To prevent properties from being offered for auction at the Cook County Tax Sale that runs Nov. 15-18, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is urging 45,088 property owners to pay their delinquent bills. Properties with unpaid 2020 property taxes (due in 2021) will be offered at the sale.

The total due on delinquent homes, businesses and land in the county is more than $169 million. Owners have been sent notices via certified mail informing them that their unpaid taxes could be auctioned, which would put a lien against their properties. However, more than 14,136 bills were returned by the U.S. Postal Service. In addition to the mailings, the Treasurer’s Office published delinquency property tax lists in area newspapers.

Less than $1,000 is owed on 12,163 properties in Chicago and 6,100 properties in suburban Cook County. Pappas said homeowners need to make sure they are up to date on their taxes and getting all the exemptions they deserve.

Owners can avoid the Tax Sale by paying the delinquent taxes and interest before the sale begins. Check to see if your taxes are delinquent by visiting Use the box on the home page labeled “Avoid the Tax Sale” to search for your home or other property by entering a Property Index Number or an address. Property owners can also use the website to make sure they are receiving the exemptions for which they qualify. These include the homeowner, senior and senior freeze exemptions.