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Lake Forest IL foreclosure defense attorneyAfter nearly a year, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect people across the United States. Even though vaccines are currently being administered, they are being rolled out slowly, and it will most likely be several more months before enough people can be vaccinated to allow a return to the activities that people enjoyed before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this means that those who have been struggling financially may continue to face difficulty and uncertainty for the time being. However, federal and state government organizations have offered a variety of different forms of relief, and programs may be available to help homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19 avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Moratorium Extended

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which went into effect in March of 2020, placed a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). While this moratorium was initially intended to last through July 24, 2020, it has been extended several times as the pandemic has continued to affect people and families. Most recently, the FHA announced that the moratorium will extend through February 28, 2021. The moratorium applies to new foreclosure proceedings and any foreclosures which are already in process.

Options for Mortgage Forbearance and Bankruptcy

In addition to the moratorium on foreclosures, the FHA is allowing homeowners to request a forbearance from mortgage lenders. A forbearance will allow a homeowner to defer or reduce mortgage payments for up to six months, and it may be extended for an additional six months if needed. The Consolidated Appropriation Act (CAA), which was passed by the U.S. Congress on December 27, 2020, prohibited lenders from denying forbearances or foreclosure relief to lenders who had previously filed for bankruptcy or who are involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

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Libertyville IL foreclosure defense lawyerOver the past decade, the threat of foreclosure has been ever-present for many homeowners. Those who are struggling financially may be concerned that missed or late mortgage payments will result in the loss of their home. However, many homeowners who have refinanced their homes or obtained additional mortgages may be unsure about how these loans will affect their financial situation, including whether mortgage lenders may foreclose if a person is in default on a second mortgage. By working with a bankruptcy attorney to understand these issues, homeowners can determine their best options for defending against foreclosure and managing their debts.

Defaulting on a Second Mortgage

A mortgage is a secured debt, and this means that if a homeowner defaults on the debt, the lender can foreclose and repossess the house. This is true not only for the initial mortgage on a home, but also for any subsequent mortgages or home equity loans. However, during foreclosure, the first mortgage will take priority, and lenders of second or subsequent mortgages will only receive payments if the amount obtained through a foreclosure sale exceeds the amount owed on the first mortgage.

If a home is “underwater,” meaning that its current value is less than the amount owed on the initial mortgage and any subsequent mortgages, lenders may not want to foreclose on a second mortgage, since they will likely not receive full payment of the amount owed. However, these lenders may pursue other options for repayment, such as filing a lawsuit against the homeowner to collect the amount owed. In many cases, homeowners may be able to negotiate with these lenders to determine how they can become current on a loan, since other options may not be financially beneficial for the lender.

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Waukegan IL short sale attorneyMany people and families throughout the United States are struggling with debt, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the loss of jobs, reductions in the income that people are able to earn, and other financial difficulties. Homeowners who are struggling to pay ongoing expenses may be concerned about what will happen if they default on their mortgage, including whether they may face foreclosure. While some homeowners may be able to avoid foreclosure through a loan modification, others may find that they will be unable to avoid losing their home. In these cases, a short sale can sometimes be beneficial.

What Is a Short Sale?

A homeowner may owe more on their mortgage than their home is actually worth. If the homeowner is experiencing financial hardship, they may be able to sell their home at a fair price and avoid owing additional money to their mortgage lender. In many cases, a lender will need to approve a short sale, although it may be possible to complete a transaction without lender approval.

Short sales can provide multiple benefits to those who are unable to make mortgage payments, including:

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Waukegan foreclosure defense lawyerDebt is a major problem for many American families, especially during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have lost your job, are facing large medical bills, or are struggling to make payments on the debts you owe, you may be concerned about the possibility of foreclosure on your home. Fortunately, bankruptcy may provide your family with some relief by allowing you to discharge or repay certain debts without losing your home.

Automatic Foreclosure Stay During Bankruptcy Proceedings

When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect preventing creditors from attempting to collect on the debts you owe. This stay applies to mortgage lenders and foreclosure proceedings. If a bank has begun the process of foreclosing on your home, filing for bankruptcy can put a halt to these proceedings while you determine the best steps to take to regain financial security while keeping your home.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Your Mortgage

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy,” since all non-exempt assets you own will be sold to make payments to your creditors, and any remaining debts will be discharged. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you delay a foreclosure, but if you discharge the amount owed on your mortgage, in many cases the lender can still eventually foreclose on your home. However, if you do not discharge your mortgage debt, and you remain current on your mortgage payments, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may allow you to discharge other debts and give you the financial means to stay in your home.

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North Chicago foreclosure defense attorneyThe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant. Many people throughout the United States have either taken a pay cut, been temporarily furloughed, or lost their jobs completely. As a result, renters and homeowners are struggling to make their monthly housing payments. While repossession and foreclosure are both processes used by creditors to reclaim property that is used as collateral for a loan, the procedures followed in each type of case are different.

Defaulting on a Loan

Repossession is common in vehicle loans. Once a person becomes delinquent on payments and the borrower is in default on the loan, the lender can take back possession of the property at any time. The foreclosure process, on the other hand, is more complicated than repossession. If someone is 120 days delinquent on his or her mortgage, the lender can begin official foreclosure proceedings by filing a complaint in court. The homeowner has 30 days to respond to the complaint.

Foreclosure refers to the legal process where real estate is taken away from a borrower. Depending on state law and the circumstances of a case, a foreclosure may be judicial or nonjudicial. Illinois law outlines specific procedures that the lending institution must go through before having a foreclosure sale. 

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