Facing foreclosure in Chicago? This article lists free resources for you to explore, and explains your options for resolving your foreclosure issue.
Home foreclosure is the process by which you lose legal ownership of your property. Receiving a foreclosure notice can be overwhelming. This process occurs several months after months of missed mortgage payments.
Many Chicago area homeowners are devastated when they receive a foreclosure summons and do not know how to cope with the situation. If no action is taken, the bank can take your home and negatively impact your finances.
Though this sounds like a difficult situation to overcome, you may have options to save your home and get foreclosure help in Illinois.
Foreclosure Resources for Homeowners in Chicago, IL
There is foreclosure help in Chicago and the surrounding areas that you can take advantage of to guide you through the process of dealing with your potential foreclosure. Here is a list of some of the available resources to help you keep your home in Illinois.
Illinois Housing Development Authority
Foreclosure counselors from the Illinois Housing Development Authority are available to provide advice and services to help homeowners. These services include reviewing your mortgage and finances and discussing options to find a solution.
Hope Hotline 1-888-995-HOPE
Develop a plan tailored to your unique foreclosure situation. Hope Hotline provides free one-on-one confidential and comprehensive financial and foreclosure prevention education.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s list of housing counselors. A housing counselor can offer independent advice on your mortgage and other financial housing issues.
Illinois Legal Aid
Resources that explain the foreclosure process are available from Illinois Legal Aid, along with the necessary paperwork and filing timelines to guide you through the process. There are also helpful videos explaining how foreclosures work and what you can do.
Illinois Hardest Hit Fund
Financial assistance is available through the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund for thousands of homeowners who meet eligibility criteria and have experienced at least a 15% income reduction due to qualifying hardships.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc.
A certified homeowner counselor from Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc., can help identify foreclosure prevention options and solutions to make your home more affordable. They also offer additional homeowner advice and resources.
Illinois Attorney General
At the Illinois Attorney General‘s website, you can learn about the steps you should take when facing a foreclosure, your legal rights and options, and what to beware of. This site also provides access to the attorney general homeowner helpline.
Chicago Urban League
The housing and financial empowerment center of the Chicago Urban League is a counseling agency that provides professional assistance for low-to-moderate-income residents. Some of their services include mortgage delinquency and default resolution, pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education, financial counseling, foreclosure prevention, and more.
Northwest Side Housing Center
Certified counselors from the Northwest Side Housing Center work toward improving your housing situation through counseling, education, and advocacy. If you are unable to make your mortgage payment and trying to save your home from foreclosure, they can work with you and your bank to make keeping your home affordable. This organization focuses on residents in Belmont Cragin and the surrounding communities.
Partners in Community Building (PICB)
PICB’s foreclosure prevention department assists clients who are in imminent default, facing foreclosure, or in post-foreclosure. They offer help through various federal government, bank, and investor programs.
How Can an Attorney Provide Foreclosure Help in Chicago?
If you would like to keep your home and believe you have a defense to foreclosure, your best option is to seek help from an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about Illinois foreclosure laws. Most defenses are going to require navigating the legal system. Some valid defenses for foreclosure may include:
- The lender didn’t follow proper foreclosing procedures;
- The party foreclosing on your property cannot prove that it owns your mortgage loan; and
- The servicer made a serious error with your account.
If you choose to contest the foreclosure, there are several steps that you will need to take within the appropriate time frame.
Complete a Mortgage Foreclosure Appearance and Answer to Complaint
This form lets the court know that you received the foreclosure summons and allows you to contest the information within the summons. You also have the opportunity to state any defenses you may have to the foreclosure and facts to support those defenses. An experienced attorney will ensure that this form is thoroughly completed and that your facts do support your defense.
Submit Documents to the Court Clerk
The Mortgage Foreclosure Appearance and Answer Form should be submitted electronically to the court clerk in the county where you are filing the case against your foreclosure. This is usually the county where the property is located. Your attorney will do this on your behalf.
All Parties Are Informed of Your Answer
The other parties involved must be made aware of the lawsuit. It is best to send these documents to the party’s attorney if they have one. Having your attorney ensure proper delivery will take this procedural aspect off your shoulders. Documents can be hand-delivered, mailed, sent by a third-party postal carrier, or filed electronically.
Prepare for and Attend Court
An experienced attorney is necessary to help you prepare for court. It is important to ensure you have all relevant documents and proof to defend against your property foreclosure. This may include all financial and payment history surrounding your home. You and your attorney should also review any potential questions that the judge may ask and bring copies of all relevant documents. The judge and your attorney will direct you on how to proceed once you are in court.
Is Redemption an Option to Avoid Foreclosure?
In Illinois, homeowners may redeem their home up to seven months after a foreclosure summons or three months following a judgment, whichever comes later. However, the court also has the option to reduce the redemption period, such as if the homeowner abandons the property.
Why Hire a Foreclosure Attorney?
A Chicago foreclosure lawyer can help you formulate your arguments against foreclosure, navigate the rules of the court, and submit the appropriate paperwork at the appropriate time. It’s unlikely that you, as a homeowner, could mount a successful defense to property foreclosure without the help of an attorney.
Vantage Group Legal Services works with experienced foreclosure defense attorneys and can assign legal representation that fits your specific needs to provide foreclosure help in Illinois. For a free consultation, schedule with Vantage Group Legal Services through our online form or call 773-938-4747.