Foreclosure Research & Requirements

Foreclosure Research
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not provide legal advice. The Sheriff’s Office may provide information about its policies and procedures for Foreclosure/Judicial Sales. This should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions related to legal issues, contact an attorney or visit the 19th Judicial Circuit’s Center for Self Representation in the William D. Block Memorial Library in the Lake County Government Building
18 N County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085

The entire court file for any foreclosure case is available for review at the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office, at 18 North County Street in Waukegan, or you may call them at 847-377-3380. You need to have the case number of the property you are interested in researching. The case number can be found under Foreclosed Property Listings.

Additional research is recommended at the Treasurer’s Office, 18 North County Street in Waukegan. Their phone number is 847-377-2323. The Treasurer’s Office records the property’s back taxes due for the current year.

Previous Tax Year Information
For previous year’s tax information contact the County Clerk’s Office. They are located on the first floor of the courthouse and can also be reached by phone at 847-377-2404.

Unpaid Back-Taxes
You may be subject to unpaid taxes if you purchase the property. To conduct research, you will need to provide the PIN number, which can be found under the Foreclosed Property Listings.

Additional Liens
If there are any additional liens held against the property, in many cases, liens may be rolled into the primary lien holder’s foreclosure lawsuit, but not always. Further research of liens can be done at the Recorder of Deed's Office. Recording examples would include, foreclosure notices, deeds, sales amounts, mortgages, liens, declarations, by-laws, restrictions, state and federal tax liens. These are all documents that may potentially impact the property rights of previous and future owners and the quality of title. It is recommended that potential buyers seek professional help from an attorney and/or title company.

Foreclosed Property Listing
The Foreclosed Property Listing includes the scheduled sale dates, case numbers, addresses of the properties, PIN numbers and the names and phone numbers of the attorneys representing the Plaintiffs. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not provide hard copies of the Foreclosure Property Listing.

Viewing the interior of the property is not permitted prior to the purchase.

Foreclosure Requirements
The lender must provide an opening bid for a property to go to sale. Please review the Foreclosed Property Listing no later than the day prior to the sale. If the opening bid is not provided by the lender, the sale will be continued to a future date or, in some cases, cancelled.

Financing & Payments

The terms of all sales are on a cash basis only; no financing is available. Payments can be made in the form of cash (no greater than $7,000), cashier’s check or a certified bank check. You must have at a minimum 10% of the opening (plaintiff) bid amount to participate in the bidding process. If there are multiple bidders the bid amount will increase. We suggest you have at least 10% of the highest amount you are willing to bid. In the event you are the winning bidder, the balance is due any time within 48 hours but no later than 3pm of the second day following the sale. 

The Sheriff’s Office suggests the deposit (10%) check be made payable to bidder. If you are the successful bidder, you will have to endorse the check over to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The check for the balance should be made payable to the Sheriff of Lake County.

Property Fee
In 2010, the State of Illinois passed a law requiring a property fee to be collected on all third-party sales. The fee is directed to a relief fund for distressed properties. The fee is calculated at the rate of $1 for each $1,000 of the purchase price, not to exceed a maximum fee of $300.

Issuing Property Deed
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will issue the property deed only after the sale has been approved by the court. This time frame can fluctuate based on the volume of scheduled sales and court date availability. It is the responsibility of the lender’s attorneys to schedule this court date with the Clerk of the Circuit Court Office. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to record the property deed with the Recorder of Deeds Office.