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.
The successful bidder will be that person bidding the highest dollar amount. This amount may be less than the total taxes and interest due on a property.
Pursuant to Illinois law, the opening bid on a parcel at the Scavenger Sale must be $250.00, or one-half of the total taxes due if such amount is less than $500.00. Thereafter, the minimum bidding increment will be $50.00. Bidders are allowed to bid in
excess of the minimum bidding increment to expedite the sale. When the bid amount reaches $1,000.00, the minimum bid increment thereafter will be $100.00.
Before 5 p.m. on the day the taxes are sold, the successful bidder must make a payment of $250.00 (or the applicable amount of the minimum bid permitted by law, if less than $250.00) on each parcel
purchased to secure the sale. All payments must be made at the Treasurer's Office in Room 112 of the County Building. The balance is due by 5 p.m. on the day after the taxes are sold.
All payments must be made using certified or cashier's check, money order or cash. No business, personal checks, or credit cards will be accepted. Checks must be in the exact amount due. No change will be made on a non-cash transaction. Full payment instructions
are detailed in the Rules and Regulations packet.
All sales are final. The delinquent taxes on the parcels offered for sale are solely based on the legal description of the Property Index Number ("PIN") and NOT the common street address.
The Treasurer's Office does not assume any responsibility, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy of street addresses and/or property classifications or to the legal status or condition of the properties. It is the responsibility of each buyer to research
the property location, classification, nature and condition of any property or improvements prior to the sale.
If the current property owner does not pay future property taxes, the tax buyer will need to pay those taxes as one of the requirements to get a deed to the property. Once the tax buyer receives a deed, they will be responsible for paying property taxes
The owner of a residential property typically has 2½ years after the sale to redeem (i.e. pay) the delinquent property taxes. For commercial properties and vacant lots, the deadline is typically six months.
If the taxes are not redeemed within the requisite period of time, the tax buyer can petition the Circuit Court of Cook County for a deed to the property.
Scavenger Sale Rules & Regulations: