Foreclosure Lawyer Cook County

How can a lawyer in Cook County help with foreclosure?

Even before the Pandemic, Banks were waiting to pounce on inadvertent late or missed payments. Today, people around Cook County (and beyond) are struggling with COVID-19 and historic unemployment. No wonder so many open their mailboxes to find pre-foreclosure letters from lenders eager to foreclose! If you are a victim, what should you do? Turns out your best option is to talk to a knowledgeable Cook County foreclosure lawyer: one who understands the landscape and has legal knowledge in this area.

An experienced Attorney will give your situation the individualized attention it demands and offer the best advice on how to defend against foreclosure.

M.Hedayat is an award-winning Lawyer with experience in Cook County Courts. More than that, Mr. Hedayat has owned a title insurance agency and worked closely with mortgage companies and borrowers for years. Put Mr. Hedayat’s vast experience to work for you. Call us for your free consultation before you take your next step.

What Does Foreclosure Mean?

Foreclosure is the legal means of recovering property when a borrower misses, or miscalculates, or pays late, with respect to one or more mortgage payments. Remember – all it takes is one late payment, or missing late fee, and your lender can declare your loan in default! At that point, the lender has the legal right to take your property. Realistically, however, your mortgage lender will demand payment (the dreaded pre-foreclosure letter) before taking you to Court. In most cases, you will have 20 days to respond to their claim and pay what you owe, including late-fees, Attorneys’ fees, interest, etc. Should you fail to do so, your matter will advance to the next phase.

While the terms of every mortgage are different, frequent acts of default include:

  • Failure to pay mortgage payments as agreed upon with the lender.
  • Property damage
  • Failure to insure a property
  • Failure to pay estate or other taxes
  • Loss of title, possession
  • Loss of home equity
  • Collection of shortage
  • Severe credit damage

NOTE:     While a lender is entitled to foreclose if even a single payment is missed, the process is lengthy and expensive. It is in the best interests of all parties to resolve the matter short of foreclosure. The problem is that what seems reasonable to a mortgage lender is often not reasonable – or even realistic – for borrowers.

Financial Self-Defense: What to do once in Foreclosure

  • Assess your monthly income and expenses
  • Even if you can afford it, is the house underwater?
  • Do you have school-aged children? If so, how old?
  • Could a Short Sale offer, or Deed in Lieu, help you?

The Sale Option

Homeowners always have the option of selling or refinancing to distance themselves from their lender. Of course, if foreclosure is looming then credit issues generally prevent refinancing. But, what about selling? A few points to keep in mind here:

  • Homeowners can sell until the redemption date
  • Proceeds will be used to redeem the mortgage
  • The purchaser could also assume the mortgage

Sales, Refinancing, and Non-traditional Options include:

  • Short Sale
  • Homeowner must submit a hardship letter to bank’s loss mitigation department
  • Agreement by a bank to take less than it is owed so the home can be sold for less
  • There will be tax consequences since the forgiveness of debt is considered income
  • Typically, lender wants the home listed for 90 days before it agrees to a short sale
  • Lender can, but need not, waive its right to collect a deficiency judgment from you
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
  • Homeowner must submit a hardship letter to the bank’s loss mitigation department
  • Homeowner deeds the house to lender to be released from personal liability on the debt
  • To take advantage of this mechanism, there can be no junior liens on the property
  • Chapter 13 Reorganization
  • Mortgage arrears can be rolled into a Plan of Reorganization paid in 60 months
  • During the case, all foreclosure activity is stayed unless there is another default
  • Case may be filed up until confirmation of the Sheriff’s Sale by the State Court
  • Chapter 7 Liquidation
  • HOA and COA dues must still be paid
  • No mortgage shortage to worry about
  • It is tax-neutral: so, no phantom income
  • May prompt lender to reaffirm the debt

What is HAMP?

Home Affordable Modification Program explained for Cook County Residents:

Started by Bush, continued by Obama

  • Must show a financial hardship
  • Must qualify to take advantage

Government Hardship Guidelines

  • A sudden reduction in, or loss of, income
  • Unexpected change in household finance
  • Increase in monthly mortgage payments
  • Unavoidable increases in living expenses