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Illinois Real Estate News and Resource Center: Everything about the Tax Lien Sales

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Cook County

ANNUAL TAX SALE: What is the annual tax sale?
This is the sale of the unpaid taxes some time after the second installment becomes delinquent. Each annual sale offers the delinquent general taxes and delinquent special assessments submitted by taxing bodies for collection at the sale. For taxes offered at the sale, all prior delinquencies will be added to the current delinquency.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What form of payment may be used for delinquent taxes?
After delinquency lists are prepared for newspaper publication and final notices are sent by certified mail, payments must be made by certified check, cashier's check or money order. Personal and business checks are not accepted after the delinquencies have been published in area newspapers and final notices have been sent by certified mail, and cash is accepted only in person at the Treasurer's Office.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What is actually sold at a tax sale?
At a tax sale, the delinquent taxes are sold, not the properties. The delinquencies are liens on the properties to secure payment. A tax purchaser pays the taxes and receives a lien on the property. If the taxpayer does not pay the delinquent taxes, however, after a statutory period of time and after complying with a number of statutory requirements, the tax purchaser may petition the court for a tax deed. If the petition is granted, the tax purchaser will own the property.
It is important to remember that so long as the property owner redeems taxes, or if the tax sale is set aside as a sale in error, the purchaser has no right to the property. It is only in the event that the taxes go unredeemed and the sale is not set aside, that the purchaser can file for a deed to the property
What if I pay late after the initial due date?
Under Illinois law, the penalty for late payments is 1.5% per month.
Be sure to refer to the schedule on the front of the tax bill to send only the one correct amount based on when you pay in person or based on the U.S. postmark if submitting payment by mail.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: How is the sale conducted?
All properties must be offered in the order that they appear on the delinquent tax list by volume and PIN.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Why does Cook County have an annual tax sale?
The annual tax sale–legally mandated and governed by state law–is part of the Illinois property tax system. In Illinois, the property tax is the single largest source of local taxes. Selling taxes helps the various taxing bodies (schools, villages, parks, townships, libraries, public health and safety agencies, etc.) meet their financial commitments. For property owners, the financial consequence of having property taxes sold generally exceeds the cost of paying the tax. If a property owner’s taxes are sold, fees and costs rise substantially. The combination of the high cost of redemption and the potential of losing property is the enforcement mechanism that Illinois employs—and that other states employ with similar methods. If taxes are sold, the taxing agencies receive the full amount of taxes due from the successful tax purchaser, plus county penalties and a number of county fees that have been established by state law for meeting the costs of conducting tax sales. The delinquent tax portion of the money is distributed to local taxing bodies and is available for their budgetary needs. When taxpayers eventually redeem taxes, their funds reimburse the tax purchasers. If the taxpayer fails to redeem, the certificate of tax purchase may be used to seek a tax deed or can be sold to another party who may pursue a tax deed.
How is the Annual Tax Sale initiated?
There are a number of required steps leading up to the annual tax sale:
 (1) The Treasurer publishes the delinquency lists in various newspapers.
 (2) The published notice provides information as to when the Treasurer will apply to the Circuit Court for judgment to begin a tax sale. The published notice also contains the date, time and place the Treasurer plans to hold the sale.
 (3) The Treasurer makes application to the Circuit Court for judgment and order of sale.
 (4) The Court rules on any objections, and then orders the sale to commence on the date previously published, or within 5 business days of that date.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Who runs the tax sale?
The Treasurer's Office runs the annual tax sale. The Clerk's Office also has an official role in recording the transactions in the Annual Tax Judgment, Sale, Redemption and Forfeiture Record. The Clerk's Office has the primary role in post-sale activities relating to notice of sale, tax searches, payment of other delinquencies, and all of the steps leading up to a petition for tax deed.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What taxes/properties does the Tax Sale department make sure are not on the sale list?
The Tax Sale Department reviews the list in an attempt to remove, prior to the sale date, all PINs that should not be sold. That list includes, but is not limited to properties: that are exempt; that have taxes paid but there is a transfer or other correction pending; that are being acquired by municipalities; that are subject to federal forfeitures; etc. In addition to the above, the County Clerk gives notice to the Treasurer of all properties which were subject of “no cash” bids by Cook County on its own behalf, or on behalf of a taxing body at the scavenger sale or during the year. These will be removed from the annual sale list.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What is a tax purchaser?
A tax purchaser is a registered and qualified bidder at the tax sale, and is the legal entity to which Certificates of Purchase will be issued on successful bids. Registered tax purchasers can be a partnership, a limited liability partnership (LLP), a corporation (LLC), a charitable organization (501(c)(3)), or an individual.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: How long may a property owner wait to pay to avoid sale?
Property owners may pay “in person or by agent … at any time before sale.”
It is safest and recommended for taxpayers to pay delinquent taxes prior to the start of the annual tax sale.
If payment is submitted by mail, it must bear a U.S. postmark of at least the day before the sale of their PIN, not the day of the sale.
During the sale, payment can only be made in the Treasurer’s downtown and open satellite offices. This is to make sure that real-time programs are allowed to prevent the auctioneer from letting a sale proceed.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: When does the annual tax sale take place?
State law requires only that it occur after the Second Installment becomes delinquent.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: How does bidding work?
Unlike most other auctions (and the scavenger sale), the annual sale is a strange auction because bids are not made in cash amounts and taxes are not sold to the highest bidder. The bidding process is designed to ensure that taxpayer/owners will be able to redeem their taxes at the lowest possible interest rate. When a taxpayer redeems their taxes from a tax purchaser, they pay the amount paid by the tax purchaser at the sale, plus interest. At the annual tax sale, it is on this rate of interest that tax purchasers bid. The person who bids the lowest rate of interest (between 0% and 18%) will win a bid. The amount of money to be paid for the lien on taxes is not in question at the annual tax sale: the tax purchaser must always pay the entirety of the delinquent taxes, along with costs and interest.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Where and when can tax purchasers register?
Tax purchasers can register at the Treasurer’s Office, in the Tax Sale Department. Registration begins approximately thirty days before the sale commences.
The Scavenger Sale Registration for the sale will begin at 9:00 a.m. on November 14, 2005 and will end at 4:00 p.m. on December 15, 2005. There is a non-refundable $100 Registration Fee required for each buyer to participate in the Scavenger Sale. The certified or cash funds is strictly for registration and will not be applied to any successful bids.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What are the registration requirements?
In order to register for the annual sale, tax purchasers must present the Tax Sale Department with the following at least 10 business days before they plan to bid on a property:
(1) a signed acknowledgment of receipt of the rules and regulations;
(2) a signed acknowledgment of the “Single, Simultaneous Related Bidding Entity” rule;
(3) application form
(4) legible copy of a photo ID for each bidder
(5) deposit of collateral
(6) a W-9 form filled out by the tax purchaser
(7) any additional requirements per the final rules issued during registration
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Can a tax purchaser register multiple entities which can each bid at the tax sale?
There is a “Single, Simultaneous, Related Bidding Entry” rule that prohibits related bidding entities from simultaneously participating in the sale. The reason for this is so that the same entity does not have two or more bidders at the same time, thus increasing the likelihood of its obtaining a parcel in the auction. Essentially, a related bidding entity is a tax purchaser ( of any of the above types) who has an ownership interest or contractual relationship with any other registrant at the tax sale. The determination of whether registered entities are related is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the Cook County Treasurer. Related entities may register for the Tax Sale, but may not be bidding at the same time. This means, for enforcement purposes, that both may not be present at the sale at the same time. At the time of registration, the tax purchaser, or their authorized agent, must affirm their adherence to the above rule, under penalty of perjury.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Are there people who are prohibited from bidding in the tax sale?
The County Officer Property Sale Act prohibits Cook County employees, their employees, their relatives (spouse or child), and their representatives from all tax sales: “No county officer, and no person employed by, or who is a relative or representative of, any county officer in the State of Illinois, while in office or holding office or while in such office or employment, shall have, possess or acquire any pecuniary interest, directly, indirectly or beneficially, or by any derivative process, in any real estate tax forfeiture or foreclosure in the county in which such county officer presides, other than the fee provided by law for the official duties of any such county officer in such proceedings. For purposes of this Section "relative" shall be defined as a spouse or child, or the spouse of a child, including a child by adoption.” Violation of this provision is a class B misdemeanor. Aside from these restrictions, and the restrictions naturally implied by the registration process (e.g., the sale is restricted to people who have completed applications and deposited collateral within the appropriate time frame), bidding is relatively unrestricted.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What are the collateral requirements for the annual sale?
A deposit of collateral of at least 150% of the total amount that the tax purchaser will bid on a given day is required. This collateral must be submitted ten days before the tax purchaser plans to bid. Because of past experience where prospective bidders put up very small amounts of collateral, and easily exceed the limits on a single bid, the registration materials have been altered to provide a table showing approximately how far collateral amounts will go once costs and penalties are added to a bid. This collateral can be in the form of an unconditional letter of credit, a cashier’s or certified check, a money order, or an unconditional surety bond. Cash is not accepted. If a tax purchaser bids in excess of one-third of the collateral that it has posted on any given day, the tax purchaser is disqualified from further bidding on that day, and until all purchases are paid.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Can collateral be increased after the initial collateral is deposited?
Collateral can be increased after the initial collateral has been deposited. This increase, however, may not be utilized by the tax purchaser as collateral until ten business days after it is deposited.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Can collateral be used to pay for a purchase?
No, collateral is meant as security. However, yes, if the buyer is in default. If a buyer defaults, the amount of the purchase, taxes, penalties, interest and sale costs, may be taken out of the collateral. The buyer will be barred from the remainder of the sale. If the collateral is sufficient to cover all the costs of a purchase, the buyer may obtain the certificate of purchase for the property. If not, the buyer will remain personally liable for the difference and may be sued for that amount.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Can the same bidders bid for multiple tax purchasers?
No. A bidder may bid only for a single entity at any particular tax sale.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Does the “tax purchaser” have to be the person bidding at the sale?
Each tax purchaser can have up to four individuals bidding for them. Each of these bidders must be registered under the aegis of the primary tax buying entity.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Does the tax purchaser have to buy subsequent delinquent taxes, that is taxes which become delinquent after the sale?
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What does the tax purchaser who wins a bid on taxes have to pay?
In order to receive the certificate of purchase, the tax purchaser must pay for two things:
(1) The taxes, penalties, and any fees associated with the annual sale purchase. These must be paid before the close of business on the business day following the sale; and,
(2) Any other delinquent taxes, penalties, and fees as uncovered by the Cook County Clerk in a search conducted after the actual purchase. This payment must be made within 10 days of the Clerk providing the information, or an extended period.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What additional costs are associated with an annual sale purchase?
Each annual sale purchase carries the following costs:

(1) Publication cost of $10;
(2) Certificate cost of $10;
(3) Automation Fund fee of $10;
(4) Sale in Error Fund fee of $100;
(5) Indemnity Fund fee of $80 plus 5% of the total amount paid (this 5% is temporary; it will only be charged through December 31, 2006);
(6) Clerk’s tax search of $32; and,
(7) any additional fees due to changes in county ordinances, state law or court rulings.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What happens if the tax purchaser does not complete the initial payment?
Once a bid has been entered in the annual sale, the tax purchaser who entered it is personally liable for the payment of taxes, penalties and costs as published. The sale is not valid until payment has been made. If the initial payment for the sale is not completed, the county has a number of remedies:
(1) The Collector may without notice draw upon the tax purchaser’s collateral in the event payment of the amount due together with interest and costs thereon is not made when required; and
(2) The State’s Attorney can be requested to bring an action on behalf of the People of Illinois against the tax purchaser for all amounts due.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What happens if the tax purchaser does not pay prior delinquent taxes within the 10 day, or 10 day extended, time frame?
If the payment is not made within this time frame, the sale is void and the certificate of purchase will not be issued. While non-payment causes the voiding of the sale, the initial money paid is not returned to the purchaser, unless there is a sale in error. Instead, the monies are distributed to taxing bodies. The tax purchaser will retain a lien on the property for the amount actually paid at 5% interest. In order to redeem the property or sell it, this lien must be paid. The only exception to that is when the property is acquired by no cash bid at a sale for delinquent special assessments.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: What happens when delinquent taxes on a parcel are offered and not sold?
Delinquent property taxes that are offered at the annual sale without being sold are forfeited to the State of Illinois. A tax forfeiture does not actually change the legal status of the parcel; it merely signifies that the tax lien remains with Cook County. When taxes are forfeited, they are recorded in the Tax Judgment Record as such by the County Clerk. Once taxes are forfeited there are a number of alternative scenarios. To begin, there is no limit on how long taxes can remain forfeited; if none of the following occur, the forfeiture can remain in the Tax Judgment Record for up to twenty years. After twenty years, it will be deemed uncollectible, extinguishing the liability. The delinquent tax lien can be removed in a number of ways. The forfeiture can be redeemed by the property owner; the forfeiture can be redeemed by a tax purchaser who holds a lien on another year’s taxes or a portion of another year’s taxes on the same PIN; the forfeiture can be purchased “over the counter” by a tax purchaser; or the County could make a no cash bid on the taxes. In addition, if there are open or forfeited taxes in two or more years on the same PIN, all of the delinquent taxes on the PIN may be entered for judgment and order of sale at the scavenger sale. Section 21-145.
ANNUAL TAX SALE: Why are “no-cash” bids held out of the tax sale?
Illinois law permits counties, and any of their taxing districts, to enter “no-cash” bids on any property that has delinquent taxes, or has been forfeited in two or more years. No-cash bids are made both over the counter in the Clerk’s Office and in connection with the Scavenger Sale. Property is acquired by governmental bodies in this fashion for public use, or for redevelopment. If taxes become delinquent in years after the County’s no-cash bid, but before the County has gone to deed on the property, those taxes could be sold at a tax sale to tax purchaser. Because the property will be exempt and all delinquencies eliminated when the County goes to deed, any sale of subsequent taxes to a tax purchaser would necessarily have to be processed as a sale in error. By taking the parcel off the sale list, it ensures that the County may receive its tax deed without unnecessary complications and without risk of having to pay interest on a vacated tax sale.
Information provided courtesy of Cook County Treasurer

Will County

Annual Tax Sale

In order to participate in the annual delinquent tax sale as a tax investor, please read the following:
  • Refer to Illinois State Statutes, Chapter 35.
  • Register in writing 10 working days prior to tax sale with the County Treasurer's Office.
  • Contact the Treasurer's Office for the exact date and registration form.
  • A delinquent tax sale list/diskette will be made available. Contact the Treasurer's Office regarding date and costs.
  • Delinquent tax sale listings are also published in local newspapers throughout the county.
  • Tax sale is held at the end of the tax cycle (typically November). The tax sale this year's will begin November 7, 2005. Sale hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Subsequent taxes may be paid in the Collector's Office three weeks after the second installment due date.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Treasurer's Office, 302 N Chicago St., Joliet IL 60432-4059. (815-740-4675).

What it is date and time of your tax sale?
Tax sale is usually held in November. This year's tax sale will begin November 7, 2005. This date may fluctuate from tax year to tax year. The tax sale usually lasts three days.

How often do you hold tax sales?
Tax sale is held one time per year

What is the bidding process?
The bids start at 18%. The lowest bid is accepted. The bid is a 6 month interest rate.

What type of document is issued at the tax sale?
Tax sale certificates are issued at the time of payment.

What happens to the parcels that are not sold at the tax sale? May they be purchased from the county?
All unpaid taxes are sold at the annual tax sale. All taxes which are not purchased by tax buyers are sold to the Will County Trustee, Joseph Meyer. Contact the Trustee's Office for assignment purchases. 1-800-248-2850.

Do you allow investors to participate in the tax sale without attending the sale via mail, telephone or FAX?

May I send a representative to the sale to bid for me?
Yes, all bidders must be listed on the registration letter.

Does your county hold a deed sale in addition to a tax sale?
The county holds an auction each year which is part of the Delinquent Real Estate Tax Liquidation Program. This year it will be held on August 9, 2005.

Lake County

Tax Sale Instructions

The tax sale will be held at 9:00 AM on the 10th floor in the Assembly Room of the County Administration Building. The tax sale usually starts on the first or second Monday in December with the delinquent lists becoming available 2 or 3 weeks prior to the sale. Listed below is some important information for those attending the sale.

  1. Fees involved prior to the tax sale:
    1. Registration begins October 1st
    2. $50 registration fee (applies to each buyer number to be used at the sale)
    3. $500 tax sale list ($50 for the actual list and $450 will be applied toward any items purchased at the sale)
  2. Application and fees must be received in the Lake County Treasurer’s Office 10 business days prior to the beginning of the sale.
  3. If you would like the Treasurer’s Office to mail you a paper copy, there will be an additional charge of $20 per list.
  4. There will be no refunds on the registration fee or tax sale list.
  5. Anyone interested in buying only one or two parcels will need to register 10 business days prior to the start of the sale. There will be no registration fee involved. These will take place each day prior to the sale. Payment for those parcels will be required that day.
  6. Buyers purchasing fewer than 10 parcels must pay the total amount due on the day of the sale or those sales will be voided.
  7. Buyers purchasing more than 10 parcels will be notified the following morning of the amount due. That amount must be paid on the following business day after notification. (i.e. Monday’s sales must be paid on Wednesday, Tuesday’s sales must be paid on Thursday, etc.)
  8. A list will be available to tax buyers purchasing more than 10 parcels on the morning following completion of the sale. Any corrections must be made by 5:00 PM on the date of the sale.
  9. All tax buyers will be notified when certificates are ready. Certificates must be picked up in person. THEY WILL NOT BE MAILED.

Dupage County

The tax sale is held each November, in the JTK County Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton, Illinois. A list of delinquent parcels will be published in local newspapers in November. A tax sale list of the delinquent parcels will be available for purchase by registered buyers at a cost that is dependent upon the number of parcels. While more information is contained on the tax sale list than is published in the newspapers, its purchase is not a requirement for attending the tax sale. The tax sale list provided to the tax buyers is for the sole purpose of the delinquent property tax sale. Use of this information for any other purpose is strictly prohibited. The County Treasurer reserves the right to deny sale of the list to any tax buyer. State law requires that bidders be registered at least 10 business days prior to the start of the sale. Registration forms are available in October to prospective tax buyers, along with a list of requirements for buying at the tax sale. This information can be obtained online or in our office. A person must attend the sale in order to bid. Payment of purchases (delinquent taxes + interest + costs of $104.00 per parcel) must be made the day of the sale by cash or cashier’s check only. The bid represents the rate of interest that would be earned by the tax buyer on the purchase amount during each six months of the redemption period, if the owner redeems the sale. By law, the maximum interest rate bid is 18%. The sale is to the person who bids the lowest percentage of interest. In the last several years the average successful bids ranged from 0% to 3%. After the tax sale, the tax buyer is issued a certificate of purchase, which represents a lien on the property. The property owner has a 2 to 2 year redemption period, depending on property classification. If the tax lien is not redeemed by the owner, the tax buyer must petition the circuit court for a tax deed, after first fulfilling all of the legal requirements. The tax buyer may also pay all unpaid taxes for the next two subsequent years at a specified time and record the payments against the sale. The legal requirements to purchase at the tax sale and procedures that must be followed to obtain a tax deed are outlined in the Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 35, Act 200, Article 21, available at public libraries or on the internet at Knowledge regarding procedures and statutory requirements is the tax buyer’s responsibility. In cases where there are no bidders on a parcel, the County, as Trustee for all taxing bodies, becomes the buyer at 18%. The County’s certificates are available for purchase by tax buyers in the amount that the County paid, along with the 18%. Please direct inquiries concerning purchasing County certificates to the DuPage County Clerk. There are no forfeitures (unsold parcels) available after the sale for over-the-counter purchases.

Cook County Annual Tax Sale: 2006 Tax Sale Over 37,000 Properties

When: June 6-30th (see schedule below)
Times: 8am-4pm daily on scheduled days
Where: 69 W. Washington, Lower Level Room B (concourse area), Chicago, IL
Payment: Certified check, cashier’s check, or money order

The List: On May 3rd , Downloadable, Searchable database, or sent as an
email attachment
**Only $59.95 (basic list on CD costs $250.00 at the Cook County Treasurer)

Cook County Annual Tax Sale Schedule

Date : Township
June 6th: Barrington, Berwyn, Bloom, Bremen
June 7th: Bremen, Calumet, Cicero, Elk Grove
June 8th: Evanston, Hanover, Lemont, Leyden, Lyons
June 9th: Maine, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Norwood Park
June 12th: Oak Park, Orland, Palatine, Palos, Proviso
June 13th: Proviso, Rich, River Forest, Riverdale, Schaumburg, Stickney
June 14th: Thorton
June 15th: Thorton, Wheeling, Worth
June 16th: Hyde Park
June 19th: Hyde Park
June 20th: Hyde Park, Jefferson
June 21st: Jefferson, Lake
June 22nd: Lake
June 23rd: Lake
June 26th: Lake
June 27th: Lake, Lake View
June 28th: North Chicago, Rogers Park, South Chicago
June 29th: South Chicago, West Chicago
June 30th: West Chicago

2005 Scavenger Sale

Under Illinois law, the Treasurer’s Office is required to conduct a Biennial Scavenger Sale (conducted in odd-numbered years). The advantage of purchasing at the scavenger sale as opposed to the tax sale is the shorter redemption period for the homeowner.

The 2005 Scavenger Sale on which property taxes for 2 or more years are listed delinquent and subject to sale has been scheduled to commence on December 28, 2005. It will be conducted from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each business day. Seat selection is first come first serve. At the discretion of the Tax Sale Supervisor, these hours may be extended or shortened to accommodate the sale schedule. It is contemplated that the sale will be completed on January 17, 2006, with the re-offer sale scheduled for January 19, 2006.

The sale will be conducted in the Lower Level Auditorium of the Juvenile Justice Center located at 1100 South Hamilton, Chicago, Illinois.

Registration for the sale will begin at 9:00 a.m. on November 14, 2005 and will end at 4:00 p.m. on December 15, 2005. There is a non-refundable $100 Registration Fee required for each buyer to participate in the Scavenger Sale. The certified or cash funds is strictly for registration and will not be applied to any successful bids.


Illinois Scavenger Sale Law/Procedures

Public Act 91-0189

SB51 Enrolled          LRB9101825PTpk

AN ACT to amend the Property Tax Code by changing Section 21-260.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by changing Section 21-260 as follows:

(35 ILCS 200/21-260)
   Sec. 21-260. Collector's scavenger sale. Upon the county collector's application under Section 21-145, to be known as the Scavenger Sale Application, the Court shall enter judgment for the general taxes, special taxes, special assessments, interest, penalties and costs as are included in the advertisement and appear to be due thereon after allowing an opportunity to object and a hearing upon the objections as provided in Section 21-175, and order those properties sold by the County Collector at public sale to the highest bidder for cash, notwithstanding the bid may be less than the full amount of taxes, special taxes, special assessments, interest, penalties and costs for which judgment has been entered.
   (a) Conducting the sale - Bidding. All properties shall be offered for sale in consecutive order as they appear in the delinquent list. The minimum bid for any property shall be $250 or one-half of the tax if the total liability is less than $500. The successful bidder shall immediately pay the amount of minimum bid to the County Collector in cash, by certified or cashier's check, or by money order, or, if the successful bidder is a governmental unit, by a check issued by that governmental unit. If the bid exceeds the minimum bid, the successful bidder shall pay the balance of the bid to the county collector in cash, by certified or cashier's check, or by money order, or, if the successful bidder is a governmental unit, by a check issued by that governmental unit by the close of the next business day. If the minimum bid is not paid at the time of sale or if the balance is not paid by the close of the next business day, then the sale is void and the minimum bid, if paid, is forfeited to the county general fund. In that event, the property shall be reoffered for sale within 30 days of the last offering of property in regular order. The collector shall make available to the public a list of all properties to be included in any reoffering due to the voiding of the original sale. The collector is not required to serve or publish any other notice of the reoffering of those properties. In the event that any of the properties are not sold upon reoffering, or are sold for less than the amount of the original voided sale, the original bidder who failed to pay the bid amount shall remain liable for the unpaid balance of the bid in an action under Section 21-240. Liability shall not be reduced where the bidder upon reoffering also fails to pay the bid amount, and in that event both bidders shall remain liable for the unpaid balance of their respective bids. A sale of properties under this Section shall not be final until confirmed by the court.
   (b) Confirmation of sales. The county collector shall file his or her report of sale in the court within 30 days of the date of sale of each property. No notice of the county collector's application to confirm the sales shall be required except as prescribed by rule of the court. Upon confirmation, except in cases where the sale becomes void under Section 22-85, or in cases where the order of confirmation is vacated by the court, a sale under this Section shall extinguish the in rem lien of the general taxes, special taxes and special assessments for which judgment has been entered and a redemption shall not revive the lien. Confirmation of the sale shall in no event affect the owner's personal liability to pay the taxes, interest and penalties as provided in this Code or prevent institution of a proceeding under Section 21-440 to collect any amount that may remain due after the sale.
   (c) Issuance of tax sale certificates. Upon confirmation of the sale the County Clerk and the County Collector shall issue to the purchaser a certificate of purchase in the form prescribed by Section 21-250 as near as may be. A certificate of purchase shall not be issued to any person who is ineligible to bid at the sale or to receive a certificate of purchase under Section 21-265.
   (d) Scavenger Tax Judgment, Sale and Redemption Record - Sale of parcels not sold. The county collector shall prepare a Scavenger Tax Judgment, Sale and Redemption Record. The county clerk shall write or stamp on the scavenger tax judgment, sale, forfeiture and redemption record opposite the description of any property offered for sale and not sold, or not confirmed for any reason, the words "offered but not sold". The properties which are offered for sale under this Section and not sold or not confirmed shall be offered for sale annually thereafter in the manner provided in this Section until sold, except in the case of mineral rights, which after 10 consecutive years of being offered for sale under this Section and not sold or confirmed shall no longer be required to be offered for sale. At any time between annual sales the County Collector may advertise for sale any properties subject to sale under judgments for sale previously entered under this Section and not executed for any reason. The advertisement and sale shall be regulated by the provisions of this Code as far as applicable.
   (e) Proceeding to tax deed. The owner of the certificate of purchase shall give notice as required by Sections 22-5 through 22-30, and may extend the period of redemption as provided by Section 21-385. At any time within 5 months prior to expiration of the period of redemption from a sale under this Code, the owner of a certificate of purchase may file a petition and may obtain a tax deed under Sections 22-30 through 22-55. All proceedings for the issuance of a tax deed and all tax deeds for properties sold under this Section shall be subject to Sections 22-30 through 22-55. Deeds issued under this Section are subject to Section 22-70. This Section shall be liberally construed so that the deeds provided for in this Section convey merchantable title.
   (f) Redemptions from scavenger sales. Redemptions may be made from sales under this Section in the same manner and upon the same terms and conditions as redemptions from sales made under the County Collector's annual application for judgment and order of sale, except that in lieu of penalty the person redeeming shall pay interest as follows if the sale occurs before September 9, 1993:
      (1) If redeemed within the first 2 months from the date of the sale, 3% per month or portion thereof upon the amount for which the property was sold;
      (2) If redeemed between 2 and 6 months from the date of the sale, 12% of the amount for which the property was sold;
      (3) If redeemed between 6 and 12 months from the date of the sale, 24% of the amount for which the property was sold;
      (4) If redeemed between 12 and 18 months from the date of the sale, 36% of the amount for which the property was sold;
      (5) If redeemed between 18 and 24 months from the date of the sale, 48% of the amount for which the property was sold;
      (6) If redeemed after 24 months from the date of sale, the 48% herein provided together with interest at 6% per year thereafter.
   If the sale occurs on or after September 9, 1993, the person redeeming shall pay interest on that part of the amount for which the property was sold equal to or less than the full amount of delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs, included in the judgment and order of sale as follows:
      (1) If redeemed within the first 2 months from the date of the sale, 3% per month upon the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due for each of the first 2 months, or fraction thereof.
      (2) If redeemed at any time between 2 and 6 months from the date of the sale, 12% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due.
      (3) If redeemed at any time between 6 and 12 months from the date of the sale, 24% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due.
      (4) If redeemed at any time between 12 and 18 months from the date of the sale, 36% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due.
      (5) If redeemed at any time between 18 and 24 months from the date of the sale, 48% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due.
      (6) If redeemed after 24 months from the date of sale, the 48% provided for the 24 months together with interest at 6% per annum thereafter on the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due.
   The person redeeming shall not be required to pay any interest on any part of the amount for which the property was sold that exceeds the full amount of delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs included in the judgment and order of sale.
   Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, except for owner-occupied single family residential units which are condominium units, cooperative units or dwellings, the amount required to be paid for redemption shall also include an amount equal to all delinquent taxes on the property which taxes were delinquent at the time of sale. The delinquent taxes shall be apportioned by the county collector among the taxing districts in which the property is situated in accordance with law. In the event that all moneys received from any sale held under this Section exceed an amount equal to all delinquent taxes on the property sold, which taxes were delinquent at the time of sale, together with all publication and other costs associated with the sale, then, upon redemption, the County Collector and the County Clerk shall apply the excess amount to the cost of redemption.
   (g) Bidding by county or other taxing districts. Any taxing district may bid at a scavenger sale. The county board of the county in which properties offered for sale under this Section are located may bid as trustee for all taxing districts having an interest in the taxes for the nonpayment of which the parcels are offered. The County shall apply on the bid the unpaid taxes due upon the property and no cash need be paid. The County or other taxing district acquiring a tax sale certificate shall take all steps necessary to acquire title to the property and may manage and operate the property so acquired.
   When a county, or other taxing district within the county, is a petitioner for a tax deed, no filing fee shall be required on the petition. The county as a tax creditor and as trustee for other tax creditors, or other taxing district within the county shall not be required to allege and prove that all taxes and special assessments which become due and payable after the sale to the county have been paid. The county shall not be required to pay the subsequently accruing taxes or special assessments at any time. Upon the written request of the county board or its designee, the county collector shall not offer the property for sale at any tax sale subsequent to the sale of the property to the county under this Section. The lien of taxes and special assessments which become due and payable after a sale to a county shall merge in the fee title of the county, or other taxing district, on the issuance of a deed. The County may sell the properties so acquired, or the certificate of purchase thereto, and the proceeds of the sale shall be distributed to the taxing districts in proportion to their respective interests therein. The presiding officer of the county board, with the advice and consent of the County Board, may appoint some officer or person to attend scavenger sales and bid on its behalf.
   (h) Miscellaneous provisions. In the event that the tract of land or lot sold at any such sale is not redeemed within the time permitted by law and a tax deed is issued, all moneys that may be received from the sale of properties in excess of the delinquent taxes, together with all publication and other costs associated with the sale, shall, upon petition of any interested party to the court that issued the tax deed, be distributed by the County Collector pursuant to order of the court among the persons having legal or equitable interests in the property according to the fair value of their interests in the tract or lot. Section 21-415 does not apply to properties sold under this Section. Appeals may be taken from the orders and judgments entered under this Section as in other civil cases. The remedy herein provided is in addition to other remedies for the collection of delinquent taxes.
(Source: P.A. 90-514, eff. 8-22-97; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98.)

Illinois Tax Lien Sale Basics

Sale Type: Lien (you get a lien not the property at the auction)
Interest Rate: 18% (maximum interest/penalty that accrues on taxes)
Bid Method: Bidders Bid DOWN the interest/penalty
Redemption: 2 – 3 years
Sale Dates: Cook County – June (scavenger in December/January info/listings On ilFLS)
Lake County – December 5-6
Dupage County – November 21 until properties are sold
Will County – November, usually the first week
Kane County – November, contact at 630-232-3565
Kendall County – November, contact 630-553-4124
McHenry County – November, contact (815) 334-4260