Friday, May 25, 2012

Emotional Consequences of Illinois Foreclosures

As Oak Park foreclosure attorneys, we are drilled in understanding the legal realities of these situations.  However, it is important not to forget the real lives behind each case.  We understand that the foreclosure process can be incredibly stressful—particularly because the families dealing with it were usually put in the position because of some other life challenges, like lost jobs and medical emergencies.   

The emotions attached to these issues were brought home in a recent Huffington Post story.  The story explains how a Newbury Park, California man shot and killed himself earlier this month apparently because of a foreclosure.

According to the article, Wells Fargo had commenced a bank home foreclosure proceeding to evict Norman Rousseau and his wife, Oriane, from their home. Rather than have his family live on the street, Rousseau’s plans were to move his family into an RV.  Unfortunately, the difficult circumstances were too much for the man, and in the middle of trying to repair the RV, he decided to take his own life.

This is a devastating incident to say the least and even more alarming because it is not the first report of community members killing themselves because they are about to lose their home. In another untimely death earlier this month, a Connecticut woman who faced foreclosure killed herself after she shot her 85-year-old mother.

All of these national catastrophes are very concerning, and a reminder to our Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyers  of the mental health issues that homeowners across the country may experience with faced with financial difficulties.  During these times the elevated stress levels often lead to severe depression, alcohol dependency, substance abuse, anxiety and other mental health issues. As a result, several homeowners in this predicament could begin to lose hope and subsequently engage in self-destructive behaviors.

If you believe that your recent financial difficulties are causing you to suffer severe mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, or you know someone who may be dealing with these issues, please seek help from a professional counselor in your area. You can obtain additional information about mental illnesses and suicide risk factors by visiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness website at

Also, if you are a homeowner who is currently facing a foreclosure there are several remedies available to you to prevent you from losing your home. Depending upon your circumstances, you may be eligible to take advantage of the benefits under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, especially if your home was backed by federal government agencies such as Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.  Also, filing for bankruptcy protection may also be a legal alternative available to you. Several homeowners in this situation have contacted our Oak Park real estate lawyers to learn about their legal rights once they recognize that a foreclosure may be inevitable.

However, it is always best to consult with an attorney prior to receiving the official notice of a foreclosure sale since a lawyer can usually review your case to determine if the mortgage servicer has committed serious errors that caused you to default on your loans. Increasingly those who have hired an attorney to review their case have found that their loan servicer has not followed the letter of the law.  Accordingly, many legal remedies may be available to fight the bank actions.

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