Friday, February 24, 2023

Foreclosure Rates Continue Uptick

Are you currently struggling to make your mortgage payments? If so, you should know that you are part of a growing group of Americans who are currently, or who could soon be, at risk of foreclosure. Indeed, according to a recent report from ATTOM Data, foreclosure rates are continuing to rise across the country. What should you know about this data, and what can you do if you are facing foreclosure? Our Oak Park consumer protection attorneys are here to discuss the data with you and to provide you with more information about foreclosure defense options.

New Data on Residential Foreclosures

How are foreclosure rates looking at the start of 2023? According to the data analysis from ATTOM, foreclosure filings are rising. Indeed, in January 2023, “there were a total of 31,557 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions — up 36% from a year ago and up 2% from the prior month.” The CEO of ATTOM suggested that the “uptick in overall foreclosure filings nationwide” does appear to be a trend that is likely to continue into 2023.

The Chicago area currently has one of the highest rates of completed foreclosure rates from January 2023, with 206 in total. That number places Chicago alongside four other areas with the highest rates of foreclosure completions based on the population, which include Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Riverside, California. Chicago had the second-highest uptick after Detroit.

Can I Take Any Steps to Avoid Foreclosure?

Even when it seems like the start of the foreclosure process is imminent or your lender has already initiated the foreclosure process, it is critical to know that there are still many ways in which you may be able to avoid foreclosure. Depending upon your circumstances, you could be eligible to avoid foreclosure while remaining in your home, or avoiding foreclosure could mean that you will need to give up your house or condo. What are the options for avoiding foreclosure?

First, you should contact a foreclosure defense lawyer who can discuss options with you. If you are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could file for bankruptcy and create a debt reorganization plan that allows you to catch up on mortgage payments and get back on track with the terms of your mortgage. In this scenario, you can avoid foreclosure and stay in your home. When Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not an option, or when you want to avoid bankruptcy, you still have options to avoid foreclosure, but these options will also involve leaving your property. The good news is that avoiding foreclosure with one of these options will allow you to be eligible to buy a home again sooner than you would be able to following a foreclosure:
  • Short sale; or
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Contact an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Attorney Today

At the Emerson Law Firm, we can evaluate your situation and discuss all of your potential options with you for avoiding foreclosure. We are experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyers, and we are here to help you. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to discuss your concerns about foreclosure and to learn more about your options.

See Related Blog Posts:

Wells Fargo Fined for Wrongful Foreclosures

Foreclosure Rates are Rising in Chicago

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Wells Fargo Fined for Wrongful Foreclosures

Are you currently facing foreclosure, or was your home foreclosed on as a result of actions taken by Wells Fargo? If so, it is critical to learn more about recent actions taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against the bank for unlawful acts, including wrongful foreclosures. Last month, the CFPB announced in a news release that it was ordering Wells Fargo “to pay more than $2 billion to redress consumers and a $1.7 billion civil penalty for legal violations across several of its largest product lines.” Indeed, according to the news release, “the bank’s illegal conduct led to billions of dollars in financial harm to its customers and, for thousands of customers, the loss of their vehicles and homes.” Our Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyers want to provide you with more information about the recent action taken against Wells Fargo and the specific issue of wrongful foreclosures.

Wrongful Fees and Misapplication of Payments

How did Wells Fargo’s actions result in wrongful foreclosures? As the news release from the CFPB explains, “consumers were illegally assessed fees and interest charges on auto and mortgage loans, had their cars wrongly repossessed, and had payments to auto and mortgage loans misapplied by the bank.” In other words, foreclosures resulted from homeowners being improperly charged fees and interest that they could not pay and from homeowners’ mortgage payments being improperly applied to their mortgage debt.

In addition to misapplying payments and charging unlawful interest or fees, Wells Fargo was also cited for improperly denying mortgage modifications to homeowners, which could have prevented foreclosures in some cases. The CFPB’s news announcement specifically notes that the bank’s improper denial of modifications—a number in the thousands—led, in some cases, “to Wells Fargo customers losing their homes to wrongful foreclosures.”

CFPB Enforcement Action

According to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, “Wells Fargo’s rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of families . . . . The CFPB is ordering Wells Fargo to refund billions of dollars to consumers across the country. This is an important initial step for accountability and long-term reform of this repeat offender.”

In order to remedy the variety of improper and unlawful actions taken by Wells Fargo, the CFPB has taken a series of enforcement actions. Not only will the bank be required to pay more than $2 billion, but it will also need to pay penalties and change the process for assessing certain types of fees.

Contact an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing foreclosure, you should get in touch with an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney who can discuss your options with you. Depending upon your circumstances, you could be eligible to consider a short sale, a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and other options. If you faced an unlawful foreclosure, or if you believe you are currently facing an unlawful foreclosure like those discussed above, our firm is also able to assess your case and provide you with more information about your options. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to find out more about how we can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today.

See Related Blog Posts:

Foreclosure Rates are Rising in Chicago

Ways to Stop a Foreclosure Before the Holidays