPERTY TAXPAYERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

“Real Property Tax Ombudsman. Homeowners and other interested parties may be eligible for assistance from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman. If you need assistance with a tax sale or related property tax matters, contact the Real Property Tax Ombudsman at ___________.

“Classification Disputes. If your real property is classified as vacant or blighted and you believe this classification is incorrect, contact the Vacant Building Enforcement Unit of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs at _______ for information on how to appeal the property classification.

“Hardship Forbearance. You may be eligible to defer, or postpone, payment of the past due amount. For information on how to apply for this deferral, please contact the Office of Tax and Revenue at ___________.

“Senior Citizen and Low-Income Tax Relief. Senior citizens and low-income households may have additional rights to defer property taxes. If you think you may be eligible for this tax relief, please contact the Office of Tax and Revenue at _______ for more information.

“Additional Legal Services. Free and reduced-cost legal services may be available to low- and moderate-income households. You can get a list of service providers from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (above).

“Housing Counseling Services. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. You can get a list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies from the Real Property Tax Ombudsman (above).”

(c) Payment of the total amount stated in the notice of delinquency and as directed in the notice shall preclude the real property from being offered at the tax sale to which the notice corresponds.

(d) Action taken under § 47-1336, relating to energy efficient loans, shall be exempt from the notice requirements of this section.