Chicago Sun-Times



Thousands of Cook County homeowners could have received notices from their banks that they owe money on tax bills they already have paid, based on a computer glitch by a national data firm.

The erroneous notices went out to home mortgage customers in recent days, warning the homeowners owe money on their second-installmen­t property taxes, which were due in December.

Some notices said the homeowner’s bank would pay the delinquent balance and then assess fees and interest to the customer.

The notices began arriving last week, days ahead of the Cook County treasurer’s office mailing first-installmen­t bills for 2022, likely adding to the confusion.

The issue might have arisen because of errors in a data set provided by CoreLogic, according to a source with knowledge of the discrepanc­ies. California-based CoreLogic says it offers “near real-time data” from 22,000 taxing authoritie­s nationwide.

CoreLogic did not respond to questions Friday.

If a property has no outstandin­g tax bill, the delinquenc­y notificati­ons should not have triggered any payments by banks because the treasurer’s office bounces back overpaymen­ts, said Andrew Gavrilos, spokesman for Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.

“If we had gotten a payment on a property that did not owe taxes, we would not have let that payment go through,” Gavrilos said.

Bills for the first installmen­t of 2022 property taxes were sent out this past week to 1.8 million property owners, Gavrilos said. Those bills are due April 3.

Taxpayers can check to see what they owe and get informatio­n about tax bills on the treasurer’s website.

Gavrilos said officials don’t know how many people got the erroneous notices, which were sent by banks to customers.

Chase Bank, the largest mortgage lender in Cook County, reported 4,000 customers erroneousl­y got letters warning of nonexisten­t tax delinquenc­ies. The bank has now told customers affected by the error to disregard the delinquenc­y notices, spokesman Brian Hanover said.

“Due to a system timing issue, a number of Cook County property tax accounts were incorrectl­y identified as delinquent, which may have triggered a letter to those taxpayers by their lender,” Hanover said. “We fixed the issue, and no further action is required by our customers.”

Other major mortgage lenders did not respond to questions about whether their customers got similar notices, including CitiBank, Bank of America and Guaranteed Rate.

A similar glitch likely wouldn’t affect counties other than Cook County, DuPage County Treasurer Gwen Henry said.

“We don’t have any delinquent bills right now,” Henry said. “Everything is either paid up or been moved to the tax sale.”

Second-installmen­t bills weren’t issued until November in Cook County, which gives taxpayers several months to pay before their property lands on a tax sale.

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