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Libertyville IL foreclosure defense attorneyWhen a family experiences financial difficulties, they may be unable to make mortgage payments, which may cause their lender to begin the process of foreclosure. While the possibility of losing a home can be hard enough for a family, in some cases, they may be required to make additional payments even after the foreclosure process is completed. If the sale of a home during foreclosure does not fully cover the amount owed on the mortgage, a lender may pursue a deficiency judgment against the borrower and attempt to collect the remaining amount. However, borrowers have a number of options that can help them avoid a deficiency judgment and additional financial obligations.

Options for Avoiding Deficiency Judgments

The best way to eliminate the possibility of a deficiency judgment is to stop the foreclosure process altogether. There are a variety of foreclosure defense strategies available, including negotiating mortgage loan modifications that will allow a borrower to become current on their mortgage and continue making payments. However, if foreclosure cannot be avoided, borrowers may have other options for avoiding further liability, including:

  • Consent foreclosure - A borrower may make an agreement with their mortgage lender in which they will not contest the foreclosure of the home, and the lender will waive their rights to a deficiency judgment once the foreclosure process is complete.

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Libertyville IL foreclosure attorneyHomeowners who encounter financial difficulties can sometimes struggle to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately, if a person defaults on their mortgage, their lender may begin foreclosure proceedings, which could ultimately result in the loss of their home. Those who are having trouble meeting their financial obligations will want to understand the foreclosure process and the potential defense strategies that may be available.

Steps Followed in a Foreclosure

A homeowner will be considered to have defaulted on their mortgage if they fail to make payments on time or in full. After the first missed payment, a person may receive notification from their lender that they will be charged late fees, and after a second missed payment, the lender will usually advise the borrower that they may face legal action if they do not become current on their payments. After a third missed payment or delinquency of at least 90 days, the lender may contact the homeowner letting them know that they will be beginning foreclosure proceedings. This process will involve the following steps:

  1. Demand letter - At least 30 days before filing a foreclosure lawsuit, the lender must send the homeowner a notice that they are in default. This letter will provide details about how the borrower has failed to meet their obligations, describe what needs to be done to become current on mortgage payments, and provide a deadline for when payments must be made.

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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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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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