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What You Can Do When Facing Foreclosure

Ignoring the issue when facing foreclosure of your home will make matters worse.
You have time to make things right before you’re required to leave.

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At Sherer Law Offices, we understand that life can get tough and that unforeseeable circumstances can occur. Your mortgage lender is also likely to be understanding, so it is usually possible to work something out.  It is best not to avoid your lender’s phone call when you’ve missed your first payment.

For foreclosure to occur in Illinois, there are specific legal steps your lender must go through before taking possession of your home. You have three months, or 90 days, before your home can legally be turned over to foreclosure attorneys. If you find yourself unable to make your payments, you have the following options:

  • Forbearance – A lender allows you to pay less than the full amount of the mortgage or skip a few months of payments if there proves to be a reasonable plan to bring the loan current.
  • Reinstatement – A “forgiveness” that occurs when the homeowner is able to make a payment which covers all previously missed payments.
  • Repayment Plan – A lender allows you to make an additional payment each month until you’ve caught up with your past due amount.

You have the option of hiring a foreclosure intervention counselor if none of these plans will work for you. A foreclosure counselor can speak with the right people to change the terms of the loan upon proving you have the financial stability to make proper payments in the future.

You have at least ninety days before foreclosure occurs. Sometimes a lender will give you four months, or 120 days. Waiting until the foreclosure attorneys get involved, regardless of the amount of time you have, will result in fees. You should act as quickly as possible to avoid having more bills to pay.

The Summons and Timeline

You’ll receive a summons in the mail somewhere between your first missed payment and the third or fourth. You’re given 30 days to reply to the summons. If you don’t reply, a default judgment will be made against you. If you reply as you should, you’ll have another three to seven months before your home is legally allowed to be sold. Upon the date your home can be legally sold, you are allowed 45 more days before your lender can legally remove you from your home. In the end, you have roughly 15 months before you’re required to move out of the home.

What Should You Do?

The best route for you to take is to set up one of the three plans with your lender. If not, seeking the help of a foreclosure counselor can save you considerable stress and confusion. Also…

  • Beware of scams involving third parties who require a fee for their services, or who pressure you into signing anything immediately.
  • Never make a mortgage payment without your lender’s specific permission.

Visit the Illinois Housing Development website here for guidance against fraud and links to getting help with foreclosure.

You may also consider selling your home as a “short sale in lieu of foreclosure.” A “short sale” means you don’t have the money to pay off selling expenses and provide a clear title to the buyer. It’s often better in the long run for a homeowner who can’t catch up with payments.  It avoids the foreclosure, which would ultimately damage your credit score and make it challenging to buy another home in the future.

For questions regarding foreclosure and legal counsel, contact Sherer Law Offices today.

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