| Read Time: 9 minutes | Category: Foreclosure

Facing foreclosure? Start by reading this guide to Illinois foreclosure law, then contact Vantage Group Legal for immediate help.

Anticipating or dealing with the process of foreclosure in Illinois can be an angst-ridden time for anyone. Tendencies can be to ignore the possibility of foreclosure, try to handle the foreclosure case on your own, or be angry about the circumstance but not act.

However, the most productive result is understanding the Illinois foreclosure process and seeking immediate help from an established legal service with expertise in Illinois foreclosure law.

If you face foreclosure, you are taking a significant step in protecting yourself and your property right now by reading a bit about the Illinois foreclosure process. No matter what the circumstance, you have rights and options. Here’s a brief guide to help you get started on addressing foreclosure in Illinois.

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What Is Foreclosure in Illinois?

Let’s start with the basics. You’ve heard the term and maybe received a notice which references the term. But what exactly is foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a process. It involves a lender taking a homeowner’s property because the homeowner failed to make agreed-upon payments or otherwise violated the mortgage contract.

How Long Does a Foreclosure Take in Illinois?

The time it takes from missed payments to having a home foreclosed on and sold can vary significantly depending on the individual case and whether you opt to contest the foreclosure. Without contesting the foreclosure, it can take up to 15 months before the property is no longer yours. Don’t start packing just yet. There are a lot of steps along the way. Here is the general Illinois foreclosure timeline:

  • 30-60 days late: missed payments prompt contact from the lender.
  • 60-120 days late: automatic mortgage loan default.
  • 90 -120 days late: lender provides a breach letter. 
  • 120-175 days late: homeowner receives service of a mortgage foreclosure summons.
  • 230 days late: without a response, the court enters default judgment.
  • 260 days late:  right to reinstate the loan expires.
  • 7 months after being served or 3 months after judgment (whichever is later): right to redemption expires.
  • 10 days before sale: receive written notice.
  • 15 days after property is sold: an eviction notice is entered.
  • 30 days after property is sold: you may be forcibly evicted. 

If you decide to contest the foreclosure, the timeline will change a little. The process will also include document filing deadlines and court proceedings.

Illinois Foreclosure Process and Timeline

Going through foreclosure proceedings can be extremely stressful and hard on you as well as those you care about. This is especially true if you and your loved ones are living on the property in question. The help of an experienced foreclosure attorney could make the process a lot easier and potentially uncover ways that you could keep your home.

It may be worth looking into getting professional legal help with your potential foreclosure.  Here is a breakdown of each step to better answer the question, How long does a foreclosure take in Illinois?

MISSED MORTGAGE LOAN PAYMENTS

Most lenders offer a grace period before assessing late fees on missed mortgage payments. The lender may even reach out to provide payment assistance programs to help you catch up. Life happens, and sometimes our finances change. Most lenders understand that, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take missed payments seriously. You certainly should not ignore lenders who may have options to help you out of debt. 

AUTOMATIC MORTGAGE LOAN DEFAULT

In Illinois, your mortgage loan will automatically default after 90 days without payment. At this point, your lender will send a Notice of Default (NOD), which serves the purpose of informing you of their intent to foreclose on your property due to lack of payment. Once the lender sends this notice, your foreclosure becomes a public record. Beware of solicitation from creditors offering to help. It is best to work with your lender directly or a reputable debt management company. 

BREACH LETTER IS RECEIVED

Most mortgage contracts contain a clause that requires the lender to send a “breach letter” when the loan defaults. The lender should issue this letter 30 days before filing the foreclosure lawsuit, giving you, as the borrower, a chance to avoid foreclosure proceedings. Thirty days after the breach letter is sent and 120 days after the first missed payment, the lender may file a foreclosure complaint. 

SERVED WITH A MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE SUMMONS

Despite what you may have seen in the movies, hiding in the bathroom or closet when the mailman knocks on your door will not prevent you from being served. The mortgage foreclosure summons is not something you should ignore. It is necessary to read the complaint to understand the allegations against you, find any discrepancies, and be notified of any important dates. 

DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS ENTERED

If you choose to ignore or to intentionally not respond to the mortgage foreclosure summons, a default judgment will be entered against you. If you choose to respond and fight the foreclosure, this will change the Illinois foreclosure process timeline for your specific case. It is best to consult with a foreclosure attorney to assess your options prior to deciding whether to respond to the summons. Choosing not to respond means that you essentially agree with the complaint and the lender’s request for foreclosure. 

RIGHT TO REINSTATE LOAN EXPIRES

In Illinois, you have 90 days from the date the lender serves you with the mortgage foreclosure summons to reinstate your mortgage loan, even after a default judgment has been entered. This means that you may bring your loan payments current along with other expenses that have occurred because of your late payments. Reinstatement after the 90 days may still occur if the lender allows it, but they are not obligated to do so. If the lender allows an extension past the 90 days, it could change how long the foreclosure takes in Illinois. 

RIGHT TO REDEMPTION EXPIRES

Up until seven months after receiving the summons or three months after the date of judgment (whichever is later), you still have the opportunity to pay off the total debt and keep your property. At this point, the cost is high and often requires selling or refinancing the property. This would also be the time at which to file bankruptcy if that is better for your situation. An experienced foreclosure attorney can help you understand your options and make an educated decision. 

NOTICE OF IMPENDING PROPERTY SALE 

If the redemption period expires without action, the lender will sell the property. You will receive notification about the sale at least 10 days in advance. Prior to the sale, a notice of the sale must be published in the local newspaper. The ad must run for a minimum of three consecutive weeks. Once the property is sold, you have no control over it. 

PROPERTY IS SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER

If your remaining mortgage debt is greater than the amount paid for the property at the foreclosure sale, a deficiency judgment may be entered, requiring you to pay the remaining difference. Fifteen days after the sale is final, an eviction notice will be entered and it will be time to pack your bags. 

FORCIBLE EVICTION MAY OCCUR

If you are stubborn and refuse to leave the property, the order of eviction will be handed over to the Sheriff’s Department and they may forcibly evict you. All items left on the property will become the property of the new owners. It is best to make other arrangements and leave of your own accord. 

What to Consider When Facing Foreclosure in Illinois

It is incorrect ever to assume that foreclosure is the result of blatant irresponsibility. Guilt and embarrassment often plague those facing foreclosure. Even though a foreclosure notice may cause those emotions for the homeowner, a foreclosure warning in Illinois does not tell the story of the struggles the recipient has faced. Consider this scenario.

A homeowner is a reliable, hard-working citizen. They have paid their mortgage on time for over 15 years. Due to Illinois unemployment and the economy, they lost their job and got far behind on their mortgage. Like many, they live paycheck to paycheck and don’t know where to get assistance.

Feeling at fault, they do not contact the bank to explain their situation. Sadly, in time, they receive a foreclosure warning. This person may suffer the same fate as many others and lose their home. 

The difference between those who end up in foreclosure and those who do not is often whether they sought help from an Illinois foreclosure lawyer. In the story above, if the person reached out to an attorney along the way, the attorney may have been able to help them avoid losing their home.

Foreclosure is Possible Even If Your Mortgage Is Current

Illinois mortgage foreclosure law also permits foreclosure even when a person is current with all payments. These cases may involve homeowners insurance, taxes, or the condition of your property.

Many mortgage contracts require that you stay current on taxes and insurance and keep your property in a reasonably habitable condition. If you fail to do any of these things, you may violate your mortgage contract. The result? Possible foreclosure. In some cases, even HOA (homeowners association) violations can lead to foreclosure.

You may be wondering, How long does foreclosure take in Illinois? The foreclosure timeline is varied and can depend upon the lender processing the foreclosure. It also may be based on the terms of your mortgage contract. Another factor may be legal protections given to homeowners to lessen, slow down, or even halt foreclosures because of COVID-19. It is never too late to try to fight a foreclosure.

Stopping Foreclosure in Illinois

There are many ways to fight foreclosure in Illinois. The first step is to hire a lawyer with experience in foreclosure defense. You want to do this as soon as you fear you may be at risk of foreclosure so that they can intervene swiftly to protect you.

Foreclosure defense attorneys know how to fight Illinois foreclosure actions. They will review your specific circumstance and determine how best to advocate for you. Their legal strategies may include:

  • Negotiating with your lender to allow for makeup payments; 
  • Helping you submit the arrears amount, if you are able, to end the foreclosure process;
  • Applying for state and federal relief to block the foreclosure;
  • Battling the lender if they have unjustly started foreclosure;
  • Addressing your extraordinary circumstances with the lender and seeking leniency of terms; and
  • Negotiating for new terms of your mortgage contract.

The above are just a few examples of the many strategies quality legal services can implement to fight for you. Each are good ways to resolve a foreclosure situation in a clients’ favor.

You Have Options for Avoiding Foreclosure in Illinois

It is rare that there are not some avenues available to try to avoid foreclosure. Keep in mind that rarely do lenders relish foreclosing. It costs them time and money. Generally, they would rather work with the borrower. In extraordinarily aggressive foreclosure cases, the lender may be out of line and illegally harassing, bullying, and threatening a borrower. Lawyers can make them put an end to this behavior as well. It would be best if you engaged lawyers who get results to protect you and meet your needs.

Remember this: Do not assume that your foreclosure will happen. Assume only that you need to get legal help to fight it.

What If I Want to Allow Foreclosure?

A foreclosure lawyer’s job is to advocate for your wishes and resolve the situation in your best interest considering those wishes. Therefore, access legal services. The attorneys will first go over your circumstances with you and explain your options. 

If your choice is to allow the foreclosure, your time with the attorney will not have been wasted. This is because it is in your best interest to have your lawyer arrange for you to surrender your property to the lender. Through a deed in lieu of foreclosure, your attorney can negotiate the circumstances of when and how you will hand over the property.

Foreclosure and deed in lieu of foreclosure have different impacts on your credit, financial situation, and even the time you have to vacate your home. This is why it is best to work with a lawyer with experience in Illinois foreclosure law before pursuing either.

Foreclosures in Illinois and all over the country are expected to increase. COVID-19 and the volatile economy are continuing, along with everyday challenges that have always led to foreclosures. If you fear foreclosure, your story needs to be heard by a lawyer. The information about foreclosures, options for homeowners, and avenues to relief are of little help if you do not have a lawyer pursuing them on your behalf. 

The Impact of Foreclosure in Illinois

We understand the fear, desperation, and anger a foreclosure may be causing you. A foreclose can result in:

  • A poor credit record,
  • Difficulty in buying a home in the future,
  • Financial upheaval, and 
  • A change in living circumstances as you will have to vacate the property.

There are also mental health tolls due to the stress of the circumstance. This legal process of foreclosure is indeed severe. As a result, individuals regularly consult Chicago foreclosure attorneys to help them avoid foreclosure.

Vantage Group Legal Services: Affordable Legal Representation Made Simple

Vantage Group Legal Services simplifies and expedites the legal process for foreclosures, civil litigation, and more, all while saving you money. As a unique company, Vantage Group Legal Services makes accessing legal help simple. You do not have the hurdles of searching for attorneys or dealing with a law firm. Instead, just submit an inquiry, and an attorney will contact you for a free no-obligation consultation.

Once you then subscribe to Vantage Group Legal’s subscription plan, an experienced network attorney that is the perfect fit for you will be assigned. All of this can take place typically in 24 hours. At that point, turn your concerns over to your network attorney. They will handle all aspects of your case for as long as you are subscribing to services. Vantage Group Legal Services is based in Chicago. Our primary focus is foreclosure defense. You need only contact us to begin getting the legal help you need.

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