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McHenry County foreclosure defense attorneysThe impact of COVID-19 has been widespread, with public health concerns as well as an economic downfall. In response to stay-at-home and quarantine orders issued by local governments, non-essential businesses were forced to close. As a result, many people throughout the United States have lost their jobs. This has resulted in a record-setting number of unemployment claims, but it also left millions of people facing housing insecurity because of lost income. For families, even one parent losing his or her job can be devastating if they rely on that income to pay their rent or mortgage. When too many payments are missed, the lending institution can take possession of the home through legal foreclosure proceedings. If you are facing foreclosure on your home, you may be eligible for a loan modification. 

What Is Involved in the Foreclosure Process? 

Foreclosure is a legal process by which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has defaulted on the loan. Usually, this means that the borrower stopped making payments to the lender, and foreclosure works by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan. In Illinois, foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender (the plaintiff) must file a lawsuit (a complaint) in court. The complaint is served to the borrower, along with a summons that typically provides 30 days for the borrower to file an answer.

CARES Act 

In response to this housing crisis, the federal government implemented certain protections for tenants and mortgage loan borrowers under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Renters who were residing in properties that had federally backed mortgages could not be evicted or fined for nonpayment of rent for 120 days between March 27 and July 24, 2020. After the four months were up, landlords were permitted to give tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate the premises. However, agencies including the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have now extended their single-family moratorium on evictions until December 31, 2020.

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Lake County foreclosure defense attorneysBuying a home can be a dream come true for many people. Even if you worked hard and saved a substantial amount for a down payment, you will likely still need to take out a loan, which is known as a mortgage. If you fail to make your monthly mortgage payments, you could be at risk of losing your house. Foreclosure is the legal process by which the lender or bank can repossess your house. This means you will have to vacate the premises within a certain amount of time.

If your house is worth less than the amount you owe on your loan, a deficiency judgment may be entered. Not only do you lose your home, but you may owe your lender additional money to make up the difference in value, and your credit score will go down. The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted many homeowners financially. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid going through foreclosure.

Practical Steps to Keep Your House

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our nation’s economy. Many businesses have closed their doors, leaving workers unemployed and without their usual incomes. This has led many homeowners to fall behind on their bills, including their mortgage payments, which are often their biggest expense. While most lenders have instituted a moratorium on foreclosure proceedings during the current health crisis, the moratorium will eventually be lifted. It is a good idea to start preparing now for that reality.

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Lake County foreclosure defense attorneysBuying your first home can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming to take on such a major responsibility. Regardless if you are single or married, it is important to carefully consider your mortgage and what you can afford in terms of a loan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been furloughed or laid off from their jobs for an indefinite period of time. Although they may be entitled to unemployment, those funds may not cover their monthly mortgage payment. The federal government has issued protections for tenants and mortgage loan borrowers under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, once this moratorium expires, home owners may still be struggling to keep afloat financially if they cannot return to work. Forensic loan auditing can help reveal any violation of the law with regard to the loan package. An experienced attorney can help determine if this specific type of auditing can help in your foreclosure defense

Uncovering Violations in Your Loan Package

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was created by the federal government to ensure that consumers are given accurate information when they enter into credit transactions. TILA covers credit loans, including mortgages, home equity loans, and credit cards. The disclosures by lenders should be consistent and standardized, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. If the creditor does not disclose pertinent data to the borrowing party, the creditor may be liable to pay damages to the borrower.
Examples of common loan violations may include any of the following:

  • Truth in Lending Act violations: This occurs when a creditor fails to disclose information in writing regarding the terms of a loan or any type of credit transaction. 
  • HUD violations: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulates the housing industry. Housing providers, including landlords or management companies that refuse to rent or sell dwellings to people based on race, color, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, or disability are in violating of federal law.
  • Interest rate violations: When the terms of your loan, such as the interest rate and structure (fixed, adjustable, balloon) are not fully disclosed, this may be considered a violation. Many first-time homeowners do not realize that their mortgage payments can go up substantially once the term ends.   
  • Predatory lending practices: In some cases, lending institutions engage in unethical actions in order to obtain business. This may include charging excessive or hidden fees, not disclosing appropriate information, or not notifying borrowers of their right to cancel a loan.

An attorney can help uncover the above violations and assist you with defending your home foreclosure by holding those accountable. In certain situations, you may also be eligible for remedies such as a loan modification or mortgage relief programs. 

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North Chicago real estate attorney loan modification

Are you having a difficult time making your monthly mortgage payment? If so, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. At any given time, thousands of homeowners are encountering situations in which they have trouble meeting their mortgage obligations, and for a myriad of reasons. For many homeowners, 2020 has been especially difficult, as the economic impact of the COVID-19 health crisis continues to cause problems even now. 

If you are struggling with your current mortgage payment, you have a few options. Two of the most common are refinancing your loan or modifying your existing loan. Loan modification and a refinance might seem similar at first glance, but they have very important differences that you need to keep in mind.

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Lake County loan modification lawyerAcross the country, moratoriums have been placed on eviction and foreclosure proceedings as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of August, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it was extending the foreclosure moratorium for federally-backed single-family home mortgages until the end of the year at the earliest. The moratorium was set to expire on August 31, but the FHFA recognized that many homeowners still face serious struggles when it comes to making their mortgage payments. While non-federally-backed mortgages are not directly affected by the moratorium, most private lenders have followed suit and are holding off on foreclosure proceedings for the time being.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage due to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, you are probably not going to face foreclosure in the immediate future. You will, however, need to get caught up, as foreclosure will be a possibility at some point down the road. In order to bring your mortgage current, you will most likely need to request a loan modification. Most lenders are willing to work with borrowers who ask for a loan modification, but the application process can be challenging and confusing. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for a borrower’s first request to be denied. The good news is that a loan modification denial is not the end of the story.

A Denial Is Not All Bad

Being told no always hurts a little, but having your application for a loan modification denied can be scary. After all, if the lender will not agree to modify your loan, how will you ever get your mortgage back on track? The most important thing to do after a denial is to keep the bigger picture in mind.

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