Foreclosure is a legal process that begins when someone violates one or more terms of their mortgage contract, often by falling behind in mortgage payments. Once the lender starts the process, it can take a year or more to be completed. Here are the steps that usually occur when foreclosure starts.

When Will Lenders Begin Foreclosure?

The mortgagor (person paying the mortgage) will hear from the lender when the second payment is missed. If this is a temporary financial setback, the mortgagor should talk to the lender and see if they can negotiate to catch up on the payments. Once the third payment is missed, the lender will involve an attorney and send a notice of intent to foreclose.

How Is Someone Legally Notified of Intent to Foreclose?

A sheriff or process server will give the mortgagor a summons. Sometimes mortgagors think they can stall for time by not answering the door. However, Illinois law allows the summons to be listed in the local newspaper, so not answering the door doesn’t help. Once the summons has been served or the notice posted in the newspaper, the mortgagor has 30 days to respond.

What Happens After the Foreclosure Summons Is Served?

If 60 days pass and the mortgagor doesn’t respond, the lender can file a default motion and ask for a default judgment against them. During the first 90 days after the summons, the mortgagor has what’s known as reinstatement rights. That means they can still avert the foreclosure by paying the lender the total past-due amounts, along with late fees and penalties, court costs, and attorney’s fees, and that reinstates the loan. That right expires at the 90-day mark.

What Is the Right of Redemption?

The right of redemption means the mortgagor has a period when they can “redeem” the home. The redemption period is seven months from the date of being served. The mortgagor can redeem the home through refinancing, selling the home, or some other method. There can be times the redemption period will last longer than seven months. But once it expires, the lender will move forward with a sheriff’s foreclosure sale.

When Does the Foreclosure End?

When the redemption period expires, the home is sold. Fifteen days later, legal orders for the sale of the home and eviction are entered. The mortgagor is given 30 days to move. After the 30-day period, the sheriff can forcibly evict the mortgagor.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is stressful and complicated. Bringing in an experienced foreclosure attorney as soon as possible in the process can help things go more smoothly and, depending on the circumstances of the mortgagor, potentially negotiate ways to avoid eviction. While it can be overwhelming at first, the best thing is not to ignore communications from the lender but open discussions with them instead. An attorney can assist with that as well.

Let Us Advise You

If you or someone you know needs legal assistance with foreclosure, call us at 708-575-1500 to work with one of our experienced foreclosure attorneys.