PILSEN — In an effort to help homeowners behind in their property taxes, the Resurrection Project is teaming up with the Cook County Treasurer’s Office to help prevent residents in Pilsen and Back of the Yards from losing their homes in the annual Cook County Tax Sale.
The Pilsen-based nonprofit’s Homeowner Service Program is offering two workshops for homeowners in the South Side neighborhoods this week to inform them about the Tax Sale and how to avoid having their property taxes auctioned off.
The first workshop is scheduled at La Casa Resource Center, 1815 S. Paulina Ave., at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Back of the Yards workshop will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at 4600 S. Wood St.
Lizette Carretero, homeowner services manager at the Resurrection Project, said nearly 1,000 homeowners across the two neighborhoods are at risk of having their property taxes auctioned off May 3 in the annual sale.
Not many homeowners know they are behind in paying their property taxes, Carretero told Block Club. Many homeowners are also unaware that their property taxes could be sold and they could ultimately lose their homes if they don’t recover the property taxes within two years, she added.
“A home is the biggest asset for many of the Latino and African-American families that we work with,” Carretero said.” We want to make sure they understand the risk and danger of not paying their property taxes or recovering them if they are purchased.”
During the meetings, representatives from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office will be on hand to help homeowners with questions, assist with payment exemption applications and provide additional information on the annual sale.
Manuel Venegas, director of outreach and media relations at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office, said they are teaming up with organizations and community leaders across Cook County to ensure homeowners are aware of the annual tax sale and the potential consequences of having their debt auctioned off.
Across Cook County, nearly 57,000 homeowners are behind on property tax payments due in 2018, and are now at risk of having their taxes sold during the annual auction, Venegas said.
In total, delinquent property taxes total $189.6 million with nearly 20,000 homeowners owing less than $1,000, Venegas said.
“There are some people who just don’t know,” Venegas said. “Some may owe as little as $100…We hate the idea that someone can potentially lose their house because they don’t know the situation,” Venegas said.
“We want to make sure we put all our efforts and do enough workshops in all our communities…so people have all the information they need and aren’t negatively affected by the Tax Sale,” he said.
Venegas said homeowners unable to attend a workshop can log on to the treasurer’s office website to find out whether they are delinquent on their property taxes and how much they owe.
“It’s critical…that people know about the Tax Sale because this information can make a big difference for families,” Venegas said.
Homeowners with questions can also visit the Cook County Treasurer’s Office, at 118 N. Clark St. #112, or call 312-443-5100 for assistance, Venegas said.
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