In order to defend yourself against foreclosure on your home or your business property, you should look at foreclosure as a legal process. It is the taking possession of a mortgaged property when a property owner with a loan has ceased to make the payments on that loan.
In a mortgage loan, the property is used as the collateral for the loan. Therefore, the lender has a lien on the property and can go through a process of reclaiming title to property and try to recover the balance due on the loan by sale of the property.
Losing your home can be an unpleasant process, but keep in mind there are many steps along the way to foreclosure, from the moment you miss your first payment all the way to when you’re evicted. Good legal counsel can help you get through and possibly save your property.
If you begin missing your mortgage payments, your lender will send you a letter and may try to call you to collect the payments. The best advice is to not ignore these letters and calls. This is a good time to try to work out an agreement with your lender, possibly a loan modification, a forbearance agreement, or a payment plan, which will let you continue with your property and avoid foreclosure.
If you do not work out an agreement, then the lender will file a lawsuit in Illinois state court. The borrower will then be served with a summons that typically gives them 30 days to file an answer.
If the borrower does not respond to the summons, then the plaintiff (the lender) can get a default judgment from the court. If the borrower files an answer, then the lender will seek a summary judgment from the court or go to trial. If the court grants summary judgment for the lender or you lose at trial, the court will order the property to be sold at a sheriff’s or foreclosure sale.
However, this might not be the end of the story. The borrower in default can still save his or her property. There is a possibility for “redemption” when the past-due amounts, plus all costs and fees, can be paid to make a delinquent loan current. Typically, this can occur within 90 days of a summons but the loan servicer will usually allow the borrower to reinstate at any time before the sale.
Also, there is a “redemption period,” which is a time when a borrower in foreclosure may pay off the total debt, including the principal balance and any additional costs and interest. In Illinois, a sale cannot occur until after the expiration of the redemption period. This redemption period will last seven months after the complaint is served, or three months from the date of judgment (whichever is later). There is also a special right of redemption If the lender (or subsequent owner of the loan) purchases the home at the foreclosure sale and the sale price was less than the total amount you owed. In this case, you have 30 days after the court confirms the sale to redeem.
After the redemption period, the sheriff’s sale and eviction occur. Further, be aware, there is something called a “deficiency judgment,” which allows the lender to collect any deficiency or shortfall from the borrower.
The Law Offices of EDWARD M. FARMER will be pleased to help you in your time of need to defend against foreclosure.
Edward M. Farmer is a U.S. Army veteran and an experienced VA attorney in DuPage County Illinois. The majority of his career has been dedicated to assisting veterans with legal issues nationwide. Call toll-free at 1 (800) 700-4174.
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