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When you lose your job or experience illness, divorce, or other financial problems, you may struggle to keep a roof over your head. Your mortgage company may try to take your home through foreclosure. Receiving a foreclosure notice in the mail can seem scary and overwhelming. However, you can fight back to save your home and your credit.
If you receive a foreclosure notice, you need to hire a Chicago foreclosure lawyer immediately. A foreclosure attorney can work with you to negotiate with the bank for leniency. At Vantage Group, our legal subscription plan allows you to access our network of Chicago foreclosure lawyers and legal support team. These knowledgeable attorneys use strategic foreclosure defenses to keep clients in their homes or preserve their credit. Our legal services team wants to help you too.
To learn more about how the Vantage Group works to defend you against foreclosure, contact us for a free consultation. We provide affordable legal representation, matching you with a network attorney who is skilled in foreclosure defense. Our in-house legal research team supports your Chicago foreclosure lawyer to provide excellent legal representation.
If you would like to learn more about foreclosure defense, keep reading.
Common Causes of Foreclosures in Chicago
When you buy your home, you usually approach the purchase with optimism. Perhaps you imagine many happy moments spent inside the walls of your new house. If you’ve lived in your home for years, you may have already filled it with memories. However, those good times can face swift interruption when circumstances change and a foreclosure notice arrives.
Here are some common causes of foreclosure:
- Illness and medical expenses,
- Credit card debt,
- Adjustable-rate mortgages,
- Divorce, and
If you have experienced any of these reasons for foreclosure, we’re not here to judge you. Vantage Group wants to offer you a shoulder to lean on and a supportive network of assistance. We want to help you get through these hard times without suffering unnecessary financial loss. At Vantage Group, we will work to protect your home from foreclosure so that you have the opportunity for more positive memories within its walls.
Foreclosure Statistics in Chicago
Unfortunately, the recent economic downturn has impacted Chicago real estate. At the beginning of 2020, the US was experiencing a 15-year low in foreclosures. In January 2020, ATTOM Data Solutions released its year-end foreclosure market report for 2019, with one of their officers commenting, “There is some reason for concern about the potential for a change in the wrong direction. . . . While that’s not a major worry, it’s something that should be watched closely in 2020.”
Sadly, that potential for change was realized when COVID-19 slammed into the United States shortly after these 2019 foreclosure statistics were released. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago unemployment rates approached 20%, a number that rivals that of the Great Depression.
Even in the optimistic 2019 foreclosure market report, Illinois showed signs of trouble, getting these negative mentions:
- Illinois was fifth in the nation for foreclosures over the past ten years;
- Chicago had the third-highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population over one million; and
- Rockford, Illinois, had the fourth-highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act put temporary protections in place to prevent foreclosures. However, when those protections end, there could be a surge in foreclosures.
How Does the Foreclosure Process Work in Chicago?
Foreclosure is the legal process by which you lose ownership of your home. It follows several months of missed mortgage payments.
If you do not pay your mortgage for two months in a row, the bank considers your account delinquent. The bank sends you a notice of delinquency that advises you to seek a housing counselor or loss mitigation within 30 days. Once you miss a third mortgage payment, the lender sends you a notice that your loan is accelerated and the lender is filing for foreclosure.
Between 90 and 150 days of mortgage delinquency, the mortgage company stops accepting payments and declares you in default. The bank transfers your mortgage to their foreclosure department. When your home moves to foreclosure, you may receive a notice of delinquency from a law firm that sets out repayment conditions. The mortgage company must notify you of the right to reinstate the loan 30 days before they file for foreclosure. Federal law requires at least 120 days of mortgage delinquency to file for foreclosure.
Foreclosure Lawsuit in Illinois
Illinois foreclosure law requires a foreclosure lawsuit to be filed and served on:
- The homeowner,
- Anyone with a lien on the property, and
The lender must serve you with a foreclosure lawsuit in person or by personal delivery to anyone in your household over the age of 13. If the lender cannot find you, they can serve notice of the foreclosure lawsuit by publication in a Chicago newspaper.
After you receive notice of the foreclosure, you have 30 days to respond. At this point, you should consult Vantage Group to get one of our network Chicago foreclosure lawyers to guide you through complicated legal matters.
A response to a foreclosure lawsuit should include an answer that presents affirmative defenses. You will then have time for evidence discovery. By answering a foreclosure notice, your attorneys initiate a legal process that can stall foreclosure for months or years.
If you do not file an answer to the foreclosure summons, the lender will move for default judgment. Likewise, if you filed an answer but did not raise defenses, the lender will move for summary judgment. Either option results in a judgment of foreclosure and the loss of your home. This is why it is important to consult Vantage Group to connect you with a network attorney and help you formulate an effective foreclosure defense.
After the judgment of foreclosure, your house enters a judicial sale. In the judicial sale, the mortgage company or highest bidder becomes the owner of your house. You have to vacate your home within 30 days of the sale. If you do not leave within 30 days, a sheriff will evict you.
Your Options When Facing Foreclosure in Chicago
Many homeowners become overwhelmed with their foreclosure crisis and let the bank take their home and ruin their finances. However, if you want to fight foreclosure, Vantage Group can help. Our network attorney legal services include the following foreclosure defense options.
Sell for Equity
If your property is worth more than the amount you owe on your mortgage, you may be able to sell your property and pay your loan in full. When you have significant equity in your home and a favorable market, this option preserves your credit and allows you to avoid foreclosure.
Deed in Lieu
A deed in lieu of foreclosure assigns your interest in the home to the lender to avoid foreclosure. This releases you from your mortgage debt while avoiding the public embarrassment of foreclosure. Assigning your deed to the lender protects your credit from the hit it would take after foreclosure. Offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure is a voluntary action made in writing.
During foreclosure proceedings, you can reinstate your mortgage by paying all money owed. The lender may not accept a payment plan, but a complete payment of money owed and foreclosure fees qualifies you for mortgage reinstatement. The lender should provide you with a notice of your right to reinstatement at least 30 days before filing for foreclosure.
A short sale happens when you sell your home for less than the amount owed on your loan. A mortgage company must approve a short sale before you complete the sale. Then you pay back a portion of the mortgage with short sale revenues.
An initial option you should consider when facing foreclosure is loan modification. A loan modification adjusts your current loan terms. Lenders have the ability to provide, for instance, a longer repayment term or a lower interest rate for your current mortgage. These options then can change the payments of your mortgage going forward to an amount you can afford.
Your experienced foreclosure attorney can negotiate with your lender in an attempt to modify your loan accordingly. The lender benefits from getting their money via the modification, and you get to keep your home. The key with this step is to consider your circumstances carefully and determine what mortgage amount you can commit to pay going forward. The purpose of the modification is to remove your risk of foreclosure due to payment issues. If you want to keep your home, loan modification can be a great option.
Do You Need Legal Help for Your Chicago Foreclosure?
Given the intricacies of foreclosure defense and the impact foreclosure can have on you, you should always have licensed attorneys who specialize in foreclosure defense assist you. Foreclosure law is a highly specialized legal field. Even basic real estate attorneys may not have the training and track record of success to provide you with quality representation.
You should also avoid free resources. For instance, local libraries and real estate or banking groups may hold seminars and offer written materials regarding foreclosure. This information is adequate for a broad umbrella basic understanding of foreclosure. But it does not address your specific needs and may not have all up-to-date information on complex foreclosure law.
On the other hand, an accomplished foreclosure defense legal services organization will provide you with legal advice, representation, and ongoing advocacy for your foreclosure situation. Possibility of foreclosure means that you may need to address:
- Banks and other financial institutions,
- Court appearances,
- Government taxes,
- Bankruptcy foreclosure issues,
- Homeowners associations,
- Demand letters,
- Complex contracts,
- Homeowners insurance issues,
- Negotiations with various professionals, and
- A deed in lieu of foreclosure and transactions.
Even those with a general legal background or real estate background are by and large not equipped to handle foreclosure legal matters. However, from the minute you engage a foreclosure defense lawyer, they will hear your story, offer defense options, and then handle your case from start to finish.
How Can I Afford a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer?
You may be concerned with cost. Your best step is to have a free consultation with a foreclosure attorney and address this concern at that time. There are absolutely affordable options for services. You will likely find that your best option is to utilize a group legal services company; that will:
- Provide a no-obligation, free case review,
- Offer you a subscription plan for ongoing legal representation, and
- Assign an attorney to handle all aspects of the new case for the duration of the subscription.
Working with a legal services company is more cost-effective than working with a law firm in many ways. For instance, a legal services company provides internal legal research and administrative support to clients as part of the plan, rather than billed separately. Don’t let cost keep you from seeking the legal representation you need.
Vantage Legal Group Services: Your Best Resource for Foreclosure Defense
If you need legal advice after receiving a Chicago foreclosure notice, Vantage Group professionals can help. We simplify the foreclosure defense process, providing expedited, affordable legal assistance. You pay one monthly fee, which gives you access to a skilled Chicago foreclosure defense lawyer and our legal support team. Contact us to learn more about how Vantage Group works to defend you against foreclosure.
FAQs About Vantage Group
When clients first consider Vantage Group’s innovative method of legal services, they have some questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions about how Vantage Group can help you, please contact us for a free consultation.
Vantage Group chooses your Chicago foreclosure defense lawyer based on that attorney’s ability to win cases and achieve favorable results for clients. Our legal support team carefully audits your case to choose the right attorney for you.
After reviewing your foreclosure details, the Vantage Group team will present your best foreclosure defense options. The best foreclosure defense depends on the specifics of your case, so our legal team tailors solutions to meet the needs of individual clients.
Vantage Group offers a monthly subscription plan that covers your legal costs. Your subscription gives you access to our network of attorneys and legal support team. An assigned attorney will work with you for the entirety of your case to present an individualized foreclosure defense.