Conducting Ownership or Lien Searches in Cook County requires a few places for search. Searching needs to be taken place at, the Cook County Recorder and the Cook County Clerk office. Also, it is worth looking at the Illinois State Tax Lien search.
The Cook County Recorder, can be searched online through 1986 for free. You will need to search back to the last Warranty Deed with Title Insurance stamps and comb forward. Open mortgages are typical, other documents on the record must be viewed with caution. A title professional or attorney will have the experience to understand the risks and obligations posed.
After looking at the Cook County Recorder, a tax search must be completed at the Cook County Clerk. A proper tax lien search can be done in person at the Cook County Clerk office in downtown Chicago. While at the Clerk you would, look up the PIN numbers to find any, open item bills and estimates of redemption, and other items of note. Online, look at the Cook County Tax Portal to verify your findings.
Honorary note, the Illinois State Tax Lien search should be done on the current owners of the property. The search can be done for free and will indicate State and Federal Tax Liens. While tax liens are attached to people as individuals, they pose a risk to the land. Typically, if there are tax liens, back taxes or sold taxes are to be expected.
If your property is complicated or you find the process overwhelming. A abstracting company, such as Chicago Property Report can help you.