Tax Liens in Cook County, Illinois
In Cook County, Illinois, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, usually land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It generally gives a creditor the right to take ownership of any equity that exists in the property, to secure the payment of the debt. If the owner sells the property, the creditor may also be entitled to the funds of the sale, up to the amount owed. It can also give the holder of the lien a higher priority status, giving them an advantage over competing creditors, if the debtor files bankruptcy.
A tax lien, then, is simply a lien that is established for the particular purpose of collecting taxes from a delinquent tax payer in Cook County, Illinois.
Of course, a tax lien in Cook County, Illinois isn't worth much more than the paper it's printed on if the debtor doesn't own any property of value, on which a lien could be placed. Nonetheless, a tax lien applies to property that the taxpayer obtains even after the lien is created. Obviously, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Cook County, Illinois
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Cook County, Illinois is usually fairly simple. The initial step is for the IRS or local tax agency to decide that a person actually owes back taxes, and that it is worth the effort to impose a lien.
Then, the IRS, or state tax authorities, send a "notice and demand," informing the taxpayer that they owe back taxes, and that they are obligated to pay their taxes within 10 days.
If the deadline passes without payment, most tax liens in Illinois take effect automatically, giving the tax collectors all of the options in your property that any other lien holder would have.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Cook County, Illinois, and elsewhere. Generally, the IRS has 10 years to try and enforce a tax lien. If no effort is made to enforce a tax lien for 10 years, the lien is automatically lifted, and the lien holder loses all rights in it. This rule exists to ensure that the government collects its taxes in a reasonable time period, and it prevents valuable property (which could otherwise be contributing to the economy by being bought and sold) is not laded with a lien for an indefinite period of time.
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How Can a Cook County, Illinois Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of Illinois that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty complicated legal issues are necessarily involved.
Luckily for you, tax lawyers in Cook County, Illinois are experts at dealing with matters such as these, and can make sure your rights are safeguarded, and advise you on the best way to proceed, if you are facing the prospect of a tax lien.