How to navigate Illinois Foreclosure Law
In today’s uncertain economy many families are unable or will soon be unable to make their mortgage payments. The clients that come to my law practice for counseling are mortified with thought of being thrown out of their house through foreclosure. To compound their fears homeowners who have missed a mortgage payment or a few payments are fearful that any day the sheriff with knock at their door and force them to leave their home.
Fortunately, in Illinois a homeowner who has missed a mortgage payment, or two payments, or even three payments will not immediately have to move out of their homes. In Illinois missing a mortgage payment in not the end of living in your home. It is only the beginning of the long process of foreclosure (in Illinois), A process where missing a mortgage payment will not result in immediate eviction from their home.
Certainly, missing a mortgage payment is reason for concern however, it is not the end of the world. Further, understanding Illinois foreclosure law can help homeowners have less anxiety and better make decisions about their future living accommodations.
Illinois Law: Mortgages in default can be reinstated
Good news, under Illinois law if a mortgage goes into default a homeowner can reinstate their mortgage. Reinstatement is effected by curing all the defaulted payments (paying the missed payments) and; paying all costs and expenses associated with the default (usually back interest, late payment penalties, and attorney’s fees). The reinstatement payments must e made within 90 days from the notice of default.
If the missed payments along with the interest, penalties, and attorney fees are paid in the 90 days prior to the notice of default the mortgage document shall remain in force as if no acceleration or default had occurred. See 735 ILCS 5/15-1602.
Illinois Law: Mortgages in foreclosure can be redeemed
More good news, under Illinois law if a home goes into foreclosure the homeowner can redeem their mortgage from foreclosure process. When the mortgage on residential real estate is foreclosed on the homeowner is granted a redemption period in which to stop the lawsuit for foreclosure and retain their home.
In Illinois the homeowner has 7 months to redeem their home from the date the homeowner is served with a summons for foreclosure or served by publication. See 735 ILCS 5/15-1603.
To redeem their home from foreclosure the homeowner must pay the following:
The amount specified in the in the judgment of foreclosure which shall consist of
a) all principal and accrued interest secured by the mortgage and due as of the date of judgment.
b) all costs allowed by law, this would include late payment penalties, additional interest from the date of judgment to the date of redemption, attorney and other administrative fees.
In my bankruptcy practice I often counsel with clients who have missed one or two mortgage payments. They are fearful the sheriff will be knocking on their door to evict them from their home.
Fortunately, Illinois foreclosure laws allow homeowners (through reinstatement or redemption) the ability to retain their home and gives the homeowner who has missed mortgage payments ample time to “save” their home.
What to expect you miss a mortgage payment (do not worry)
Generally, the mortgage lenders, large banks and corporations that do mortgage lending are bureaucracies and are generally unable able to foreclose if you have missed a only a single mortgage payment. This systemic inability to take action is frustrating, but is actually beneficial if you have not made a mortgage payment lately.