By state statute, any unpaid property taxes, plus interest and penalties, go to a tax sale at the beginning of November. A registered tax buyer bids their fee for paying those taxes. The tax buyer's fee is bid as a percentage of the amount due, to be applied every six months. Bidding occurs from 0%-9% interest. The lowest bid is accepted. If no tax buyer bids on a property, Peoria County, as Trustee, becomes the default tax buyer at 9%.
The tax buyer whose bid is accepted then pays the amount due in the Treasurer's office. The taxes paid, plus the additional fees, are charged in the County Clerk's office as a tax lien against the property. Additional fees will accrue until the homeowner redeems them. Upon redemption, the lien is immediately removed, and the tax buyer no longer has any vested interest in the property. If no redemption is made within the time allowed (2-3 years), the tax buyer can petition the Court for the deed to the property.
The phrase, "your property has been sold for delinquent taxes," is required by state statute and can be a bit misleading. During the redemption period, you are still the owner of the property. Only your unpaid taxes were sold. It is only after the redemption period expires that the property can change ownership.