When times are hard, the last thing most people want to think about is losing their home. Unfortunately, for many Chicagoland residents the danger of mortgage foreclosure is an unwelcome reality. Each Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney at the Emerson Law Firm know that there are many reasons for foreclosure, including unemployment, long-term illness, or injury. Even though the prospect of foreclosure can seem daunting, a few simple tips can help you and your family protect your home.
1. Act Early: Homeowners have many options when faced with Illinois mortgage foreclosure. The Federal Reserve recommends that consumers address their mortgage problems head on. If you are not able to pay your mortgage or have already fallen behind on your payments, contact your lender or mortgage company immediately. Contacting them as early as possible increases the chance that they will work with you to resolve any problems that arise. It is best to explain your financial situation rather than attempting to avoid the problem. If a lender is not willing to work with you, contact a Chicago housing counseling agency to find out more about the resources available to you.
2. Keep Records: It is also a good idea to have all of your original mortgage paperwork ready and to be familiar with it. You should locate your original mortgage loan documents and review them before speaking with a lender or housing counselor. It is helpful to gather information on your expenses, including food, utilities, car payments, insurance, and cable or phone bills in order to provide the lender with a realistic picture of your financial situation. Such documentation may also be helpful if the situation progresses and you decide to fight your foreclosure.
3. Be Creative: Sometimes it also helps to be creative. If you are worried about sticking to a mortgage payment plan, make a budget. Doing so can help you determine if there are any extra costs that can be cut. Lenders also may be willing to modify your loan terms if you ask them.
On the other hand, you may decide that it is not possible to keep your home. If that is the case, the Oak Park foreclosure lawyers at the Emerson Firm can help you consider your loss mitigation options—such as short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or loan modification—and guide you through the process while simultaneously defending your foreclosure. A short sale might be a good option if you are unable to sell your home for the full amount of the loan. Your lender may be willing to accept the amount you receive for the selling price, even if it is less than the amount you owe. However, there may be accompanying tax liability in such instances, so you should research all your options and speak with a qualified professional before making any decisions. A deed in lieu of foreclosure permits you to “give back” your property to the lender. The lender will then forgive the balance of your loan. As with a short sale, there likely will be associated tax consequences, so you should speak with a qualified professional and make sure you are complying with the requirements laid out by the IRS.
Many homeowners are still struggling, and there is nothing shameful about asking for help. The Emerson Law Firm routinely handles mortgage foreclosure and loss mitigation cases. Helping Oak Park residents fight Chicago foreclosure is our business, and we know how to protect homeowners’ rights.
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