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Recent Blog Posts

Should I Negotiate with My Lender Directly if They Want to Foreclose?

 Posted on July 18, 2023 in Arlington Heights Foreclosure Attorney

Libertyville, IL foreclosure lawyerIf you have received a notice that your mortgage lender intends to foreclose your home or you anticipate this news because you are behind on your mortgage payments, you may be wondering if giving them a call and negotiating with them could be beneficial. While this approach may have been a viable strategy if you needed to miss a payment, if you are already behind on your mortgage, it is time to engage the services of a legal professional who can negotiate with your lender on your behalf. 

The Stakes of Your Situation

The primary reason why it is important to seek legal representation if your home is already at risk of foreclosure is that the stakes of your situation are so high that you cannot afford to make even a single misstep. Unless you are a trained negotiator, chances are that you are unsure of exactly how to achieve the most favorable outcome via direct negotiation with your lender. As a result, you may unintentionally say something that could compromise the strength of your legal and financial position. Furthermore, banks hire skilled negotiators whose job is to maximize the bank’s profits, even at the cost of the bank’s clients such as yourself. Having an attorney in your corner can make all the difference in achieving a fair deal.

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Wait or Commit? Buying a Home While Interest Rates Are High

 Posted on June 28, 2023 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerMost Americans do not have the luxury of waiting to sell or purchase a home when the real estate market is ideal. A growing family, employment opportunities in a new area, or a significant change in circumstances may warrant a move regardless of whether market conditions are what one would wish. Current aspiring homebuyers, for example, may need to make a purchase even though interest rates are particularly high and inventory is low in many areas. Thankfully, if it is time to commit to buying a new residence, there are safeguards that can be put into place to better protect the interests of a new homebuyer who is navigating a challenging market.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

It is true that when the market is less than ideal, some aspiring homebuyers would do better to wait – if possible – for better conditions before making such a large investment. Specifically, due to very high-interest rates, homebuyers who would need to max or exceed their budgets in order to make a purchase and those whose income streams are uncertain may want to wait, if they can, to make a purchase.

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Why Are Foreclosure Rates Spiking?

 Posted on June 13, 2023 in Foreclosure

IL bankrutpcy lawyerAccording to a prominent real estate data group, foreclosure rates are spiking significantly nationwide. Specifically, the number of foreclosure cases filed in May – which total 35,196 cases nationwide in a single month – is up 7% from the previous month and a staggering 14% from May of the previous year. Given that the job market remains strong, it is understandable that many people are both puzzled and concerned about the risk of foreclosure that is currently plaguing too many Americans.

What Is Going On?

Unlike many other periods of heightened foreclosure activity, the primary economic force driving unfavorable foreclosure rates is not joblessness. Instead, the cost of living in both urban and rural areas – as well as wages that are not keeping pace with inflation – are of the utmost concern to economists and homeowners alike. Wages had been rising prior to 2020 but that trend abruptly halted, even as the costs for both goods and services started rising at disturbing rates.

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Navigating the Housing Market’s New “Ice Age” 

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in Real Estate

lake county real estate lawyerA recent Newsweek poll reveals that nearly six out of every 10 Americans are either “very” or “fairly” concerned that the U.S. housing market is going to crash within the year. Certainly, the nation’s economic news is not particularly bright, especially because the nation’s top leaders have not yet resolved serious budgetary and debt ceiling concerns. However, there are other reasons why both aspiring homebuyers and current homeowners hoping to sell soon are getting concerned.

For example, one recent Business Insider feature is entitled “The Housing Market’s Ice Age,” and its subtitle reads, “If you don't already own a home, you're going to be screwed for years to come.” The piece concerns the fact that, in much of the country, higher prices, lower inventory, and fewer sales are freezing the market over. It would be difficult to NOT be concerned about the state of the residential real estate market after reading comments like that from a trusted source. The question then becomes, how do those who hope to buy or sell a home over the next few years navigate current and likely conditions successfully?

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What Is a Consent Foreclosure?

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in Foreclosure

lake county real estate lawyerOftentimes, it is possible for homeowners who want to save the equity they have invested in their homes to avoid foreclosure, even if they have missed multiple payments. Speaking with an attorney about their options is usually a good place to start “fighting back” against the risk of foreclosure. Yet, there are times when fighting back against this risk might not be in a homeowner’s best interests. Due to the nature of their circumstances, engaging in a so-called consent foreclosure may be preferable.

Safeguarding the Interests of Homeowners in Specific Ways

In the event of a “traditional” judicial foreclosure, a home is sold by a lender that is owed repayment for a home loan that is in default. The former owner of that home is usually responsible for repaying any outstanding amount owed to the lender. If the lender does not receive this repayment, it may seek a deficiency judgment. To enforce that deficiency judgment, the lender may seek to garnish the former owner’s wages or even seize the contents of their bank account.

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Illinois Housing Market Cited Among the Nation’s Most Vulnerable

 Posted on April 20, 2023 in Real Estate

lake county real estate lawyerThe real estate market is not a static influence. It ebbs and flows nationally, at the state level, locally, and even within neighborhoods on a fairly regular basis. The constantly changing nature of the market means that some aspiring buyers, aspiring sellers, and current homeowners do not care to “keep up” with how the market is trending. Some find this effort to be too complicated and frustrating to be worth their time. Others assume that what will be will be. Yet, it remains important to understand what the market is doing so that anyone who is interested in engaging in a real estate transaction – or keeping their home safe from a risk of foreclosure – can better protect their interests.

What Is Going on?

Uncertainty is not a pleasant reality when individuals are looking to buy, sell, or effectively maintain real estate. Unfortunately, the current housing market in Illinois is being widely cited as among the most vulnerable in the U.S. Essentially, communities are suffering from a high risk of multiple foreclosures due to a variety of factors. This reality affects buyers, sellers, and owners alike. The challenges of this situation have cooled the market and may, in time, effectively chill it.

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Most Lenders Prefer to Avoid Foreclosure

 Posted on April 14, 2023 in Arlington Heights Foreclosure Attorney

chicago foreclosure defense lawyerAll too often, homeowners are under the impression that there is no way to respond to a foreclosure notice effectively. They assume that if their lender has announced its intention to foreclose upon a property, nothing more can be done. In truth, the foreclosure process involves a complex series of steps. At virtually any point during the foreclosure process, a specific kind of response from a homeowner has the potential to yield positive results.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important to seek legal guidance if a homeowner’s investment is in jeopardy due to non-payment of mortgage obligations. There are so many checks and balances built into the system that there is almost always a way to remedy a foreclosure risk, regardless of how many steps forward a lender has taken in pursuit of repossessing someone’s home. Some of these opportunities exist because of safeguards within the legal system. Others exist simply because most lenders like to avoid foreclosure whenever they can.

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What Is a Strategic Default?

 Posted on March 24, 2023 in Arlington Heights Foreclosure Attorney

lake county foreclosure lawyerWhen a homeowner is at risk of foreclosure, there are a number of ways that they can potentially respond. If their finances are solid but repayment could be made more manageable via a loan modification, this adjustment could mitigate the issues that led to missed payments in the past. Other homeowners file for bankruptcy to catch up on missed payments or pursue short sales to avoid foreclosure when they can no longer afford to remain in possession of their property.

Under a very specific set of circumstances, there is one additional opportunity that makes sense for some individuals who can no longer afford to remain homeowners. This opportunity is referred to as strategic default. It involves intentionally halting payments on a mortgage tied to a home that is worth significantly less than what the homeowner owes their lender.

Important Considerations

One of the reasons it is critical to seek professional guidance before engaging in a strategic default is that the consequences of this action are significant. While committing to a short sale will affect a homeowner’s credit score for a time, a strategic default will affect it significantly because this opportunity serves as an abdication of responsibility for the mortgage debt.

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Short Sales: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

 Posted on March 15, 2023 in Real Estate

lake county real estate lawyerIf you are a homeowner who is facing a genuine risk of foreclosure, you may have heard that conducting a “short sale” could serve as a viable way to resolve your circumstances. When circumstances are dire, it can be tempting to jump at any suggestion that could land you back on your feet. However, it is important to understand what you are getting into before committing to a short sale.

Our firm offers free consultations to anyone who is facing foreclosure and could benefit from a confidential, no-cost case assessment. Before you attend your session, consider looking over answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we field from distressed homeowners who are seeking solutions. Making this effort can help you to become more familiar with one of the primary ways to resolve an impending foreclosure.  

What Is a Short Sale?

“Short sale” is a real estate term that involves offering to sell a home for less than what an owner owes on their mortgage.

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What Are The Costs Involved in Selling a Home?

 Posted on February 15, 2023 in Real Estate

arlington heights real estate lawyerWhile most people know that buying a home is an expensive process, few people realize that selling a home comes with its fair share of expenses as well - especially if they are doing it for the first time. Not anticipating the true expense of selling a home can lead to unpleasant surprises at best, with many people suddenly realizing that they have put themselves in a desperate financial situation. 

If you are considering selling your home, an Illinois residential real estate lawyer can help you plan carefully and avoid situations where you are responding to unexpected expenses or having to make last-minute accommodations. To learn more about what you should anticipate paying for when you sell your home, read on and then contact Newland & Newland, LLP for help. 

What Do I Need to Pay For When I Sell My House? 

The exact list of expenses will vary according to the complexity of the transaction and the state of your home’s repair. However, in general, it is wise to anticipate the following expenses: 

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