APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. THE HONORABLE EUGENE WACHOWSKI, JUDGE PRESIDING.
Cousins, Jr., Murray, McNULTY
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cousins
JUSTICE COUSINS, JR. delivered the opinion of the court:
The appellant, MidFirst Bank, appeals the denial of its Section 2-1401 petition to vacate an order granting the appellee, Midwest Partnership, a tax deed on a homestead property in Cook County. Appellant asserts that it meets either of two standards which are grounds for relief under Ill. Rev. Stat. 1993, 35 ILCS 205/266 (West 1993): 1) Midwest Partnership obtained the deed by fraud or deception, or 2) that MidFirst Bank reasonably relied on an error by the county clerk in failing to redeem in timely fashion. We affirm.
In January of 1989, Midwest Partnership purchased the first installment of a five-installment special assessment at the regularly scheduled tax sale for 1987 special assessments. In early May of 1991, MidFirst Bank was served with written notification (the "Take Notice") by Midwest Partnership. The Take Notice stated that Midwest Partnership had purchased "Installment No. 1" of the special assessment, certificate number 09773B, and that the property had been sold for delinquent taxes on January 25, 1989. The Take Notice further stated that the period for its redemption would expire September 6, 1991, following which a tax deed proceeding would occur on September 16, 1991.
MidFirst Bank then wrote to "Cook County - Redemption Department" the following letter:
Please find enclosed our check #108410 dated June 11, 1991 for $2.00.
We are requesting a Redemption Statement for the above referenced parcel for the tax year(s) Spec. Assessment. We have enclosed a postage-paid envelope for your convenience in remitting the statement to us.
If you have any questions, please contact the undersigned at 1-800-654-4566, ext. 375."
On July 2, 1992, MidFirst Bank received from the County Clerk (the "Clerk") an Estimate of Cost of Redemption (the "Estimate"). However, the Estimate stated that it referred to the tax sale of February 8, 1991, Installment No. 3, certificate number 10263B, purchased by Jona Inc. On July 3, MidFirst Bank sent the Clerk the Estimate and the necessary money to redeem Installment No.3.
The Clerk sent back to MidFirst Bank a copy of the Estimate stamped with "Deposit Recorded 7-12." On July 29 the Clerk sent MidFirst Bank a Redemption Certificate which again repeated what had been redeemed: "Installment No. 3 due and unpaid for the year 1989," the day of sale was "the 8th day of February 1989," that "Jona Inc." was the purchaser, and that the redeemed certificate was Certificate No. 10263B.
Installment No. 1 was not redeemed, and Midwest Partnership filed an Application for an Order directing Issuance of Tax Deed on September 16, 1991. On October 4, 1991, a hearing was held on the ...