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 is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on February 14, 2022. Delinquent and forfeited taxes for Tax Years 2001 through 2018 will be eligible for auction at the Scavenger Sale.
Click here to search to see if your property is on the list. If so, you are advised to contact the Cook County Clerk's Office as soon as possible to obtain bills for the delinquent taxes. The Clerk's
Office can assist you with property taxes for Tax Years 2018 and prior that were sold, forfeited (offered at a tax sale but not purchased), or are otherwise unpaid. You may contact the County Clerk's Office via:
- Phone: (312) 603-5656
- Location: Cook County Clerk (Real Estate and Tax Services), 118 North Clark Street, Room 434, Chicago, Illinois 60602
- Website: www.cookcountyclerk.com
You must get a copy of your bill from the Cook County Clerk's Office. Payment may be made by mail or in person at:
Cook County Treasurer's Office
118 North Clark Street, Room 112
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Please be advised that a bill must accompany your payment. Cash payments may not be made by mail.
If delinquent taxes remain unpaid and are 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.