Illinois Tax Lien Certificates

Illinois is unique in that it holds two types of tax sales; Regular tax lien certificate sales and Scavenger tax sales.

Regular Tax Sales consist of properties which were delinquent the previous year. Bidding begins at 18% and tax lien certificates are sold to the bidders willing to accept the lowest rate. The property owner has up to three years to exercise his or her right to redeem the property.

Scavenger Tax Sales consist of properties which were delinquent for two or more years. According to (Sec. 21-260 New Window) the 'minimum bid for any property shall be $250 or one-half of the tax if the total liability is less than $500.'

Tax Sale Type: Tax Lien Certificates (Sec. 21-240 New Window)

Contact: Tax Collector (Sec. 21-110 New Window)

Interest Rate: None

Penalty Rate: 18% (Sec. 21-215 New Window)

Bid Procedure: Bid Down (Sec. 21-215 New Window) and the highest/greatest bid (for Scavenger tax sales) (Sec. 21-260 New Window)

Redemption Period: Two (2) years or (3) years (Sec. 21-350 New Window)

Law: Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 35, Title 7, "Tax Collection" (35 ILCS 200/21-5 et seq.) New Window

Additional Notes:

Penalty rate: The person at the sale offering to pay the amount due on each property for the least percentage shall be the purchaser of that property. No bid shall be accepted for a penalty exceeding the maximum of 18% (Sec. 21-215 New Window). For Regular Tax Sales, the penalty percentage is then computed through the date of redemption as a percentage of the certificate amount, as follows (Sec. 21-355 New Window):

Redeemed within 06 months - penalty bid at sale;
Redeemed within 12 months - two times the penalty interest rate bid;
Redeemed within 18 months - three times the penalty interest rate bid;
Redeemed within 24 months - four times the penalty interest rate bid;
Redeemed within 36 months - five times the penalty interest rate bid.

The person redeeming from Scavenger tax sales shall pay interest on that part of the amount for which the property was sold equal to or less than the full amount of delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs, included in the judgment and order of sale as follows:

(1) If redeemed within the first 2 months from the date of the sale, 3% per month upon the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due for each of the first 2 months or fraction thereof. (2) If redeemed at any time between 2 and 6 months from the date of the sale, 12% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due. (3) If redeemed at any time between 6 and 12 months from the date of the sale, 24% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due. (4) If redeemed at any time between 12 and 18 months from the date of the sale, 36% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due. (5) If redeemed at any time between 18 and 24 months from the date of the sale, 48% of the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due. (6) If redeemed after 24 months from the date of sale, the 48% provided for the 24 months together with interest at 6% per annum thereafter on the amount of taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest and costs due (Sec. 21-260 New Window).

Important. According to (Sec. 21-260 New Window) 'The person redeeming shall not be required to pay any interest on any part of the amount for which the property was sold that exceeds the full amount of delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, and costs included in the judgment and order of sale.' Basically, this means that anything over and above the minimum bid will not draw interest.

Redemption period: Generally, properties may be redeemed at any time before the expiration of 2 years from the date of sale, (Sec. 21-350 New Window). However, the owner of a tax lien certificate can extend the redemption to three years from the date of sale (Sec. 21-385 New Window).

Attaining a Tax Deed: At any time within 5 months but not less than 3 months prior to the expiration of the redemption period for property sold pursuant to judgment and order of sale under Sections 21-110 New Window through 21-120 New Window or 21-260 New Window, the purchaser or his or her assignee may file a petition in the circuit court in the same proceeding in which the judgment and order of sale were entered, asking that the court direct county clerk to issue a tax deed if the property is not redeemed from the sale. The petition shall be accompanied by the statutory filing fee.

Notice of filing the petition and the date on which the petitioner intends to apply for an order on the petition that a deed be issued if the property is not redeemed shall be given to occupants, owners and persons interested in the property as part of the notice provided in Sections 22-10 New Window through 22-25 New Window, except that only one publication is required. The county clerk shall be notified of the filing of the petition and any person owning or interested in the property may, if he or she desires, appear in the proceeding.

You MUST record your Tax Deed: Unless the holder of the certificate purchased at any tax sale under this Code takes out the deed in the time provided by law, and records the same within one year from and after the time for redemption expires, the certificate or deed, and the sale on which it is based, shall, after the expiration of the one year period, be absolutely void with no right to reimbursement. If the holder of the certificate is prevented from obtaining a deed by injunction or order of any court, or by the refusal or inability of any court to act upon the application for a tax deed, or by the refusal of the clerk to execute the same deed, the time he or she is so prevented shall be excluded from computation of the one year period. Certificates of purchase and deeds executed by the clerk shall recite the qualifications required in this Section (Sec. 22-85 New Window).


Illinois Tax Sale Discussion

Below you will find a collection of the latest user questions and comments relating to Tax Lien Certificates Illinois.

Type your question or comment using the form below:

Counties located in Illinois

The following is a list of counties located in the state of Illinois.

Tax Lien Certificates for properties located in the following counties are sold at Illinois county tax sales.

Learn more about each county's individual tax sale process by clicking on the name of the county for which you are interested from the list below:

County / Municipality:  Population: 
Adams County, IL  68,277
Alexander County, IL  9,590
Bond County, IL  17,633
Boone County, IL  41,786
Brown County, IL  6,950
Bureau County, IL  35,503
Calhoun County, IL  5,084
Carroll County, IL  16,674
Cass County, IL  13,695
Champaign County, IL  179,669
Christian County, IL  35,372
Clark County, IL  17,008
Clay County, IL  14,560
Clinton County, IL  35,535
Coles County, IL  53,196
Cook County, IL  5,376,741
Crawford County, IL  20,452
Cumberland County, IL  11,253
De Witt County, IL  16,798
Dekalb County, IL  88,969
Douglas County, IL  19,922
Dupage County, IL  904,161
Edgar County, IL  19,704
Edwards County, IL  6,971
Effingham County, IL  34,264
Fayette County, IL  21,802
Ford County, IL  14,241
Franklin County, IL  39,018
Fulton County, IL  38,250
Gallatin County, IL  6,445
Greene County, IL  14,761
Grundy County, IL  37,535
Hamilton County, IL  8,621
Hancock County, IL  20,121
Hardin County, IL  4,800
Henderson County, IL  8,213
Henry County, IL  51,020
Iroquois County, IL  31,334
Jackson County, IL  59,612
Jasper County, IL  10,117
Jefferson County, IL  40,045
Jersey County, IL  21,668
Jo Daviess County, IL  22,289
Johnson County, IL  12,878
Kane County, IL  404,119
Kankakee County, IL  103,833
Kendall County, IL  54,544
Knox County, IL  55,836
Lake County, IL  644,356
Lasalle County, IL  111,509
Lawrence County, IL  15,452
Lee County, IL  36,062
Livingston County, IL  39,678
Logan County, IL  31,183
Macon County, IL  114,706
Macoupin County, IL  49,019
Madison County, IL  258,941
Marion County, IL  41,691
Marshall County, IL  13,180
Mason County, IL  16,038
Massac County, IL  15,161
Mcdonough County, IL  32,913
Mchenry County, IL  260,077
Mclean County, IL  150,433
Menard County, IL  12,486
Mercer County, IL  16,957
Monroe County, IL  27,619
Montgomery County, IL  30,652
Morgan County, IL  36,616
Moultrie County, IL  14,287
Ogle County, IL  51,032
Peoria County, IL  183,433
Perry County, IL  23,094
Piatt County, IL  16,365
Pike County, IL  17,384
Pope County, IL  4,413
Pulaski County, IL  7,348
Putnam County, IL  6,086
Randolph County, IL  33,893
Richland County, IL  16,149
Rock Island County, IL  149,374
Saline County, IL  26,733
Sangamon County, IL  188,951
Schuyler County, IL  7,189
Scott County, IL  5,537
Shelby County, IL  22,893
St. Clair County, IL  256,082
Stark County, IL  6,332
Stephenson County, IL  48,979
Tazewell County, IL  128,485
Union County, IL  18,293
Vermilion County, IL  83,919
Wabash County, IL  12,937
Warren County, IL  18,735
Washington County, IL  15,148
Wayne County, IL  17,151
White County, IL  15,371
Whiteside County, IL  60,653
Will County, IL  502,266
Williamson County, IL  61,296
Winnebago County, IL  278,418
Woodford County, IL  35,469


Tax Lien Certificate Training

Learn the steps and strategies of buying tax liens and tax deeds with our FREE 4-DISC Training Course

You can immediately download the course for no charge or if prefered, pay a small shipping fee and we'll mail it.

Get the FREE Training Course.


Tax Lien Certificate States

Research all fifty (50) states to determine which offers the right interest rate, redemption period, and more.

Click here to learn more.


Customer Support with Tax Lien Certificate Questions

Tax Lien Certificate Reports

Below is a list of free articles on tax lien certificates, tax deeds, and more.


The Rule of 72 Calculator

The rule of 72 says that to find the number of years required to double your investment at a given interest rate, you simply divide the interest rate into 72.


Interest Rate: %
Years Required for Principal to Double
    Exact Answer:
    Rule of 72 Estimate:


For example, if you want to know how long it will take to double your money at 18%, divide 18 by 72 and receive the result of 4 years.


Our Educational Materials

Creating Wealth Without Risk™ was designed to help you get started with government-issued, real estate secured and high-interest tax lien certificates and tax deeds.

Click here to learn more.


Tax Lien University Reviews

"I purchased 3 tax lien certificates at an internet auction for Miami-Dade County, Florida. All three were buildable vacant lots in moderate income neighborhoods. The prices were: (1)$1,018.86 (2) $1,224.90 (3) $1,654.82. I got 18% interest on all of them. I placed 39 bids in total."

- A. Hamad, Florida
June 9, 2011 6:17:32 PM MDT

"I thought that the course were very clear and easy to understand as well as being highly informative and to the point. The information contained within is worth thousands and thousands of dollars. I would recommend that any one serious about being a smart investor buy these books and put it into action!"

- S. Roy, London

"Thank you for your great work. I received you training manuals last night and haven't been able to stop reading. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in getting into Tax Lien Certificates."

- J. Bennett, California


Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the disclosures, cisclaimers, privacy policy, no spam policy, and terms of use.

We are required by the FTC to disclose the typical customer results. Quite honestly, the typical customer does not make any money whatsoever. In fact, the typical customer does not even finish the first of six training videos. Less than 1 in 100 ever ask a question of our coaches, leave feedback or otherwise show they're putting in any focused effort at all. Like anything worthwhile, this program does require work. The typical customer puts in very little work. Before you buy, you should stop and ask yourself if you're typical.

Tax Lien University, Inc. and its subsidiary Creating Wealth Without Risk™, Inc. (The Company) does not guarantee income or success, and examples shown at and do not represent an indication of future success or earnings. The Company declares all information shared is true and accurate, and any claims made of actual earnings or examples of actual results can be verified upon request.

The earnings, revenue and profit results that a customer will generally achieve in circumstances similar to those depicted in the endorsements and testimonials on this site depend on many factors and conditions, including but not limited to, work ethic, learning ability, use of the products and services, business experience, daily practices, business opportunities, business connections, market conditions, availability of financing, and local competition, to name a few. Because of impediments due to any one or more of the foregoing and other factors, it is generally expected that no earnings, revenues or profits will be achieved with the use of any products or services advertised on this site in circumstances similar to those referenced in any endorsement or testimonial.

Offer valid in the US and Canda. Limit one (1) copy per household, must be 18 years of age or older. Upon submitting the form above you will be given the choice between a physical 4-Disc version or a digital download version. If you select the physical version the normal retail charge of $39.97 is waved however you will be charged a one-time USPS shipping and handling charge of $9.95. If you select the digital download version there will be no charge and you can immediately download the contents of your selection.