At the close of business on April 15th, the tax bills are transferred from the sheriff’s office to the county clerk’s office. They are then known as a certificate of delinquency and represent a lien against the property in question. Interest begins to accrue on the total due at the rate of 1% per month. A 10% county clerk fee and a 20% county attorney fee are also added to the total due. The county attorney is required to send a notice by May 15th to the delinquent taxpayers and, if necessary, another notice is sent by June 15th. Delinquent taxpayers can enter into installment payment plans with the county attorney at this time.
Beginning in mid-July, county clerks offer the certificates of delinquency for sale to third party purchasers. These sales run through the latter part of October with the majority of sales taking place from mid-July through the end of August. The specifics about each county’s sale, along with a listing of each certificate of delinquency, are required to be advertised in the local newspaper at least 30 days prior to the tax sale date. The certificates of delinquency are also listed on the county clerk’s website at least 30 days prior to the sale.
If a certificate of delinquency is sold to a third party purchaser, the property owner must then work with the third party to arrange for payment of the delinquency. There will be substantial additional fees that will be applied to the total due by the third party purchaser. An installment payment plan can be requested of a third party purchaser.