Foreclosure is the legal process during which a home is sold to settle an unpaid mortgage debt. When a homeowner falls behind on his or her mortgage payments, the home may go into foreclosure, and the mortgage lender may seize the property. In Illinois, all foreclosures are “judicial” which means that the process is carried out through the court system. In other states, non-judicial foreclosures may be an option, but Illinois law only permits judicial foreclosures. The legal process of foreclosing on a home can take several months to several years in Illinois. If you are concerned that your home may go into foreclosure, talk to an experienced foreclosure attorney so that you can explore potential defenses.
When Does a Mortgage Servicer Initiate a Foreclosure?
Life can be unpredictable to say the least. When an unexpected illness, disability, job loss, or other financial hardship occurs, a homeowner may fall behind on his or her mortgage payments. A mortgage servicer cannot initiate foreclosure procedures simply because a borrower has missed one or two payments. However, when a borrower is over 120 days delinquent on their mortgage loan payments, the servicer may begin the foreclosure. A homeowner who has not been making payments will receive a “breach letter” that notifies him or her that he or she is in default on the mortgage loan. At this point, the homeowner should speak to a lawyer and start exploring alternatives to foreclosure such as a loan modification or short sale. If nothing is done to remedy the default, the servicer will officially begin foreclosure proceedings
Judicial Foreclosure Filing
In order for a mortgage servicer to be permitted to resell a home, the servicer must file a foreclosure lawsuit in court. Typically, a lender will file the petition for foreclosure documents in the circuit court of the Illinois county in which the property is located. However, the servicer also has the option to file the petition for foreclosure in federal court. Once the mortgage servicer files the foreclosure with the court, you will be personally served with a copy of the servicer’s complaint and a summons. You will be asked to file a response that notifies the court of whether or not you intend to object to the foreclosure. If you do not file a response within 30 days, a default judgment could be entered against you. This means that you automatically lose the case and the mortgage servicer is authorized to proceed with the sale of your home. This is why it is so crucial for anyone facing foreclosure to contact a quality attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Libertyville Foreclosure Lawyer
If you are behind on your mortgage payments or have been notified that your mortgage lender intends to initiate a foreclosure, contact a skilled Lake County foreclosure defense attorney to get the help you need. Call Newland & Newland, L.L.P. at 847-549-0000 today for a free phone consultation.