(35 ILCS 200/21-305)
Payments from Indemnity Fund.
(a) Any owner of property sold under any provision of this Code who
sustains loss or damage by
reason of the issuance of a tax deed under Section 21-445 or 22-40 and who is
barred or is in any way
precluded from bringing an action for the recovery of the property shall have
the right to indemnity for the
loss or damage sustained, limited as follows:
(1) An owner who resided on property that contained 4
or less dwelling units on the last day of the period of redemption and who is equitably entitled to compensation for the loss or damage sustained has the right to indemnity. An equitable indemnity award shall be limited to the fair cash value of the property as of the date the tax deed was issued less any mortgages or liens on the property, and the award will not exceed $99,000. The Court shall liberally construe this equitable entitlement standard to provide compensation wherever, in the discretion of the Court, the equities warrant the action.
An owner of a property that contained 4 or less
dwelling units who requests an award in excess of $99,000 must prove that the loss of his or her property was not attributable to his or her own fault or negligence before an award in excess of $99,000 will be granted.
(2) An owner who sustains the loss or damage of any
property occasioned by reason of the issuance of a tax deed, without fault or negligence of his or her own, has the right to indemnity limited to the fair cash value of the property less any mortgages or liens on the property. In determining the existence of fault or negligence, the court shall consider whether the owner exercised ordinary reasonable diligence under all of the relevant circumstances.
(3) In determining the fair cash value of property
less any mortgages or liens on the property, the fair cash value shall be reduced by the principal amount of all taxes paid by the tax purchaser or his or her assignee before the issuance of the tax deed.
(4) If an award made under paragraph (1) or (2) is
subject to a reduction by the amount of an outstanding mortgage or lien on the property, other than the principal amount of all taxes paid by the tax purchaser or his or her assignee before the issuance of the tax deed and the petitioner would be personally liable to the mortgagee or lienholder for all or part of that reduction amount, the court shall order an additional indemnity award to be paid directly to the mortgagee or lienholder sufficient to discharge the petitioner's personal liability. The court, in its discretion, may order the joinder of the mortgagee or lienholder as an additional party to the indemnity action.
(b) Indemnity fund; subrogation.
(1) Any person claiming indemnity hereunder shall
petition the Court which ordered the tax deed to issue, shall name the County Treasurer, as Trustee of the indemnity fund, as defendant to the petition, and shall ask that judgment be entered against the County Treasurer, as Trustee, in the amount of the indemnity sought. The provisions of the Civil Practice Law shall apply to proceedings under the petition, except that neither the petitioner nor County Treasurer shall be entitled to trial by jury on the issues presented in the petition. The Court shall liberally construe this Section to provide compensation wherever in the discretion of the Court the equities warrant such action.
(2) The County Treasurer, as Trustee of the indemnity
fund, shall be subrogated to all parties in whose favor judgment may be rendered against him or her, and by third party complaint may bring in as a defendant any person, other than the tax deed grantee and its successors in title, not a party to the action who is or may be liable to him or her, as subrogee, for all or part of the petitioner's claim against him or her.
(c) Any contract involving the proceeds of a judgment for indemnity under
this Section, between the
tax deed grantee or its successors in title and the indemnity petitioner or his
or her successors, shall be in
writing. In any action brought under Section 21-305, the Collector shall be
entitled to discovery regarding,
but not limited to, the following:
(1) the identity of all persons beneficially
interested in the contract, directly or indirectly, including at least the following information: the names and addresses of any natural persons; the place of incorporation of any corporation and the names and addresses of its shareholders unless it is publicly held; the names and addresses of all general and limited partners of any partnership; the names and addresses of all persons having an ownership interest in any entity doing business under an assumed name, and the county in which the assumed business name is registered; and the nature and extent of the interest in the contract of each person identified;
(2) the time period during which the contract was
negotiated and agreed upon, from the date of the first direct or indirect contact between any of the contracting parties to the date of its execution;
(3) the name and address of each natural person who
took part in negotiating the contract, and the identity and relationship of the party that the person represented in the negotiations; and
(4) the existence of an agreement for payment of
attorney's fees by or on behalf of each party.
Any information disclosed during discovery may be subject to protective order
as deemed appropriate by
the court. The terms of the contract shall not be used as evidence of value.
(d) A petition of indemnity under this Section must be filed within 10 years after the date the tax deed was issued.
(Source: P.A. 97-557, eff. 7-1-12