Tax Sales

Tax Sales

When will your next tax sale be held?
The next delinquent tax sale will be held on November 2,  2023, at 9:00 AM.
Where is it held and what time does it begin?

The county tax sale is held in the 7th floor conference room of the Stewart Centre, located at 50 W. Douglas St., Freeport, IL 61032.

The sale will begin at 9:00 a.m.

When and where do you advertise for the sale?
The tax sale is advertised in a local newspaper and on this website 10 days before the day of the tax sale.
Can you send me a list of the liens that will be available?
Tax sale lists are available by either email or paper form approximately one month before the sale occurs. The cost for an email list is $100.00. This fee must be paid before a list will be sent to you.
Do I need to register for the sale and is there a fee for this?
You are required to have your tax buyer registration form on file in our office 10 business days prior to the tax sale, which will be October 19, 2023.

Please use our Stephenson County Tax Buyer Registration form, which you can access  HERE.

Along with the form, a $300 deposit is required to participate.  This must be paid when the tax buyer registers. This deposit will be retained by the County Collector in the event a tax buyer is registered and does not attend the tax sale.   If the tax buyer registers and attends the sale, but does not purchase any taxes, the $300 deposit will be refunded.    Finally, if a tax buyer attends the sale and purchases taxes, that deposit is applied to the purchase.
What form of payment do you accept?
Certified funds are required for first-time buyers. If you are not a first-time buyer, personal, business or cashier’s checks are accepted.  Taxes must be paid immediately after the close of the tax sale.
What happens to the liens that are not sold at the auction?
All of the liens are sold at the tax sale.

For details on the availability for purchasing tax lien certificates over-the-counter or through assignment purchasing, please contact: Joseph E. Meyer & Associates, Stephenson County Trustee agent, at 618-656-5744
Will the tax sale be final?
Do you have any sales scheduled after the next one coming up?
The tax sale only occurs once per year.

The separate, annual auction of surplus property also occurs once per year, typically in July.
Can I bid without attending (via mail or a representative)?
You or your registered representative must be physically present at the sale to bid.  You cannot bid via mail or e-mail.
Can you provide me with a list of property use codes?
The County Assessment Office can assist you with property use codes.  You may contact that office at 815-235-8260.
If I end up with a property, does the county handle the foreclosure process?
It is the tax buyer’s responsibility to follow the procedures necessary to acquire a deed.

The county is unable to assist you with any foreclosure information as foreclosures are processed through the court system on behalf of mortgage holders.
Will all other liens be cleared from the property as a result of the sale?

No, the tax sale does not clear any liens from the property.  Only delinquent TAXES are sold at the tax sale. 

No actual property is sold.

Is a copy of the county and state statutes and rules regarding the tax sale available for purchase?
The Illinois Compiled Statutes are available at your local library or online at
Where do I call for redemption information?
Please contact the Stephenson County Clerk's Office at 815-235-8289.
How is the tax sale conducted?
The tax sale process is computerized using R.A.M.S2 (Real-time Auction Management System) Auction software. We ask each tax buyer to visit the R.A.M.S2. tutorial at prior to the sale date to either learn the format or refresh their memory on how the sale is conducted.

The sale is similar to a reverse auction. Registered tax buyers will bid (via bidder-provided USB drive) a percentage rate with a cap at 9%. The tax buyer accepts the lowest bid to win. The homeowner has a period of 3 years to redeem (buy back) their taxes. Registered tax buyers make a profit from the interest earned. The interest earned depends on the length of time it takes for the homeowner to redeem their taxes.

In order to place a bid at the sale you must be a registered tax buyer. We cannot and will not provide legal answers to your tax buying questions. You may wish to contact the Stephenson County Bar Association to request a referral to an attorney whose practice includes a specialization in real estate.

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