The Champaign County Clerk ONLY handles delinquent property taxes sold during the annual tax sale. If you have received a notice about your property taxes being late, please pay attention to what office sent the letter. That is who you need to make a payment with.
If you have delinquent taxes because you believe your tax bill was sent to the wrong address, update your property tax mailing address with the Supervisor of Assessment's Office. Click here, scroll down and select Other Forms, download Name/Address and Parcel Description Change Form. Complete, it, make sure you follow the instructions on the form for identity verification, and return it to the Assessor's Office.
- Why Do I Owe Delinquent Taxes?
If property taxes are not paid by in the year they are due, they become delinquent. Delinquent taxes are sold at the end of the year in which they are due at the annual tax sale. Property owners that do not pay their current property tax bill within the time frame provided on the bill from the County Treasurer/Collector will be subject to additional fees and interest before being sold at the annual tax sale in October. The Clerk's Office handles the payment and processing ONCE THE TAXES HAVE BEEN SOLD AT TAX SALE.
- How Much Do I Owe?
Property owners can find the delinquent cost any time here.
If the property is a mobile home, email the address and/or PIN of the mobile home to email@example.com for a cost.
- How Do I Pay?
Payments must be made in full. Partial payments are not accepted and will not redeem delinquent taxes. The Clerk's Office can only accept a certified or cashier's check, money order, or cash. (35 ILCS 200/21-355) Do not send cash in the mail. Personal or business checks are NOT accepted. Be sure you make your payment to the Champaign County Clerk's Office and not the Assessor's or Treasurer's offices. Once the payment has been received, the Clerk's Office will issue a Certificate of Payment or Certificate of Deposit for Redemption, to document that the delinquent taxes were paid in full.
Payment can be in-person at our office by appointment or by mail. Click here to make an appointment.
- What Happens If I Don't Pay?
Delinquent taxes are not the same as foreclosure on a house. They are a tax lien foreclosure on the property and there is an extensive process that must be followed. The process for delinquent property taxes is 2 years and can be extended up to 3 years in total by the tax buyer. A tax buyer is an individual or corporation that can purchase delinquent taxes at the annual year end tax sale.
Here is a basic outline of the process.
1. At the end of the year, usually in mid-October in Champaign County, the Treasurer/Collector's Office publishes a list of properties (parcels) that are unpaid for that current tax year and will be sold in the upcoming annual tax sale. For example, taxes that were due in 2021 and are not paid after the 2nd payment in 2021 is due are the properties (parcels) that are listed in the publication for the annual tax sale.
2. The Treasurer/Collector's Office is required to see and be granted judgement from the Court for the sale of the taxes on properties (parcels) with one or both of the current year property tax installments unpaid.
3. These properties (parcels) are sold at the annual tax sale. Again, in Champaign County it's usually held in the end of October.
4. At the annual tax sale tax buyers purchase the delinquent property taxes (unpaid tax lien on the property). Tax buyer cast bids against one another that lower rather than raise the percentage of penalty to be applied to the specific parcel's taxes being sold. No penalty bid in excess of 18% shall be accepted. The successful bidder is the one who bids the lowest percentage of interest for the first year the tax buyer owns the delinquent taxes. The tax buyer pays to the Treasure/Collector the amount of taxes, special assessments, interest, and costs due as of the date of tax sale.
5. After the annual tax sale, the Clerk's Office sends the Take Notices from the tax buyers to the property owners. Alerting them to "take notice" that their unpaid tax lien has been purchased. These are sent certified mail.
6. The property owners can redeem (pay) the delinquent tax amount due at the County Clerk's Office or directly to the tax buyer at any time after the tax sale.
If the delinquent taxes are not redeemed within 2-3 years from the tax sale, the tax buyer can petition the Court for the deed to the property.
Once they have purchased the delinquent taxes, tax buyers can add interest and late fees that will increase the total the property owner owes. This total has to be paid off within 3 years, otherwise ownership of the property, not the home, will go to the tax buyer. In addition, it is important to remain up-to-date on the following year(s) property taxes. If a tax buyer owns a property's delinquent taxes, they can purchase the current year taxes quickly after the 2nd installment is due if the current year has not been paid.
- Changing Your Mailing Address
There are many exemptions for property taxes and they are processed by the Supervisor of Assessments. Information on those exemptions can be found here.
For more information, the Illinois property tax code is outlined in state statue here.
If you have any questions, contact the Taxes Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217)384-3722.