APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon.
CORNELIUS COLLINS, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE DOWNING DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Petitioner, tax purchaser of Lot 56 in Elmore's Hickory Heights, a subdivision in Palos township, brought an action to set aside the respondent's redemption and to order the issuance of a tax deed for said lot, pursuant to section 266 of the Revenue Act of 1969, as amended (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 120, par. 747.) The trial court entered an order finding the redemption of respondent invalid and void and set the same aside. The trial court further denied respondent's motion for a new trial and respondent now appeals.
The question presented to this court is whether respondent had a sufficient interest in the subject property to entitle it to redeem from the tax sale in question.
Lot 56 was sold to petitioner on February 17, 1970, pursuant to the provision of the Revenue Act, for nonpayment of 1968 general real estate taxes. Since November 16, 1933 and at the date of the tax sale, record title was held by The Trust Company of Chicago, as successor trustee to the People's Trust and Savings Bank of Chicago, as trustee under trust agreement dated April 26, 1926 and known as Trust No. 914. The record before this court indicates the following pertinent transactions as to Lot 56:
April 12, 1926 conveyance, by deed in trust, by Mervin J. Gorman to West Englewood Trust and Savings Bank. The property included in that conveyance was later subdivided into 435 lots of which the real estate in issue, Lot 56 in Elmore's Hickory Heights, was one.
Sept. 8, 1931 conveyance *fn1 by West Englewood Trust and Savings Bank to People's Trust and Savings Bank in Trust No. 914.
Nov. 13, 1933 conveyance*fn1 by People's Trust and Savings Bank Trust No. 914 to The Trust Company of Chicago as Successor Trustee (recorded Nov. 16, 1933).
1934-1967 real estate taxes and special assessments on Lot 56 paid by William H. and Lillian McDonnell.
1968 general real estate taxes on the property left unpaid.
Feb. 17, 1970 petitioner purchased Lot 56 at a tax sale pursuant to the Revenue Act.
Feb. 1, 1972 conveyance of Lot 56 by quit claim deed, and assignment to respondent of her beneficial interest in Trust No. 914 by Evelyn Korten (daughter of William and Lillian McDonnell).
Feb. 9, 1973 respondent deposited a sum of money with the County Clerk of Cook County as a redemption from the tax sale under the designation of "Larry Corp. assignee and grantee of Evelyn Korten, Heir at law of Lillian E. McDonnell deceased and William H. McDonnell deceased assessee and also beneficiaries of Trust Company of Chicago as successor Trustee under Trust Agreement dated March 12, 1926 and known as Trust # 914 and successor Trustee if and when appointed."
Petitioner thereafter filed its petition to set aside the redemption, alleging that Evelyn Korten had no legal interest in the real estate and therefore respondent obtained no legal interest which would entitle it to make a valid redemption. Correspondingly, at the hearing respondent attempted to account for the break in the chain of title between the conveyance to The Trust Company of Chicago as successor trustee and the conveyance by Evelyn Korten.
F.A. Hodges, president of petitioner, testified that The Trust Company of Chicago had gone out of business and that Guaranty Trust Company and the LaSalle National ...