Today is the due date for Cook County real estate taxes so don't forget to pay them if you handle this outside of your mortgage payment. If you think your taxes are too high, don't give the county more money in late fees.
Check those Cook County real estate tax escrows
Here's an interesting story that happened to me. I purchased a Hometown duplex in 1987. I remember seeing the words "sold in 1987" on the tax bill, I think towards the top of the bill. Since I purchased the home that year, I didn't think anything of it. I ended up selling that home in about 3 years and my lawyer said I was lucky I didn't hold onto it longer.
It had been sold for back taxes the year I purchased it! My mortgage company was paying to the wrong pin number. They did correct everything and paid all the penalties but it held up the closing. My attorney told me I could have been evicted from my own house. He then explained that most entities that purchase back taxes do it for the penalty fees and interest. Most are not out to evict people from their property. But I'm sure there are some horror stories and I'm glad mine wasn't that bad. Since we pay our taxes outside of our mortgage payment I paid at a Chase Bank that was only a couple blocks from my home.
UPDATE: I am not sure Chase still handles real estate tax payments. This post was written in 2007 so please check with your nearest Chase location to see if they are accepting payments.