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North Chicago, IL foreclosure attorney“Zombie foreclosures” in Illinois are haunting homeowners well into the holiday season and  Illinois has the fourth overall number of zombie foreclosures in the United States. Perhaps you are facing this situation and need a real estate attorney to avoid losing your home to foreclosure. Or worse, maybe you already lost your home to foreclosure and are just finding out that outstanding debts on the property are still your responsibility. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we work tirelessly to keep you from losing your home in the first place by finding solutions to try to prevent foreclosure.

What is a Zombie Foreclosure?

Zombie foreclosures tend to stick around because the title of the house was never transferred from the original owner to the bank or the new homeowner. Some residents in Illinois are being billed for overgrown weeds and demolition costs on properties they thought they no longer owned. It is always good practice to check public records to make sure the deed is transferred to the new owner, even if you moved out of your home due to foreclosure.

Prevent a Foreclosure of Any Kind

In Illinois, foreclosure involves a judicial process that takes more than five years to complete. Here are three ways to prevent foreclosure:

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waukegan foreclosure lawyerBuying your home is probably one of the biggest investments you have made. As life would have it, things happen, and you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments. You may be in default or foreclosure proceedings are underway. You should seek out help to protect your home and your credit.

Foreclosure Spike

The foreclosure process often starts when you receive a default notice from the lender after missing three mortgage payments in a row. In just the last quarter, lenders have started the foreclosure process on 67,249 properties across the United States. That is a 167 percent jump from a year ago. A foreclosure can trigger a lower credit score and make it harder for you to get financing in the future.

For many of us, being able to buy our own home came with hard work and sacrifice. That is why there are federal regulations in place to help homeowners keep their homes. It can be a very complex process. Here are the three key phases of the process: 

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waukegan real estate lawyerSpooky homes and dark tales abound this time of year. But if your dream of homeownership has suddenly left you seeing ghosts, you may feel like someone played a trick on you. Selling and buying real estate can be complex, and disclosure laws can be equally perplexing. But in Illinois, it is your responsibility as the buyer to find out if the house you wish to buy has a tragic history or spirits luring inside. 

What is a Stigmatized House? 

A seller in Illinois is required to disclose any physical defects the property may have. The law does not require the seller, listing brokers, or agents to disclose anything that may cause a stigma for the property. Stigmatized homes are those that some people find undesirable because emotionally upsetting events such as murder, suicide, or sexual assault have occurred at the home. Haunted houses fall under the same stigmatized category.

 Even though some people refuse to live in these properties and would have never purchased a home that comes with supposed supernatural forces, Illinois law does not require a seller and his or her representatives to disclose the paranormal activity.

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libertyville real estate lawyerThe current real estate market is making it harder to find the perfect new home than most people are expecting. Let’s assume, however, that you found the right house, and you are ready to make an offer, but your real estate agent tells you that the home is an FSBO. You might recognize that abbreviation to mean “for sale by owner,” but do you understand the effects that a sale by the owner can have on your homebuying experience? Selling an FSBO property can be tricky, but so can buying one. Here are a few things you should know ahead of time.

Advantages of Buying an FSBO Home

A “for sale by owner” (FSBO) home is sold by the homeowner with no help from a broker or listing agent. This reduces the commission fees for the seller, thereby allowing them to pocket a larger percentage of the sale price. As a buyer, you will still be able to secure a commission for your agent, but there are a few advantages that buying an FSBO property offers you, including:

  • Direct communication with the seller – Since the seller is not using a broker or agent, there will be no intermediary in your conversations with the owner. In some cases, this means that negotiations may be easier, and you could end up with a lower price than if the seller had an agent.

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libertyville real estate lawyerWhile the specifics of mortgage loans—and the associated paperwork—can be quite complicated, one thing is easy to understand: If you do not make your scheduled payments, your lender will eventually file a foreclosure action and take back your home. Just to be clear, foreclosure is the legal process that a lender uses to take possession of a property from a borrower who did not keep up with their obligations as specified in the mortgage loan agreement. Other things could cause a lender to initiate foreclosure, but the vast majority of foreclosures stem from borrowers defaulting on their payments.

The process of foreclosure can be overwhelmingly difficult for many homeowners, and it is extremely easy to make expensive mistakes under such stress. An error in the process could cost you a great deal, but if you are aware of where most people make mistakes, you can be sure to avoid them. A qualified foreclosure defense lawyer can also help.

Do Not: Ignore Your Lender

Under the law in Illinois, your lender cannot start a foreclosure action until you are at least 120 days delinquent on your mortgage payments. More than likely, however, your lender will start calling and sending you letters within a few days of your first missed payment. As you inch closer to defaulting, your lender will probably reach out more often—possibly every day.

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