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Lake County foreclosure attorneysIf you are behind on your mortgage and in danger of losing your home to foreclosure, it is understandable that you might be confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain about how to proceed. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who are more than happy to take advantage of you in the midst of your vulnerability. A qualified foreclosure defense lawyer can help you identify and avoid potential foreclosure scams before things get even worse for you and your family.

Companies That Come to You

When a person or company contacts you about your pending foreclosure, it means that they have something to sell you. Scammers keep up to date on foreclosure listings and reach out to desperate homeowners who are simply looking for any help they can find. Aggressive marketing and sales calls are often indicators that someone is trying to make quick money—possibly at your expense.

High-Pressure Situations

A foreclosure typically takes several months to complete, if not longer, but you might have a “foreclosure specialist” or “counselor” pushing you to sign paperwork immediately. It is a bad idea to sign any documents that you have not read or that you do not fully understand. You could easily be agreeing to foreclosure fraud without even being aware of what you are doing.

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Lake County real estate attorneysThe idea of buying a new home is exciting to many people, but it can also be very intimidating. The fun parts include reviewing listings, thinking about the amenities you want in a new home, and possibly even kicking around ideas for interior decorating. Of course, the financial part of the equation is often where the challenges arise, and it can be confusing to deal with all of the legalese and real estate jargon that you might be hearing. For reasons such as these, it is important to work closely with a knowledgeable real estate attorney who can help you avoid some of the most common home-buying mistakes.

Mistake #1: Moving Before You Are Ready

Many would-be homebuyers get so excited about the possibility of owning a home that they overlook the importance of being truly ready to settle down. While most people prefer the idea of building equity in a home instead of paying rent, many experts recommend renting for a while when moving to a new city or state. Once you sign on to buy a home, you could be stuck in it, even if you decide you do not like the area. Get settled and comfortable in the new town first, then you can begin looking for that place of your own.

Mistake #2: Too Much House, Too Little Money

You and your spouse, if applicable, should work with your attorney and your real estate agent to determine what your realistic budget should be. Once you have decided on a budget, you need to stick to it. You might be tempted to exceed your budget so that you can have a few more “nice things,” but going over your budget is dangerous. Could you still afford the extra money each month if you were suddenly unable to work or if something happened to one of your children? One way to make sure you stay under budget is to seek pre-approval for your mortgage loan.

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Lake County foreclosure defense attorneyIf you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments to the point where you are in default on your loan, you may be facing the possibility of a foreclosure. You probably know that if your lender forecloses on your home loan, the house will be sold and the proceeds of the sale will go to the lender. Meanwhile, you will be left with no place to live and a serious mark on your credit history.

The reality is that many people who are facing foreclosure also have a large amount of other debt as well. Such debts often include credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans, and student loans. In cases like these, it is not uncommon for a person to begin thinking about filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help you avoid foreclosure in certain situations, and experienced foreclosure defense attorney can assist you in exploring your available options.

An Automatic Stay

When you file for any type of bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will immediately put a stay on all debt collections activities being pursued against you. This includes foreclosure proceedings, even if they have already been initiated by your lender. If your lender continues the proceedings once the stay has been enacted, the lender is in violation of federal law. Sanctions are possible in such cases. The stay is not permanent, however, and your lender can request that the bankruptcy court lift the stay and allow the foreclosure proceedings to continue.

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Libertyville real estate lawyersIf you are looking to buy your first home, you are probably excited about taking a big step toward achieving the so-called “American Dream.” Whether or not you buy into such an idea, the reality is that your home will likely be the largest investment you have ever made. There is a good chance that the same is true if you are a current homeowner looking to buy your next home.

Many homebuyers—including some who have been through the process before—often do not realize how many steps are involved and just how complicated each step can be. Along the way, you will need to account for many different variables and be wary of potential pitfalls.

A Real Estate Agent Is Often Not Enough

As you started the process of looking for a home, you may have enlisted the help of a real estate agent or broker. You might have contacted a particular agent based on a specific listing, or maybe you chose the agent first to help you find a suitable property. It is important to keep in mind that your agent, while certainly helpful, is just one piece of a larger puzzle. You should also consider working closely with an experienced real estate attorney for several reasons:

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Libertyville judicial foreclosure attorneyMost people are familiar with at least the basic idea of foreclosure. They know that if a homeowner falls behind far enough on his or her mortgage payments, the proverbial “bank” will eventually take the home. Far fewer people, however, understand the reality that foreclosure is a fairly involved process and that, according to Illinois law, the process must be handled through the court system. As such, all foreclosures in the state of Illinois are considered judicial foreclosures.

Non-Judicial Foreclosures in Other States

Illinois is one of 16 states in which the law requires court participation in the foreclosure process. Five others generally use judicial foreclosures as a matter of custom or convenience. In the remaining 29 states, non-judicial foreclosure is the method of choice, either as an available option or because judicial foreclosure is prohibited by law.

When judicial foreclosure is not required, the mortgage agreement may include a clause that gives the lender the “power of sale.” A power of sale clause grants the lender the ability to foreclose on the property on its own. If the borrower fails to keep up with the payments prescribed in the mortgage contract, the lender has the right to sell the property to recover the balance of the loan. Power of sale clauses are not enforceable in Illinois.

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