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Recent Blog Posts

How Can I Remove a Lien From My Home? 

 Posted on February 09, 2023 in Real Estate

Libertyville real estate lawyerGetting ready to move to a new home only to find out you have a lien against your current house can be surprising and frustrating. In addition to everything else you need to do to get ready to move, figuring out how to remove or contest a lien can be time- and resource-intensive. Liens on a home can prevent people from making offers and can seriously delay the selling and buying process. If you are looking to sell your home and need to learn more about how to remove a lien, an Illinois residential real estate attorney can help. 

What is a Lien On a House? 

“Lien” is a word that means somebody has a legal right to some portion of your property because you owe them money. Not all liens are bad - for example, your mortgage is a lien against your home - but liens can prevent you from doing what you want with your house. For example, some types of liens that could get in the way of selling your home include: 

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Creative Ways to Avoid Foreclosure Through a Loan Modification

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Mortgage

Waukegan loan modification lawyerNationwide foreclosures are highest in California, New Jersey, and Illinois. Lake County in Illinois has some of the greatest numbers of foreclosures. Most homeowners will do everything in their power to save the home they worked so hard to purchase. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we offer a variety of creative ways to modify your existing loan through firm negotiation with your lender. An experienced real estate attorney can guide you through the process of a loan modification.

Modification Options

Before you reach any sort of agreement with your lender, you should consult with a real estate attorney who may be able to attain more favorable terms on your mortgage loan agreement. It is also important to understand your current financial situation and if it is likely to improve in the near future. The following are some creative ways we utilize to modify a mortgage loan:

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Is My Mortgage Debt Erased after a Short Sale?

 Posted on January 04, 2023 in Foreclosure

Grayslake, IL shortsale real estate lawyerDuring this time of economic uncertainty, foreclosure activity is up 57 percent nationwide. If you find yourself financially strapped, it may be necessary to do away with what you own and that includes property. Selling your home for less than what it is worth through a short sale is one way to avoid foreclosure. But will your entire mortgage debt be wiped clean after a short sale?

What is a Short Sale?

When your home is sold for a lower price than the amount remaining on the mortgage, it is considered a short sale. Many mortgage lenders will accept less than they are owed to avoid the paperwork involved in the foreclosure and then having to turn around and sell the home.

A short sale is a bit more complex than a typical house sale. Not only is the home sold for a lower amount than what you see on your mortgage loan, but the remaining amount of the loan needs to be considered in your decision because it may still be owed after the sale is completed. A short sale is one way to avoid foreclosure and possibly maintain your credit score, depending on the circumstances. However, some homeowners earn too much money or have too much value in their assets to qualify for a short sale. 

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Foreclosures Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels: What are Your Options?

 Posted on December 31, 2022 in Arlington Heights Foreclosure Attorney

Libertyville, IL real estate lawyerThe economic downturn could force many homeowners into foreclosure as many people continue to struggle with inflation and the impacts of the pandemic. Some homeowners may be able to fall back on equity or sell their homes and pay off their mortgages. However, we have already seen a decline in the sale of existing homes for nine consecutive months. In just the third quarter of 2022, there were nearly 93,000 foreclosure filings and parts of Illinois had some of the greatest numbers of foreclosures filed.

Missed Payments

Foreclosure judgments in 2023 could increase and if you do not take action your home could slip away. A late payment made during the grace period is not cause for concern. But repeated missed payments are more serious and bring you a step closer to foreclosure. 

Two Options to Avoid Foreclosure

If you are behind on your mortgage you cannot afford to ignore the situation. It would be a good idea to consider the assistance of real estate attorney to help you with these two possible options to avoid foreclosure:

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Avoid Common First-Time Buyer Mistakes with a Real Estate Attorney

 Posted on December 08, 2022 in Real Estate

Lake County, IL real estate attorneyInterest rates on home loans in Illinois are double what they were a year ago. This has created less competition for buyers, and many markets are seeing frequent price drops and fewer offers, giving buyers the upper hand in negotiating the best price. So maybe you are ready to take the plunge and use your savings for a down payment on your first home. If you are a first-time buyer it can be a bit nerve-wracking and overwhelming. But an experienced Illinois real estate attorney can guide you through the home-buying process and make sure that you thoroughly understand everything you sign.

Offer and Negotiation

Once you know how much you can spend, you will tour various homes until you find the right one for you. The official buying process begins when you make an offer in writing. A real estate attorney will help you draft an offer that makes sense financially and protects your rights. The seller could accept the offer, make a counteroffer, or reject the offer. But if there is an agreement, a signed offer becomes a purchase contract. A real estate attorney will review the terms of the contract to ensure they are reasonable and fair to you as the buyer. The attorney will address any issue with the seller's attorney before the sale proceeds.

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Online Money Scams Target Home Buyers: Ways a Real Estate Attorney Can Help   

 Posted on December 01, 2022 in Mortgage

Round Lake, IL real estate lawyerPurchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will make in your life, and when you find your dream home you are probably going to be excited about locking it in with a big down payment. But online scam artists are ready to take your hard-earned money. Wire fraud is now the fastest-growing scam in the United States, up more than 1,000 percent between 2015 and 2017. If you are buying a home a skilled real estate attorney can guide you through the process and help you avoid any pitfalls.

The Scam: Fake Wiring Instructions

The FBI reports there are phishing scams to divert your down payment and closing costs into a fraudulent account. Typically, it comes across as last-minute changes to your wiring instructions. The scams are astronomically successful and translate into nearly $1 billion in real estate transaction losses.

Closing Funds

The lender will give the buyer the closing disclosure three days before closing. It contains an estimate of the amount necessary to close. The actual amount is usually obtained by the real estate closing attorney who informs the buyer.

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Zombie Properties on the Rise: Two Ways to Avoid Foreclosure 

 Posted on November 11, 2022 in Foreclosure

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.

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Are You Facing Foreclosure Due to Lender Errors?

 Posted on October 18, 2022 in Foreclosure

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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Paranormal Activity in a New Home: Illinois Law Regarding Stigmatized Houses

 Posted on October 13, 2022 in Real Estate

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.

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Pros and Cons of Buying a “For Sale By Owner” Home

 Posted on September 30, 2022 in Real Estate

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:

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