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Defending Homeowners in Foreclosure

Within months of failure to pay on a mortgage debt, a homeowner can expect to get served with a Summons and Complaint for Mortgage Foreclosure at their home via a Sheriff or a Process Server.

The very act of being served with legal papers by a sheriff or a process server can be scary. SG LAW understands the emotional toll this can take on an individual and his or her family members. Therefore, SG LAW takes great care and compassion in explaining the process in detail to clients so they remain informed and prepared to face the next step.

Illinois is a foreclosure state. Therefore, a considerable amount of time will pass between the time a homeowner is served with the Complaint and the time the homeowner is evicted from the home as a result of a foreclosure sale.

Contact SG LAW immediately upon service of the Summons and Complaint or even prior to that in order to understand your legal rights. Not doing anything can result in adverse consequences, including but not limited to the loss of your home, a personal deficiency judgment being assessed against you, and the inability to assert rights to attempt to keep your home.

A common question among homeowners is

How Long Can I Stay In My Home After I Get Served With The Foreclosure Summons and Complaint?

The following is an illustration of the approximate amount of time a homeowner may get to stay in his or her home if they take no action in response to the foreclosure Complaint. Please note this is merely an example and an illustration and each case may vary depending on the facts and circumstances involved in said case.

  • Homeowner gets served with Foreclosure Complaint and Summons.
  • If homeowner takes no action in response to the Summons and Complaint within 30 days of being served, the Bank may file a Motion for Default Judgment of Foreclosure. Depending on how diligent the Bank is, this Motion for Default Judgment may be filed anywhere between 35 to 45 days or more following the service of the Summons and Complaint upon the homeowner.
  • If homeowner takes no action in response to the Motion for Default Judgment, the Court will enter a Judgment of Foreclosure. Once the Judgment of Foreclosure is entered, the Bank cannot take any action for three months following the entry of said Judgment. This period is called the Redemption Period.
  • Following the expiration of the Redemption Period, the Bank may conduct a foreclosure auction of the home.
  • Following the foreclosure auction of the home, the Bank will file a Motion with the Court seeking its approval of the terms of said foreclosure sale. If Bank is seeking a money judgment against the homeowner for the difference between the sale price and the loan amount, this would be the time for the Bank to seek such a personal deficiency judgment against the homeowner. The Bank is not entitled to a personal deficiency judgment against the homeowner in all circumstances.
  • Following the confirmation of the sale by the Court, the homeowner will need to vacate the home approximately 30 days thereafter.

Loss Mitigation Options in Foreclosure

In addition to representing homeowners in pending foreclosure cases, SG LAW also assists clients with loss mitigation options that may help lessen or avoid the impact of a fully completed foreclosure case. The following are some examples of such loss mitigation options

Negotiating a sale of the home for a price less than the outstanding debt amount in exchange for a forgiveness or discounted settlement of the outstanding debt owed to the Bank. If you are in the middle of a foreclosure case or about to be sued by the Bank, there are important deadlines that may be involved in a short sale transaction. Contact SG LAW for further legal advice regarding same.

Turning over the home to the Bank in exchange for a forgiveness of the deficiency amount that may be due to the Bank. This transaction may not be possible if there are junior lienholders.

An Illinois statutory provision that allows the Bank to take the property back in satisfaction of the debt with no assessment of a deficiency judgment against the homeowner even if there are junior lienholders.

Within the confines of any one of the aforementioned loss mitigation options, SG LAW may be able to negotiate a payment to the homeowner from the Bank to assist with relocation expenses.

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