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chicago bankruptcy lawyerSince the housing bubble burst over a decade ago, the thought of foreclosure has become a near-constant concern for homeowners across the country. Those dealing with financial struggles may be worried that late or missed mortgage payments will lead to them losing their homes. For those who have refinanced or obtained a second mortgage on their homes, things are often uncertain, especially as it pertains to what happens if they default on a second or additional mortgage. If you are in such a situation, a qualified foreclosure defense lawyer can help you understand your available options.

What You Should Know About Second Mortgages

Any loan that qualifies as a mortgage is considered a secured debt. This means the loan is secured by collateral, and in the case of a mortgage loan, the collateral is the home itself. If you default on your mortgage, the lender can foreclose on the home and take the house. This applies to the mortgage that allowed you to buy the home as well as any subsequent mortgages. It also applies to home equity loans taken out with the home as collateral.

In the event of a foreclosure on a home with multiple mortgages or home equity loans, the initial mortgage takes precedence. Any subsequent lenders will only get paid if the sale of the home nets enough proceeds to satisfy the initial mortgage and there is money left to distribute.

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Grayslake Real Estate AttorneyOriginally published: October 6, 2021 -- Updated: June 25, 2022

Last fall, we shared some of our thoughts about digital closings for residential real estate transactions and how they started to become popular during the Coronavirus pandemic. As concern about the virus slowly decreases—although it will probably never go back to pre-crisis levels—it appears that electronic real estate closings are here to stay.

The Benefits of eClosings

In most cases, originating a traditional mortgage takes roughly 30 days from the initiation of the application to closing. As more and more digital lending platforms emerge, the use of artificial intelligence and data processing allows lenders and borrowers to remove a number of manual steps from the process of fulfillment.

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IL debt attorneyIf you are significantly behind on your mortgage payments, you probably have some options available to you through your lender. Your lender might be willing to work with you by modifying your loan or setting up a plan through which you can get caught up on your payments. This all sounds good, but what happens if your mortgage is not the only obligation you are behind on? Many people who are delinquent on their house payments are also struggling with other types of debt too.

In some cases, the debt issues are so problematic that foreclosure becomes an imminent possibility. If you have received notice that your lender intends to foreclose on your house, you need to take action in order to save your home.

The Automatic Stay

When you file for financial protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court automatically issues an immediate stay on all debt collection and enforcement activities pertaining to you. This means that creditors cannot call you or send you letters while your bankruptcy case is active. The stay also applies to foreclosure proceedings. Once the stay is issued, your lender must pause your foreclosure case or risk being sanctioned by the bankruptcy court. Keep in mind, however, that the stay simply pauses the proceedings. It does not make stop the foreclosure permanently.

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Il real estate lawyerInvestments in real estate can be very lucrative. However, there are a variety of concerns that will need to be addressed when purchasing real property. If a buyer will be assuming ownership of property that tenants currently occupy, they will need to be prepared to assume existing leases and understand any other contracts that are in place. Those who are planning to embark on a real estate development project will need to ensure that they have the proper construction permits and are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. To ensure that all of these issues will be addressed correctly, it is crucial to work with an attorney who can help perform due diligence during a transaction.

Issues to Address When Performing Due Diligence

An investor can protect their financial interests by gathering all information needed to ensure that they fully understand the risks and benefits of a commercial real estate transaction. In many cases, a person will have 30 days or less to perform due diligence, so it is essential to act quickly to uncover any issues that may affect a transaction or impact an owner’s ability to receive the proper return on their investment.

While the forms of due diligence that may be performed will vary depending on the type of property and transaction, an investor will likely need to address issues such as:

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IL real estate lawyerSince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, businesses in Illinois and throughout the United States have encountered financial difficulties. As the country is beginning to return to normalcy, some businesses have been able to resume their regular activities and continue operating successfully. However, many businesses are still struggling as they determine how to respond to the loss of revenue that occurred due to the pandemic. These issues have affected many commercial leases, and both landlords and tenants may need to determine how to address situations where a business has been unable to pay rent on a short-term or long-term basis.

Negotiating Lease Modifications for Commercial Landlords and Tenants

As commercial tenants have encountered financial struggles, this has put many landlords in a difficult position. While some landlords have pursued lease enforcement actions, others may have been hesitant to do so due to the difficulty of finding new tenants in the current marketplace. Rather than pursue evictions or take steps to terminate a lease, it may be beneficial for both parties to negotiate lease modifications that will allow a tenant to continue occupying a space as they attempt to address their ongoing financial issues.

Some lease modifications that landlords and tenants may consider during negotiations include:

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