Moving Cook County’s Annual Tax Sale to April 3, 2017 is causing thousands of homeowners to panic at the prospect of losing their homes.  A legislative change made in 2014 moved the annual tax sale ahead by several months from August to April. The accelerated schedule has taken homeowners by surprise due to the shortened period to remit payment for delinquent taxes. In some cases, notice was not received by homeowners due to another address on file with County offices.

Successful bidders at the tax sale purchase a lien on property that, if not redeemed, may result in the homeowner losing their property. After the tax sale occurs, a homeowner generally has between 24 and 36 months to redeem this lien before losing their title.

This accelerated schedule comes at the expense of property owners while benefiting tax buyers the most. Such benefits must not be borne by homeowners.

The legislature must act now to extend next week’s tax sale. I applaud Representative Elgie Sims, Jr. for introducing Amendment 1 to HB155, legislation that would move this year’s Annual Tax Sale to August and extend the date for subsequent tax sales to June 1st.

I urge the legislature and Governor Rauner to take swift action and pass HB155 as amended.

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