I KEEP CLIENTS IN THEIR HOME
Dennis G. Knipp, for the past thirty-five years, has focused his practice on representing individuals and families whose homes are being foreclosed. Dennis has represented thousands of Illinois homeowners in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Chapter 7 Bankruptcies and in the Civil Foreclosure Suits to protect their homes.
The commitment of the office of Dennis G. Knipp is to present a strong legal defense. This defense will maximize the time the family has to reside in the home and provide leverage to settle the matter on the terms satisfactory to the client.
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT CAN I DO IF I DON'T WANT TO FILE BANKRUPTCY OR CHAPTER 13?
If you do not wish to file Chapter 13 or Bankruptcy, you should hire an attorney to file an appearance and answer in your foreclosure case to avoid a default judgment. Your attorney can present any defenses available to you to the court. He can contact your mortgagee and negotiate a modification of the mortgage, a forbearance agreement, a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a reinstatement. It is in your best interest that a default judgment not be entered.
You should try to take care of this within the first 30 days after you receive the summons and foreclosure complaint. If you have defenses the case properly litigated can extend your right to possession from two to five years and may result in an equitable settlement.
WHO CAN TELL ME HOW LONG IT WILL BE BEFORE I HAVE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE?
No one can tell you exactly how long you have to stay in your house. No two situations are identical. The attorney for your lender will work diligently to move the process forward so that his lender will be made whole through a sale of the property. The law sets forth a number of time constraints that the lender must observe. There are actions which you may take on your own or with the help of others that will delay or resolve the process. An attorney who is familiar with the mortgage process will be able to give you an accurate estimate as to what time is left to find a solution. He will be able to eliminate surprises. He will be able to file an appearance and answer on your behalf and attend the court proceedings. I am always able to give my clients that I represent in the lawsuit an accurate estimate as to how much time they have left. I can always give them five months warning as to the worst case scenario of loss of possession. There are no surprises for individuals I represent.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON'T DO ANYTHING?
If you do not do anything, the lawyer for your lender will follow the law set out in the Mortgage Foreclosure Act and will get an order for a foreclosure judgment and sale. The property will be sold at a public judicial sale to the highest bidder. The highest bidder will have you removed from the premises by the sheriff. You will lose whatever equity you had in the property and the right to use the property.
HOW MUCH DO I OWE?
When your lender turns the property over to their lawyers and a foreclosure suit is filed you now owe more than the sum of the monthly payments you missed. Your lender accelerates the mortgage so that all of the principal is now due, together with all the costs of the foreclosure action including attorney fees, together with interest that now accrues on a daily basis at usually a new higher rate of interest which was set forth in your mortgage as a rate that would be charged after a default.
Once you are in foreclosure, to find out how much is owed, you must deal with the attorney for the lender since the lender will not know the most current foreclosure costs expended. Our goal for our clients is to protect them from any deficiencies. There are options which if properly pursued may eliminate or limit liability. Deeds in Lieu, consent foreclosure, bankruptcy, forbearance agreements, modifications, and defensive litigation tactic are tools we use to help our clients limit their liability.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TAKE ACTION REGARDING THE FORECLOSURE?
As soon as possible is not soon enough. Every day that passes you owe the lender more and your equity shrinks. Since the interest rate after default is usually relatively high, your loan once in foreclosure is very expensive. If you have equity this equity can be used to help you solve the problem. If you wait and your equity diminishes, you will have fewer options. If Chapter 13 is decided to be your best solution, your Chapter 13 payments will be based on the amount owed your lender. If you file at the beginning of the process, your payments will be lower. At the beginning of the foreclosure the right to reinstate will be available. The further you go in the foreclosure process the fewer options remain available, and solutions become more expensive. If you do not file an appearance and answer within 30 days of receipt, the mortgagee’s attorney may take a default judgment. The sooner I am retained in foreclosure action, the more options are available to protect the client.
HOW CAN CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY HELP MY FORECLOSURE?
For many homeowners who are eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy there are
benefits to their foreclosure. Chapter 7 eliminates liability for the mortgage debt through the discharge. The discharge will eliminate most other debt such as credit card debt and medical bills. In some instances it is possible to obtain a modification after a bankruptcy discharge. It is important to obtain competent bankruptcy counseling to see if this valuable tool is available for your use and what are the benefits and detriments in your unique case.
CAN I REFINANCE OR SELL MY HOUSE?
Yes, you most definitely can refinance or sell your home. However, once the
foreclosure has been filed the number of buyers and lenders dwindle. People don’t want to pay retail when they find a house is in foreclosure. Everyone wants to get the best deal available. Lenders do not want to take a chance on someone who has not been making their payments. If you have a great deal of equity there are a number of solutions available but they must be acted upon immediately since your equity lessens with every passing day. It is extremely important that you are represented by an attorney in the foreclosure case while you attempt to sell your house. Foreclosure cases can move quickly. Sales can be slow or fall through. I have been able to provide the time necessary to sell even after a foreclosure judgment has been entered and a judicial sale has been scheduled.
WHAT IS REINSTATEMENT OF THE LOAN?
Reinstatement of the loan is a right given by the Mortgage Foreclosure Act which allows the mortgagor to cure the default by making a lump sum payment of everything owed on the mortgage arrearage, past payments, penalties, cost of collection and foreclosure and legal fees to date. You do not have to come up with all of the principal. The amount to reinstate will be provided by the attorney for the lender. This right belongs to the parties on the mortgage and is a right for 90 days after the parties have been served by legal process. After 90 days the lender does not have to reinstate under the Mortgage Foreclosure Act. This right is only available once every five years. If you reinstated this loan less than five years ago and are now again in foreclosure, your lender does not have to accept your payment and reinstate the loan. When you reinstate the loan, you start making payments as before and the foreclosure action is dismissed. I have defended many cases giving clients the ability to raise the funds necessary to reinstate.
HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION call 847-562-0729
I invite you to call my office at 847-562-0729 for a free legal consultation. I will provide you the strongest legal defense possible.