Facing foreclosure can be devastating to a family or an individual homeowner in Oak Park and throughout Chicagoland. While the prospect of foreclosure can be anxiety-inducing, homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments should keep in mind that facing foreclosure does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home. There are many steps a homeowner can take to avoid foreclosure, especially with the help of an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney. A recent article in Forbes discusses methods for slowing down the foreclosure process, and we will go through those with you.
Understand the Foreclosure Process in Illinois
The first step to slowing down the foreclosure process or avoiding foreclosure altogether involves understanding how foreclosure in Illinois works. Illinois is a judicial foreclosure state, which means that, in order for the bank (or other lender) to move forward with a foreclosure, the bank needs to actually file a lawsuit in an Illinois court. Once you are served with the complaint, as long as you file an answer, the bank cannot obtain a default judgment against you. Throughout this time period, there can be ways to stop the foreclosure.
Contact the Lender for Options
Getting in touch with your lender may produce options for avoiding foreclosure. In most cases, lenders do not want to have to go through the foreclosure process. As such, you may be able to work with the lender to reach a solution. Some of those solutions can include refinancing your mortgage with lower payments that you can afford, getting on a repayment plan that allows you to make up missed payments while continuing to pay your mortgage, getting a forbearance to suspend your mortgage payments until you get back on your feet, or getting a loan modification.
File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
One of the benefits of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that a debtor who is struggling with mortgage payments may be able to use the bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure. How does this work? When a debtor files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay prohibits creditors from continuing to collect, and that includes mortgage lenders. Then, through the Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, debtors can reorganize mortgage debt and get back on track with mortgage payments in order to keep the home.
Consider Whether a Short Sale Could be Right for You
While a short sale does not allow a homeowner to keep his or her home, it can allow a homeowner to avoid a foreclosure. Choosing the option of a short sale is usually something a homeowner should only consider if there are not other options that would allow that homeowner to stay in the home, such as refinancing, a loan modification, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Attorney in Oak Park
If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage and are at risk of foreclosure, it is extremely important to get in touch with an Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyer who can help with your situation. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about different foreclosure defense strategies and options that may be available to you.
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