For homeowners falling behind on their loan payments, foreclosure can an intimidating prospect – and a frustrating and scary process to go through, particularly if you’re attempting to handle matters all alone. 

For borrowers, foreclosure can be a deeply trying, time-consuming, and expensive experience. It can be remarkably complex, and intensely emotional. In many cases, bringing on an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is one of the most effective steps a borrower can take to simplify and streamline the foreclosure process, and find a solution that may allow them to retain possession of their home, or minimize the impact on their financial and personal life. 

In Illinois, broadly speaking, foreclosures are judicial foreclosures, meaning that the foreclosure process occurs in the courts, and is governed by local laws. In many cases, an attorney can be an invaluable resource, helping you understand and navigate this legal process, and understand the specifics of your personal situation. 

Bear in mind that when it comes to foreclosure, a legal professional can…

Help You Better Understand the Foreclosure Process

The foreclosure process can be long and complex, even under the best of circumstances. An experienced legal professional can help you understand the many moving parts that go into a typical foreclosure – and help you understand the areas where your situation may be somewhat unique. 

From the receipt of a breach letter to the date of the foreclosure sale, there are many steps to the foreclosure process that borrowers must be aware of –  including the importance of responding to actions by the lender, or potentially attempting to take advantage of a reinstatement or redemption period. An experienced attorney can bring an extensive knowledge of state, local, and federal laws to the table – including up-to-the-minute awareness of recent changes to local or national housing and foreclosure guidelines and regulations. 

Equipped with guidance and insight on a changing field from a knowledgeable professional, a borrower can navigate the foreclosure process with greater insight and peace of mind, and find the course of action best suited to their unique needs. 

Help You Understand All of Your Options – and Pursue a Practical Course of Action

For borrowers, it can be daunting to even consider the prospect of responding to a foreclosure, let alone researching and navigating the various avenues and courses of action that may be available, depending on your unique circumstances. An attorney can be a vital partner, helping borrowers understand the unique details of their situation, and pursue an effective solution. Legal professionals can offer valuable insight and practical guidance on several common responses to a foreclosure, including: 

  • Loan modification.  An attorney can assist a borrower throughout the loan modification process, as they attempt to reach an agreement with their borrower to alter the terms of their loan (such as lowering the interest rate or extending the amortization period). 
  • Loss mitigation. There are various loss mitigation strategies borrowers can pursue in foreclosure – some that may allow the borrower to maintain possession of their home, and some that will not. An attorney can help borrowers navigate and pursue a mitigation strategy. Common retention strategies include creating a repayment plan, seeking forbearance, or requesting deferral of principal. Non-retention strategies may include attempting a short sale, negotiating a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or pursuing a consent foreclosure. 
  • Legal defense. Depending on the specifics of your foreclosure case, there may be legal defenses available to you – for instance, if your lender didn’t follow proper foreclosure procedures, can’t prove ownership of your loan, or made an error with your account. An attorney can review key documentation and paperwork, allowing borrowers to determine  if any legal defense options apply in their situation. 
  • Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be a viable path forward for some borrowers, depending on the details of their situation. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows borrowers to work out a repayment plan with their creditors, lessening their month-to-month financial burden and potentially making mortgage payments more manageable. Bankruptcy also provides consumers with certain protections, including the automatic stay, which can delay the foreclosure process temporarily.

Help You Navigate the Ins and Outs

Whether a borrower ultimately decides to attempt to work with their lender, pursue a legal defense, look into bankruptcy, or opt for a loss mitigation strategy, the process can be complex, time-consuming, and difficult to navigate alone. What’s more, in many cases, making a minor error could snowball into larger complications down the line. 

Throughout the foreclosure process, borrowers will often be placed in situations that can be made easier with the assistance of an experienced legal professional. This includes “big picture” things, like researching or pursuing a legal defense against foreclosure, but it also includes the more mundane, day-to-day steps involved in foreclosure proceedings, like responding in writing to documents and requests from lenders, filing paperwork and motions in court, and complying with important deadlines and procedural requirements. 

An attorney and their team can help provide the guidance and insight necessary to navigate the many complicated steps that can go into responding to a foreclosure and pursuing a resolution, streamlining the process and giving borrowers greater confidence, at every step of the way. 

Want to Keep the Conversation Going?

Curious about any aspect of the foreclosure process in Chicago, or Illinois more broadly? Want to discuss the details of your specific situation with an experienced legal team? 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the attorneys and staff of the Gunderson Law Firm. The Gunderson Law Firm possesses unparalleled expertise and insight on real estate and bankruptcy law in Chicagoland, reinforced by years of experience and long-term connections throughout Chicago’s real estate, finance, and insurance industries. 

Our attorneys are not only highly knowledgeable and experienced, but very down-to-earth. We’re all about great representation and timely results, tailored to your unique circumstances. Have any questions? Feel free to drop us a line to keep the discussion going.