How to Take Back Your Home After A Tax Sale in Illinois

by

Richard Fonfrias, J.D.
Chicago's Financial Rescue & Bankruptcy Lawyer
Fonfrias Law Group, LLC


What happens if you don't pay your property taxes?

The county tax collector goes to court and gets a judgment that permits him to sell your delinquent tax debt. The purchaser buys the tax lien that's against your home and gets a certificate, which serves as evidence that the buyer has an interest in the property.

Under Illinois law, you have roughly two years to pay the taxes due, which allows you to keep your home. If you don't pay the taxes, then the person or company that bought the tax lien gets a tax deed from the court and now owns your home.

How to get your home back

In most cases, you get two and one-half years to pay the taxes and redeem your home after the tax sale. However, this time period isn't always the same; it depends on the circumstances.

For Abandoned Homes: If the property is vacant, the buyer of the tax lien can request that the court shorten the redemption period to only two years after the tax sale date.

Extended Date: At the buyer's request, the redemption period can be extended from the date of the tax sale for up to three years.

How much you'll have to pay

If you want to take back your home, you must pay:
  • the certificate amount, which includes taxes, assessments, interest, penalties, costs, fees;
  • the accrued penalty, which increases every six months, figured on the redemption date;
  • all added taxes, assessments, as well as interest on those taxes and assessments, costs the buy paid, plus a penalty; plus
  • all fees and costs the buyer paid for filing a petition for a tax deed with the court.
How to lower your property taxes

Many homeowners don't know that they may qualify to lower their property taxes. This is a smart way of preventing your taxes from falling behind and keeping them affordable. For example, you might
  • see if you qualify for a property tax exemption; or
  • challenge the assessed value of your home, if you think it's too high.
Don't hesitate to discuss your home's value and property taxes with a financial rescue and bankruptcy lawyer. You probably have money-saving options you don't know exist.