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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Tax Redemption Process

After delinquent property taxes are sold at a tax sale, those sold taxes must be "redeemed" (paid) in order for the current owner to not lose ownership of the property. The County Clerk’s Office administers the redemption process.

Timeline of Redemption Process

  • June-November: Taxes Become Delinquent
    The County Treasurer’s office mails out one real estate tax bill payable in two installments, due June 1st and September 1st.  Around mid-October, if any installment of the current year's real estate tax amount is still unpaid, the owner's name, parcel number and tax amount due will be listed in the delinquent tax publication.
  • Mid November: Tax Sale
    Any remaining unpaid taxes, with accrued interest and fees, are sold at the tax sale. Tax buyers bid their interest percentage for paying the taxes, with the lowest bid winning. Bids range from a maximum of 18% to 0%.  The percent of interest is applied to the taxes sold, and will be added to the balance at the tax sale and every six months thereafter. If no one bids on a property, the DuPage County Clerk, as trustee of the County Board, becomes the default tax buyer at 18% every six months, per Illinois Statute 35 ILCS 200/21-90. After the tax sale, the County Treasurer turns over responsibility for collection to the County Clerk.
  • 2-3 Years Following Tax Sale: Period of Redemption ( Illinois Statute 35 ILCS 200/21-350)
    Following the tax sale, the property owner (or other financially vested party) has a period of time to redeem (pay) the taxes before they could lose ownership. For residential properties of 1-6 units, the minimum period of redemption is 2½ years. For all other properties (commercial, vacant, etc.), the minimum is 2 years. In either case, the tax buyer can, at their discretion, extend the final date to redeem up to a maximum of 3 years per Illinois Statute 35 ILCS 200/21-385.
  • After Redemption Period Expires: Tax Buyer Obtains Deed to the Property
    The Circuit Court reviews the evidence and must be satisfied that the tax buyer has fulfilled all statutory obligations and the period of redemption has expired. The Court orders the County Clerk to issue a Tax Deed, transferring ownership of the property to the tax buyer.

Charges Accrued During Redemption Process (pursuant to State Statute)

County Treasurer Charges (before tax sale)

  • Interest: Interest accrues at 1½% per month for any portion not paid on time.
  • Final Notice: The Treasurer’s Office adds a $10 charge to cover the delinquent tax publication and certified mailing expenses.
  • Cost of Tax Sale: Various charges related to the tax sale totaling $104 are added immediately before sale.

Redemption Charges (after tax sale)

  • Redemption Fee: A fee of $50 is added to cover redemption-associated County Clerk costs.
  • Tax Buyer Bid Penalty: Whatever percentage the winning (lowest) bidder bids at the tax sale, that amount is applied immediately and every six months thereafter.
  • Initial “Take Notice” Fee: Within 4½ months of the tax sale, the tax buyer is required to mail a notice of the sale (called a “Take Notice”) to the party in whose name the taxes were originally assessed (which may not be the current owner). This process adds the cost of a certified mailing.
  • Subsequent Taxes: In each following year, if the new taxes billed in that subsequent year are not paid, the current tax buyer has the option of buying these taxes after the second installment is deemed delinquent and before the next tax sale. If the tax buyer does so, the current year taxes are added to the redemption total with a 12% per year penalty attached. NOTE: If the tax deed process has been started (see below), the tax buyer does not need to wait until the second installment is delinquent. In that situation, the tax buyer has the option of buying the taxes as soon as the tax bills are mailed in May!
  • Costs of Tax Deed Process: Within 3-6 months before the period of redemption expires, the tax buyer must initiate the legal proceedings to eventually obtain the tax deed. Any costs associated with those legal proceedings incurred by the tax buyer can be added to the redemption total at any time (but no later than 1 month before the last date to redeem).