Real Estate Law

REPRESENTING BUYERS AND SELLERS IN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

Attorneys at Shvartsman Law Offices provide legal protection and comprehensive services to people buying or selling a home in the greater Illinois area. From negotiations and inspections, to disclosures and closings, we can assist with all aspects of a transaction.

We represent any party in residential real estate sales or purchase, including single-family homes, town homes, condominium units, undeveloped lots, foreclosures, and short sales. We can handle your contracts and closing with or without the involvement of a realtor. We also provide full turnkey operations in For Sale by Owner (FSBO) transactions.

Our comprehensive representation can include:

  • Negotiating, drafting and reviewing sales contracts
  • Reviewing inspection reports
  • Reviewing seller disclosures
  • Ordering title insurance
  • Title examination
  • Examining the deed and conveyance
  • Analyzing the settlement statement
  • Attending your home closing

With our experience and extensive knowledge of Illinois real estate laws, Shvartsman Law Offices can address barriers to a smooth transaction and protect clients from later liability. We perform the thorough and essential review of any real estate contracts, clauses, and transactional documents. It is critically important that the mortgage contingency be properly drafted, in the event financing falls through. Home inspection contingencies regarding radon gas or defects are closely examined as well. Recent changes in the law put more burdens on sellers to disclose any latent defects (such as water intrusion, electrical, plumbing, roof or structural problems). Without the required disclosure, you will face certain litigation. For instance, if a disclosure is provided, but a defect is not reported to the buyer, you can be sued for fraud.

 

SHORT SALES

If your home is worth less than the principle balance of your mortgage, a short sale might be the answer to your problems. A short sale, or a pre-foreclosure sale, is when you sell your home for less than the balance remaining on your mortgage.

In today’s fast moving market, changes occur to the rules and regulations governing short sales. It is imperative that you find a broker as well as an attorney that can protect you from damages realtors simply do not have the means to do.

Shvartsman Law Offices understands that no one has perfect foresight and that changes in income and property values can have a dramatic effect on households. The short sale is a suitable option available to homeowners in distress. This allows you to sell your home for less than you owe your lender.

On your own, you may find it very difficult to negotiate an acceptable transaction with your lender. Remember, a short sale MUST be accepted by your current lender or servicer in order to proceed with the sale of your home. Short sales are considered a privilege and not a right. When working with Shvartsman Law, you will benefit from attorneys that specialize in short sales, loan modifications, and other resolution services. There is no one better suited for the job.

Negotiating Deficiency is Paramount When Negotiating a Short Sale

With a short sale, the lender has three possible ways to handle the deficiency balance, the portion of the mortgage debt not covered by the sale of the home.

First, the lender can attempt to collect the deficiency balance from the seller after the property has closed.

Second, the lender may require the seller to sign an unsecured promissory note for the deficiency balance as a condition of agreeing to the short sale. If the new note is for less than the balance of the original debt, the difference would be considered canceled or forgiven debt.

Third, the lender may agree to cancel the entire deficiency balance. You must negotiate for the release of both the property lien and the underlying personal debt secured by the note. If you fail to do this, the lender may not forgive the personal debt and it will become a collection.

When dealing with your lender, Shvartsman Law attorneys will aggressively pursue a short sale and deficiency negotiations in your favor. Don’t leave the job to the inexperienced. Please call us for a FREE consultation to find out if you are a candidate for a short sale at (847) 714-0210.

 

FORECLOSURE

Don’t give away your home or give up your legal defenses. Just because your bank begins a foreclosure, it does not mean you automatically lose your home.

By not responding to a Foreclosure Action filed in the Circuit Court, you could unknowingly agree to a default judgment containing numerous additional fees that could be included in personal judgments against you. This personal judgment could exceed the current worth of your home at a foreclosure sale.

You are not protecting your legal rights if you do not respond and simply accept a default judgment.

Even if you are behind or in default on your payments, consult an attorney to ensure you are not giving up valuable legal rights, defenses, and remedies.

Have one of our attorneys review your foreclosure documents to help you save your home.

 

FORECLOSURE TIMELINE

The Illinois foreclosure timeline is typically anywhere between 210 and 270 days. A mortgage is a written agreement between a mortgage company and a home buyer. The mortgage makes your house collateral for your home loan. Collateral is security for a loan, so if you do not pay the mortgage company, they can try to take your house. This entire process is known as a mortgage foreclosure.

In an “unopposed” mortgage foreclosure, the borrower decides that there is no reason to try to stop the foreclosure. So, the borrower agrees to go forward as quickly as possible and not fight the foreclosure. If you are going to try to stop the foreclosure, your process and timeline will be different. This will give you an idea of how long the foreclosure will take and when you’ll have to actually move out. The timeline below is only a general guideline for an unopposed housing foreclosure case. The time frame for each case is different.

Third Missed Payment:
If there is a third missed payment after the third missed mortgage payment, the loan is sent to the lender’s attorney for foreclosure. A foreclosure action is a lawsuit filed to end your mortgage and take away your house. After the lender’s attorney gets the information about your loan, he or she orders a title report. A title report is a document that states who owns, or has “title,” to the property. This report also shows if you have any unpaid deeds of trust or mortgages on the property. Finally, the title report shows if you have any other limits on how your property can be used such as liens, the right to force the sale of your property to pay a debt or covenants, an agreement about the use of your property.

 

30 Days Later:
The lender’s attorney reviews the title report and writes the Foreclosure Complaint, a court document that says you have not paid your mortgage for a certain amount of time and the property is now being offered for foreclosure. The attorney also writes up other papers, such as a Summons, a court order that you appear in court at a certain day and time. The lender’s attorney reviews the title report to find if you have any other mortgages on your property or if a mechanic’s lien has been filed. A mechanic’s lien is a claim against your property usually filed by a workman because you did not pay him for work done on your home.

 

7 Days Later:
The Foreclosure Complaint is filed in court and the summons is ready for service. Service is when legal papers are given to the opposite party.

 

Within 60 Days:
The Foreclosure Complaint is served, or given, to all parties by the Sheriff or a special process server. If a party cannot be reached in person, they can be served by putting a notice in the newspaper.

 

14 Days Later:
The lender’s attorney reviews the court file to make sure that all parties have been served. Then the attorney sends a notice of motion, an asking for a Foreclosure Judgment to be entered. The notice of motion will tell you when the court date is. You should go to court on that date.

You have 90 days after receiving the notice of motion to reinstate your mortgage. You reinstate your mortgage by paying all the money you owe on the mortgage and all costs and fees. If you do this, you cannot reinstate your mortgage again for 5 years. If you do not defend foreclosure at this stage, then the court may enter a judgment against you. However, it is not likely that this will happen at the first court date.

 

21 to 60 Days Later:
Once a Judgment of Foreclosure, saying that you no longer own the property or have any interest in the property, is entered your redemption period, a period when you can try to keep your house by paying off the overdue money within a certain amount of time, begins. Your redemption period ends: ·

  • 7 months after the date of service of the foreclosure complaint if you are living in the home ·
  • 6 months after the date of service if you are not living in the home, or ·
  • 3 months after the judgment is entered, whichever is later.

In order to redeem your mortgage, you must pay the amount of the judgment of foreclosure, which includes all money owed under the mortgage, all court costs, attorney fees, and taxes.

 

Within 7 Days after the Redemption Period Ends:
The foreclosure sale (of your property) takes place. The mortgage company must do certain things before the foreclosure sale can take place. A notice of sale must be published at least 3 weeks in a row, once per week. The notice must be published in a newspaper “of general circulation,” in the real estate section. It will usually be posted in a local paper. The notice may be published during the redemption period. The mortgage company does not have to mail you a notice of the sale.

 

21 to 30 Days Later:
The mortgage company will bring a motion in court to ask for confirmation of the foreclosure sale. A court will usually confirm a foreclosure sale unless you can prove one of the following:

  • Notice was not given in the right way.
  • The terms of sale were unreasonable.
  • The sale was conducted fraudulently, or in a dishonest way.
  • Justice was not done. You can go the sale if you want to.

If the sale price is less than the amount of money that you needed to redeem the property and the mortgage company purchased your property, you have a special right to redeem. This special right to redeem ends 30 days after the sale is confirmed. In order to redeem, you must pay the sale price, any additional costs and expenses approved by the court, and any interest.

When the court confirms the sale, they will give possession of the property to the buyer. This could be the mortgage company or a third-party buyer. The court will usually give you 30 days from the date the order is entered to leave the property.

 

30 Days Later:
You no longer have the right to stay in your house and the mortgage company can ask the court to have the sheriff remove you from the property if you do not do so by yourself.

 

After You Have Left the Property:
The foreclosure deed, which is a written document that says your property has been foreclosed, is recorded so that it is public record.

What a successful defense can do is buy you precious time to:

  • Negotiate a work-out with the bank
  • Sell your home for a fair price
  • Refinance your home at a fair rate
  • Stay in your home without making payments
  • Continue to collect rent on your property
  • Apply for a Court Ordered repayment plan
  • File a Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy

If you fear losing your home to foreclosure, contact a consumer protection attorney at Shvartsman Law Offices online at contact@shvartsmanlaw.com or by phone at 847-714-0210.