A tax lien
is a legal claim to secure a debt and threatens both real and personal property.
If you have an unpaid state tax bill and you have ignored the notices and telephone calls, the California State Franchise Tax Board (FTB) can end up seizing and selling your personal property. Such a levying of assets includes more than just levy on a bank account or a garnishing wages - your home, possessions and your car can be levied.
Seizing personal property is not the first or favorite way to collect.
Your best direction is to work on an installment agreement for the unpaid balance (even if you do not agree with the total) based on your financial situation. You can then continue to try to get abatement of the penalty without fear of seizure.
Unfortunately, the courts will almost always let the FTB use the last address on a tax return as the address that will count as you getting the notices.
The lien does give the FTB the ability to seize personal property but that is very rarely used unless a taxpayer does not cooperate.
Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear; but i hope it helps as you try to work it out.
Please ask if you need clarification.