“How Someone Can Pay Your Taxes, Then Take Your Property”

This article (link courtesy of Daily Herald) explains the risks to property owners who fail to pay their real estate taxes. However, there are misstatements in the article:

1. Registration for the tax sale has not expired. It expires on April 24, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Click here for a link to the Treasurer’s information about the 2016 annual tax sale.

2. The court filing is not “fairly simple.” Tax buyers must strictly comply with the provisions of the Illinois Property Tax Code. Click here for more, correct information about Illinois tax sales.

3. The penalty rate (on the year offered for sale, which is 2016 at the upcoming tax sale) at Cook County annual tax sales is frequently 0%, which is less than the 1.5% per month late fee the Treasurer charges delinquent tax payers.

4. Tax buyers do not get “first rights” on subsequent tax bills. The property owner always has the right to pay subsequent years’ taxes before the tax buyer can pay them. Where a tax buyer does pay subsequent years’ taxes,  the penalty rate is 12% per year or part thereof, not 12% per six months.

Property owners who have lost their property to a tax deed may be eligible for relief from the Indemnity Fund, which is a little-known form of relief. If you have any questions about Illinois tax sales, feel free to contact our firm.

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