Delinquent properties could be lost in annual tax sale

Munoz 090617CHICAGO – Every year, hundreds of properties in Cook County are lost by homeowners to so-called "tax scavengers," who buy houses at auction when the owner fails to pay property taxes. Oftentimes, homeowners are caught off guard, having missed their property tax bill in the mail or because they failed to keep up with confusing paperwork.

“I am urging homeowners throughout my district to check the status of their property taxes so they do not end up in a situation where their home is sold due to a missed payment," said Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

Senior citizens are most susceptible to this problem because their mortgages are more likely to be paid off, so a bank is no longer ensuring the taxes are being paid through an escrow account.

In Senator Munoz’s district alone, there are more than 4,000 property owners who are past due on their property taxes, according to records maintained by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office. Of those, nearly 300 are senior citizens.

Homeowners can check their property tax status with the Cook County Treasurer’s Office at 312-443-5100 or at

To more quickly navigate the treasurer's website, you should obtain your property's 14-digit Property Index Number at by providing the address.

The property's tax payment status can be checked by entering the PIN at