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Recent Blog Posts

Facing Foreclosure: Exploring Your Options with an Experienced Illinois Attorney

 Posted on May 29, 2014 in Foreclosure

Unfortunately when a homeowner is facing dire straights and facing foreclosure, far too often those seeking mortgage assistance fall victim to experienced scam artists. These experts are prey on the homeowner's emotional state to drain you of your money and your home but also leaving your liable for your mortgage debt.

To alleviate falling victim to a scam artist that could only make the overall situation worse, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced foreclosure attorney to further discuss your options under the federally funded Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program or the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

These programs, initiated in 2009 at the height of the real estate bubble have been extended through 2014. Either program could be the catalyst to vault you out of the financial hardship. Perhaps before meeting with an attorney the following brief synopses may provide you with a brief introduction to both programs.

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Getting Back into the Game: Mortgage Delinquency Assistance from a Qualified Attorney and Licensed Real Estate Broker

 Posted on May 19, 2014 in Real Estate

When you purchased your home a few years ago, life was great. Your job was secure, your children were happy and healthy and your marriage was stable, of course with the common marital ups and downs but still reasonably stable.

Then it all came crashing down.

One of your children was diagnosed with a chronic disorder causing medical bills to soar, you became a victim of employment downsizing, and your spouse decided it was all too much and filed for divorce. You are now in danger of losing the family home to foreclosure.

You made the effort to discuss loan modification with your bank but realized you should have retained the services of an experienced Illinois foreclosure attorney because now in spite of your efforts to persuade the mortgage lender you are now facing the sale of your home via foreclosure or what is commonly known in real estate terminology as a short sale ordered by the lender.

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The Other Foreclosure Crisis: Seniors Facing Foreclosure Due to Delinquent Property Taxes

 Posted on April 16, 2014 in Foreclosure

A recent article published by the Association of American Retired Persons Bulletin (AARP) exposes a new crisis in our country. It appears that seniors are under siege due to delinquent property bills and haunted by credit collection agencies ready to either secure the debt or take control of the home through a tax lien foreclosure.

The article profiles Melvin Phillips, a security guard and retired Army captain thought he was current on his property tax obligation, but according to the article Elm Capital, LLC (Jericho, N.Y.), Phillips was facing foreclosure over a $8,000 tax lien levied against his home. He thought he would be able to establish a payment plan in court but Elm Capital was prepared to take his house by foreclosing on Philips and his property if he could not produce $15,000 immediately. Through assistance offered by the AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), Captain Phillips was able to reach an agreement with Elm Capital and save his home.

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Sinking Home Value + Inability to Pay = Strategic Default? The Pros and Cons for Illinois Homeowners

 Posted on April 09, 2014 in Foreclosure

According to an article published by the Chicago Tribune, Illinois homeowners plotting to strategically walk away from their homes is not an alarming new trend. For years, homeowners who have been feeling the sting of the housing market whims have often turned to an experienced Strategic Defense attorney to discuss Strategic Default of their mortgage as a method to relieve persistent debt concerns.

Joanne Gaskin, director of product management for scores at FICO Inc. believes “that this is not a problem that is going away”. It is also reported that the Chicago area is conducive to this form of debt relief due to three primary circumstances:

  1. Although the housing market is experiencing a slight rebound, some homeowners are still experiencing a negative equity balance.
  2. Illinois foreclosures, processed through the court system, are over their heads in paperwork. From default to foreclosure some homeowners are living mortgage-free up to and over one year's time.

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Foreclosure Under Illinois Civil Law: What to Expect After Losing the Good Fight

 Posted on March 28, 2014 in Foreclosure

You fought the good fight, but it was not enough. Due to financial hardship your family home has gone into foreclosure status and you are now facing eviction in your home state of Illinois. Not only are you reeling from the emotional pain associated with losing your home but you are also regretting not contacting an experienced foreclosure attorney at the onset of your financial difficulties. Now you are left wondering what happens next.

For those currently in foreclosure, without any recourse, subject to Illinois Civil Procedure Law (735 ILCS 5), take comfort that you will not be immediately forced to vacate your home, but if you choose to dig in your heels as a last ditch effort, the bank or the new homeowners are permitted to pursue eviction action against you as follows:

Self-Help Eviction

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Mortgage Debt Relief Act Expires, Foreclosures Expected

 Posted on January 21, 2014 in Mortgage

The housing crisis that began concurrently with the financial crisis of 2008 may be a distant memory for most Americans, but according to Forbes there are many families still holding underwater mortgages, who are still dealing with it every day. “The number of homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth is greater than the number of residents in most states,” Forbes reports. Zillow produced the latest statistics, reported at the end of December. “Nearly 11 million homeowners have negative equity in their homes… the rate works out to about one in five homeowners with a mortgage,” according to Forbes.

In 2007, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act was passed, which allowed taxpayers to exclude income resultant from the forgiveness of debt. “Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief,” according to the IRS. Yet on December 31, 2013, this provision expired, essentially meaning that all forgiven debt in association with foreclosure or an underwater mortgage is now taxable. This, of course, will make a serious impact for families facing foreclosure or underwater mortgages in 2014.

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Johnson & Johnson Fined $2.2 Billion by Justice Department

 Posted on November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

The United States Department of Justice has announced that global health care company Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fees in a defective medications lawsuit alleging that the company marketed medications to improper audiences from 1999 to 2005. The judgment represents the third-largest health care fraud settlement in United States history.

Johnson & Johnson reportedly illegally marketed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults with dementia, people with developmental disabilities, and children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. They claimed that the medication could address symptoms in these patients such as agitation, confusion, impulsiveness and hostility.

According to the The New York Times, the company had repeatedly tried to expand the legal market for Risperdal into these markets soon after the drug was approved in 1993, but the Federal Drug Administration rejected their efforts. In fact, they government regulator only approved the medication for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. In spite of this, the company actively pursued the market for these patients.

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Ways to Lower your Mortgage Payments

 Posted on October 12, 2013 in Mortgage

Many people worry about their mortgage every month. There is a palpable dread when they open their mailboxes to find their monthly bill. If you feel the same way about your payments, then follow these steps to lower your payments and alleviate your stress.

The first step is to refinance your mortgage to get a better interest rate on the money you borrowed. This might not be available to you if your home's value is underwater. The only option is to try to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP. This is only available under certain conditions, like your mortgage is from before 2009 and is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. By financing at a lower rate, you can save money on your monthly mortgage payment.

The second option is to review and reduce your monthly tax payment. Taxes are escrowed over the course of the year and paid monthly with your principal and interest. The taxes are based on your county's estimate of your home's value. If your home has not been assessed since the housing bubble burst then you might be paying too much for your taxes based on that inflated value. Start by calling your country's assessor and explain the need for a new assessment of your home's value. If you can lower the taxes of your home, then you can lower your monthly payment.

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Loan Modification Scams a Problem in Illinois

 Posted on September 21, 2013 in Loan Modification

During the financial crisis of the 2000s, severe issues with the housing market came to light and many Americans found themselves with mortgages worth more than their homes. This is known as an “underwater mortgage,” and, according to Investopedia.com, “combined with a bad economy, resulted in numerous foreclosures” during the “aftermath of the 2000s housing bubble burst.” Many homeowners felt they had no choice but to default on their loans, as if defaulting form the mortgage was actually “cutting the losses from a bad investment.” It's not surprising, then, that loan modification rose as a viable alternative to defaulting on a mortgage, and several companies sprung up around the country offering services to help modify a mortgage loan. And yet with the myriad of upstanding companies to offer this type of service came a slew of scams that further complicated the housing crisis.

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Buying a Home without Breaking the Bank

 Posted on July 22, 2013 in Real Estate

There are many reasons you may decide to buy a home or you may decide not to buy homes. All of these reasons are valid and important to the purchaser. Sometimes it's as simple as not being ready or not having the budget they would like. If you are in this boat, you may be wondering what you can do to know if you're ready to buy a house or not. 


If you are looking at buying a home or if you should buy a home, you may need to look at your budgeting while you're renting or living in your current situation. If you are renting, you can probably purchase a home that is going to offer payments close to what you're already paying for rent. This will only work if you are keeping up with your rent easily.

Your rent is easy to compare to a home loan payment. The reason for this is most mortgages offer payments that are low if you find a home that is within the right budget. So if you're already paying rent for a home, it's easy to say that you can probably afford to buy a home that offers payments within the same price range.

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