(a) Unless an interpleader action has been filed, within 30 days of the execution of the trustee’s deed resulting from a sale in which there are proceeds remaining after payment of the amounts required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 2924k, the trustee shall send written notice to all persons with recorded interests in the real property as of the date immediately prior to the trustee’s sale who would be entitled to notice pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 2924b. The notice shall be sent by first-class mail in the manner provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 2924b and inform each entitled person of each of the following:
(1) That there has been a trustee’s sale of the described real property.
(2) That the noticed person may have a claim to all or a portion of the sale proceeds remaining after payment of the amounts required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 2924k.
(3) The noticed person may contact the trustee at the address provided in the notice to pursue any potential claim.
(4) That before the trustee can act, the noticed person may be required to present proof that the person holds the beneficial interest in the obligation and the security interest therefor. In the case of a promissory note secured by a deed of trust, proof that the person holds the beneficial interest may include the original promissory note and assignment of beneficial interests related thereto. The noticed person shall also submit a written claim to the trustee, executed under penalty of perjury, stating the following:
(A) The amount of the claim to the date of trustee’s sale.
(B) An itemized statement of the principal, interest, and other charges.
(C) That claims must be received by the trustee at the address stated in the notice no later than 30 days after the date the trustee sends notice to the potential claimant.
(b) The trustee shall exercise due diligence to determine the priority of the written claims received by the trustee to the trustee’s sale surplus proceeds from those persons to whom notice was sent pursuant to subdivision (a). In the event there is no dispute as to the priority of the written claims submitted to the trustee, proceeds shall be paid within 30 days after the conclusion of the notice period. If the trustee has failed to determine the priority of written claims within 90 days following the 30-day notice period, then within 10 days thereafter the trustee shall deposit the funds with the clerk of the court pursuant to subdivision (c) or file an interpleader action pursuant to subdivision (e). Nothing in this section shall preclude any person from pursuing other remedies or claims as to surplus proceeds.
(c) If, after due diligence, the trustee is unable to determine the priority of the written claims received by the trustee to the trustee’s sale surplus of multiple persons or if the trustee determines there is a conflict between potential claimants, the trustee may file a declaration of the unresolved claims and deposit with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the sale occurred, that portion of the sales proceeds that cannot be distributed, less any fees charged by the clerk pursuant to this subdivision. The declaration shall specify the date of the trustee’s sale, a description of the property, the names and addresses of all persons sent notice pursuant to subdivision (a), a statement that the trustee exercised due diligence pursuant to subdivision (b), that the trustee provided written notice as required by subdivisions (a) and (d) and the amount of the sales proceeds deposited by the trustee with the court. Further, the trustee shall submit a copy of the trustee’s sales guarantee and any information relevant to the identity, location, and priority of the potential claimants with the court and shall file proof of service of the notice required by subdivision (d) on all persons described in subdivision (a).
The clerk shall deposit the amount with the county treasurer or, if a bank account has been established for moneys held in trust under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 77009 of the Government Code, in that account, subject to order of the court upon the application of any interested party. The clerk may charge a reasonable fee for the performance of activities pursuant to this subdivision equal to the fee for filing an interpleader action pursuant to Chapter 5.8 (commencing with Section 70600) of Title 8 of the Government Code. Upon deposit of that portion of the sale proceeds that cannot be distributed by due diligence, the trustee shall be discharged of further responsibility for the disbursement of sale proceeds. A deposit with the clerk of the court pursuant to this subdivision may be either for the total proceeds of the trustee’s sale, less any fees charged by the clerk, if a conflict or conflicts exist with respect to the total proceeds, or that portion that cannot be distributed after due diligence, less any fees charged by the clerk.
(d) Before the trustee deposits the funds with the clerk of the court pursuant to subdivision (c), the trustee shall send written notice by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to all persons described in subdivision (a) informing them that the trustee intends to deposit the funds with the clerk of the court and that a claim for the funds must be filed with the court within 30 days from the date of the notice, providing the address of the court in which the funds were deposited, and a telephone number for obtaining further information.
Within 90 days after deposit with the clerk, the court shall consider all claims filed at least 15 days before the date on which the hearing is scheduled by the court, the clerk shall serve written notice of the hearing by first-class mail on all claimants identified in the trustee’s declaration at the addresses specified therein. Where the amount of the deposit is twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or less, a proceeding pursuant to this section is a limited civil case. The court shall distribute the deposited funds to any and all claimants entitled thereto.
(e) Nothing in this section restricts the ability of a trustee to file an interpleader action in order to resolve a dispute about the proceeds of a trustee’s sale. Once an interpleader action has been filed, thereafter the provisions of this section do not apply.
(f) “Due diligence,” for the purposes of this section means that the trustee researched the written claims submitted or other evidence of conflicts and determined that a conflict of priorities exists between two or more claimants which the trustee is unable to resolve.
(g) To the extent required by the Unclaimed Property Law, a trustee in possession of surplus proceeds not required to be deposited with the court pursuant to subdivision (b) shall comply with the Unclaimed Property Law (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of Title 10 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
(h) The trustee, beneficiary, or counsel to the trustee or beneficiary, is not liable for providing to any person who is entitled to notice pursuant to this section, information set forth in, or a copy of, subdivision (h) of Section 2945.3.
(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 75, Sec. 15. Effective July 19, 2005. Operative January 1, 2006, by Sec. 156 of Ch. 75.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018