Homeowners who encounter financial difficulties can sometimes struggle to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately, if a person defaults on their mortgage, their lender may begin foreclosure proceedings, which could ultimately result in the loss of their home. Those who are having trouble meeting their financial obligations will want to understand the foreclosure process and the potential defense strategies that may be available.
Steps Followed in a Foreclosure
A homeowner will be considered to have defaulted on their mortgage if they fail to make payments on time or in full. After the first missed payment, a person may receive notification from their lender that they will be charged late fees, and after a second missed payment, the lender will usually advise the borrower that they may face legal action if they do not become current on their payments. After a third missed payment or delinquency of at least 90 days, the lender may contact the homeowner letting them know that they will be beginning foreclosure proceedings. This process will involve the following steps:
Demand letter – At least 30 days before filing a foreclosure lawsuit, the lender must send the homeowner a notice that they are in default. This letter will provide details about how the borrower has failed to meet their obligations, describe what needs to be done to become current on mortgage payments, and provide a deadline for when payments must be made.
Foreclosure complaint – The lender may officially begin the legal process of foreclosure if a person is at least 120 days delinquent on their mortgage payments. They will file a complaint in court, and this complaint will be served to the borrower. The homeowner will have 30 days to file an appearance and response to the complaint, and failure to do so will result in a default judgment in favor of the lender. At any time during the 90 days after being served with a foreclosure complaint, a homeowner can pursue reinstatement of their mortgage by making all past-due payments and paying any applicable interest or late fees.
Foreclosure trial and judgment – If there are no disputes over the facts of the case, the lender may request a summary judgment, or a case may proceed to trial. If a summary judgment is granted, or if the court rules in favor of the lender, the lender may begin the process of selling the home. At any time during foreclosure proceedings or after a judgment in favor of the lender, the homeowner can pursue redemption by paying off the total balance of the mortgage, along with any applicable interest, fees, or other costs. The allowable redemption period is three months after the date of a foreclosure judgment or seven months after the homeowner was served with a foreclosure complaint.
Judicial sale – After the reinstatement and redemption periods expire, the lender may sell the home, which is typically done through an auction. The homeowner must be notified at least 10 days before the sale, and the lender is also required to publish a notice of the sale in a local newspaper within 45 days before the sale, and this notice must be published for three consecutive weeks. After the sale, the lender will ask the court to confirm the sale.
Eviction – A borrower may retain possession of a home for 30 days after the confirmation of the foreclosure sale. After this 30-day period, the new owner will take possession of the home, and if necessary, the former owner will be forcibly evicted by the local sheriff.
Contact Our Waukegan Foreclosure Defense Lawyers
If you are facing foreclosure of your home, the lawyers of Newland & Newland, LLP can help you understand your options. We will work with you to negotiate loan modifications, file for bankruptcy, complete a short sale, or find other ways to protect against the loss of your home. To arrange a free consultation and learn how we can help you find a solution to your situation, contact our North Chicago foreclosure attorneys at 847-549-0000.