The Annual Sale of unpaid property taxes from tax year 2003 will begin on July 6, 2005, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.
Pappas said certified letters constituting final notice were mailed to the delinquent property owners, the fifth and last notice for taxes unpaid from tax year 2003, the bills for which were issued in 2004.
The Annual Tax Sale will begin at 7:45 a.m., on Wednesday, July 6, in Lower Level Room B, of the Cook County Administration Building, 69 W. Washington St., Chicago, and continue through July 27, 2005.
Unpaid taxes will be offered at auction in the Tax Sale. If unpaid taxes are bought, the property owner will have to redeem, with penalties and interest to the tax buyer. A property owner who does not redeem might lose the property in court to the tax buyer.
As required by state law, names of 48,000 delinquent property owners were published in local newspapers. Pappas said that between publication and the tax sale, many owners are expected to pay the delinquent taxes and avoid having them auctioned at the Tax Sale.
"Property owners should pay as soon as possible to avoid the greater expense of redeeming taxes bought at the Tax Sale," Pappas said.
Property owners have at least two years in which to redeem their purchased taxes. At the end of that time, the tax buyer can ask a court for title to the property.
Pappas emphasized that a Cook County judge oversees the process, and is the one to give or withhold final approval for a tax buyer to obtain the deed to a property at the end of two years.
After property taxes become delinquent, law requires that the owner receive eight notices:
- From the Treasurer's Office, a certified or registered letter.
- From the Treasurer's Office, publication in a community newspaper.
After delinquent taxes have been sold at the Tax Sale:
- From the Cook County Clerk's Office, a certified or registered letter that the tax buyer has filed a "take notice."
- From the Clerk's Office, a certified or registered letter that the tax buyer has filed a notice of expiration of redemption (the end of the period in which the owner can repay).
- From the Cook County Sheriff's Office, a notice that the tax buyer has asked a court for the deed to the property.
- From the tax buyer, notice by publication three times in a newspaper.
After a judge finds that all of the above steps have been taken and the property owner has not redeemed, the tax buyer can ask for the deed to the property.