A home foreclosure is an upsetting and common experience for many American families. Fortunately, if you are currently facing foreclosure on your mortgaged home, you may have several viable options to fight back against this proceeding.

A Chicago foreclosure defense lawyer could go over your unique circumstances and help you understand what may be possible. Once retained, your dedicated attorney could guide you through the ensuing court procedures, pursue alternatives to foreclosures, and potentially help you keep your house in spite of the bank’s efforts to take it from you.

Foreclosure Procedures in Chicago

In most situations, federal law only allows lenders to initiate foreclosure proceedings against a borrower if they have been delinquent on payments for at least 120 days. Accordingly, it may be beneficial to consider loss mitigation options like payment plans and loan modifications as soon as possible after missing more than one mortgage payment.

Once a lender has filed a lawsuit in state court to begin the foreclosure proceedings, the borrower has only 30 days to file an answer to the court summons. Failing to provide an answer within this 30-day period will almost always result in the lender being granted a default judgment in their favor from the court. If the borrower elects to contest the complaint filed against them, the lender must either file for a summary judgment from the court or allow the case to progress to trial.

Whether through a default judgment, summary judgment, or court verdict, a foreclosure case that ends in the lender’s favor will generally lead to a foreclosure sale of the property in question. During this process, the property will either be sold to a third-party bidder or become the property of the foreclosing bank, also known as “Real Estate Owned” (REO). Representation from a Chicago foreclosure defense attorney throughout this process could increase a borrower’s chances of protecting their best interests and achieving a favorable outcome.

Options for Contesting a Foreclosure

Contesting foreclosure does not necessarily have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor that ends with either a foreclosure sale or the complete dismissal of the case. For example, foreclosure mediation is an option available to borrowers and lenders in Chicago that could help them come to an agreement about a reasonable repayment plan.

If they have the means, borrowers have up to 90 days after being served with a foreclosure summons to repay all their past-due obligations plus associated fees on a delinquent loan through a process known as “reinstatement.” A similar concept called a “redemption period” grants borrowers up to three months after a court judgment or seven months after service of a foreclosure complaint to repay their debt, plus related interest and other costs, in full.

Individuals who do not wish to keep foreclosed property may be able to avoid long-term financial complications by completing a short sale of the property prior to it being foreclosed on. In certain situations, it may be possible for a foreclosure defense lawyer in Chicago to help a borrower file a countersuit against a lender who engaged in fraudulent behavior or failed to file appropriate paperwork.

Seek Help from a Chicago Foreclosure Defense Attorney

Foreclosure is a stressful process that could have catastrophic effects on your and your family’s future. If you have received a foreclosure summons or believe you will soon, you have a very short window of time in which to retain legal counsel and start constructing your defense.

By working with a skilled Chicago foreclosure defense lawyer, you could improve your odds of successfully fighting your case. To learn more about how to protect your home against foreclosure, call today and schedule a consultation.