Under Illinois law, the Treasurer's Office is required to conduct a Scavenger Sale every two years. At the Scavenger Sale, taxes on properties with three or more years of delinquent taxes are offered for sale. Taxes are sold for cash bids. The amount
bid may be less than the total amount of taxes and interest due. The highest bidder wins a lien on the property.
The Scavenger Sale is an attempt to return properties to productive use and return them to the tax rolls.
The Annual Tax Sale, which by law the Treasurer's Office also must conduct, is a yearly auction of the prior year's delinquent taxes – not the properties themselves. Investors bid on the right to pay the overdue taxes and win a lien on the property.
The sale was completed on March 2, 2022. Delinquent and forfeited taxes eligible for Tax Years 2001 through 2018 were offered for auction at the Scavenger Sale.
If delinquent taxes were sold at the 2022 Scavenger Sale, the tax purchaser will hold a lien on the property. In order to remove this lien from the property, the property owner must redeem (i.e., pay) all delinquent taxes, interest and fees at the Cook
County Clerk's Office by the statutory deadline.
For residential properties, the deadline is typically 2½ years after the sale. For commercial properties and vacant lots, the deadline is typically six months. Redemption bills provided by the Clerk's Office will note the date by which the sold taxes
must be redeemed. Depending on when the taxes are redeemed, the amount needed to redeem may be significantly higher than the original tax amount due. Failure to redeem by the deadline may ultimately lead to a loss of ownership of the property.
You will receive a notice from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in the mail shortly after the sale if your taxes are sold.