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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Partial Release of Lien and Subordination of Lien

Partial release of lien

A partial release of lien releases a state tax lien from a specific piece of property. However, the lien remains in effect and will encumber the transfer of title of any other properties owned or subsequently acquired by the taxpayer. Reasons to request a partial release of lien include a need to transfer the rights to the property when there are insufficient funds to fully satisfy the state tax lien or the party with the lien has no rights to title of the property.

Subordination of lien

A subordination of a lien is not the same as a release of lien. The lien remains in effect; however, a subordination of lien lowers the priority in favor of some other lien against the property. The lien remains in effect and will encumber the sale of the specified property and any other property owned or acquired by the taxpayer. Typical situations are the refinance of a loan and there are insufficient funds to fully satisfy the state tax lien or the existing loan is being modified.

How to request a partial release of lien or subordination of lien

Individual or business entity, call us at 916.845.4350 (not toll-free). If we determine that a partial release of lien or subordination of a lien is warranted, we will ask you to submit the following:

  1. Letter from seller(s) detailing request and/or hardship. Must include FTB ID/SSN, property address, forwarding address (if applicable), phone number(s), and current occupation.
  2. Estimated Closing or Settlement Statement. (HUD-1). Include estimated closing date.
  3. Current preliminary title report that includes the legal description of the property.
  4. Current appraisal report. (CMA/BPO accepted on vacant land transactions only)
  5. Copies of all other liens and encumbrances.
  6. Documentation to substantiate all lien payoffs through this escrow. Current short sale approval letter from lender(s) required for all Short Sale transactions.
  7. Copy of the new deed of trust (for subordination requests only).
  8. Additional documentation and contact with the seller may be needed to complete the request.

During the evaluation process we will:

  • Review the reason and substantiation for the request
  • Verify that the property is being sold at, or near fair market value
  • Determine that the industry standard fees / commissions are charged
  • Confirm only senior lien holders and /or judgment creditors are paid

Important: Please submit your request at least 21 days before the escrow closing date to allow sufficient time for review, determination, notification, and the furnishing of any additional documentation. Failure to provide a complete package will result in a delay in processing time.

All requests must be sent by overnight service to:


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