If you live in Cook County, behind on your mortgage payments, and have not received a foreclosure summons:

Homeowners who are concerned about their mortgages, but who have not received a summons from the court and are not currently in foreclosure should call (877) 895-2444 and ask for
FREE housing counseling from a HUD certified counselor, or ask for legal aid or mediation services.

The US Dept of Housing and Development (HUD) website has a nationwide map for homeowners to choose from regarding Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling.

Beware of scams that ask you for money up front or ask you to sign away the deed to your house.  Reliable, HUD-certified help is always free.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers homeowners behind on their mortgages, including reverse mortgages, a step by step guide. You may also file a
complaint against your lender on their site as well.

The Making Home Affordable (MHA) helps struggling homeowners get mortgage relief through a variety of programs that aid in mortgage modifications, interest rate
reductions, refinancing, deferred payment or transitioning out of your home while avoiding foreclosure. Before you begin, please explore the available programs and
learn more about MHA. The more you understand your options, the easier it will be when you speak to a housing expert or your mortgage servicer.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Inc in conjunction with Fannie Mae, has opened a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, opened its Chicago Mortgage Help Center.  These partnerships with NHS provides improved foreclosure prevention services.  At the Center, borrowers will
meet directly with dedicated, on-site English- and Spanish-speaking staff and experienced housing counselors to discuss their mortgage situation.  

The Mortgage Help Center is available by appointment only.  Borrowers wishing to schedule a visit should call  (866) 442-8572, located at:  1 South Wacker Drive, 15th Floor, Chicago 60606.

Homeowners can determine if Fannie Mae owns their loan by clicking Know Your Options or by contacting Fannie Mae at 1-800-7FANNIE.

IL ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE - LISA MADIGAN

Provides a homeowners’ referral help line that offers guidance on avoiding mortgage foreclosures (866) 544-7151. Click IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan to be directed to the website for
more information on protecting your homeowners rights and valuable consumer information.

UNEMPLOYED AND/OR UNDEREMPLOYED HOMEOWNERS

The Illinois Hardest Hit Fund is a fund where you may be eligible to receive up to $25,000 for payment ad reinstatement assistance. If you live in Illinois and have lost your job or
    experienced a loss of income, you may be eligible.

The Neighborhood Housing Services may be able to help owners of rental property buildings with 4 or less units. Call (773) 329-4010.

OTHER RESOURCES

File a complaint against your lender, visit: American's For Fairness in Lending.

Find a lawyer who is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) to represent you in case of fraudulent, predatory or abusive business practices.

ILLINOIS HOUSING & FORECLOSURE INFORMATION

Housing Action Illinois is addressing the foreclosure crisis through a four-part initiative which includes:

training housing counselors
engaging the mortgage market
increasing resources and technical assistance for housing counseling agencies, and
working with local stake-holders to address the foreclosure crisis in their communities

Through training and technical assistance, Housing Action helps to build the capacity of Illinois housing counseling agencies so they are well equipped to deal with the
foreclosure crisis.

Illinois HUD

Freddie Mac Advice on Avoiding Foreclosure

Federal Reserve Mortgage Foreclosure Resources

Illinois Housing Development Authority Foreclosure Information & Assistance

If you have a reverse mortgage, click here to learn how to apply for the new Reverse Mortgage Assistance Program or read the press release.

Federal Program Offers $35,000 to Assist Seniors Struggling with Reverse Mortgage

IHDA has re-opened the Illinois Hardest Hit Program. See press release. Homeowners who have experienced a 15% reduction in income due to a hardship may
    be eligible for up to $35,000 in reinstatement and/or ongoing monthly mortgage assistance through the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund®.

More information about applying for Hardest Hit Fund is available at Illinois Hardest Hit.
Essentially, when a homeowner fails to make his or her agreed upon mortgage loan payments, the lender (typically a bank or mortgage company) will try to avoid any
additional loss by taking possession of the home, which is the collateral that had secured the loan. Foreclosure is a legal process and varies from state to state.

    Below is a general description of the foreclosure process.

Please Note: Foreclosure laws and time-lines differ from state to state. Please contact your state Attorneys General office to determine your specific states foreclosure laws.

1ST: NOTICE OF DEFAULT

The first step in the foreclosure process is the issuance of a Notice of Default by the lender, which typically occurs after the homeowner is 30-45 days past due on their mortgage.
    It will usually be sent to the homeowner by certified mail. The lender will set a period of time for the homeowner to pay the lender the required amount past due and return the
    loan to good standing.

2ND: LEGAL FILING

If the homeowner does not pay off the amount past due by the stated deadline, the lender may elect to proceed with foreclosure.

There are generally two types of foreclosures: judicial and non-judicial:

In judicial foreclosures, the lender may file a lawsuit in order to obtain a court order to sell the property. This usually happens after 90 days of delinquency.

In a non-judicial foreclosure, the process follows the procedures spelled out in the mortgage (or deed of trust) that allows a trustee, the bank or mortgage company to foreclose
    on and sell the property.

3RD: NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE SALE

After the required time has elapsed, typically after 120 days without making a payment, the homeowner will be sent a notice of foreclosure sale, which will provide notice of the date by
which the premises must be vacated and may include the total amount in arrears as well.

Please Note: At any point during these proceedings, you may be able to keep your home if you pay off the loan and all foreclosure proceeding costs accrued.

4TH: PUBLIC SALE

The sale of a foreclosed home could involve a public sale held by an auction, where the highest bidder can buy the property. If there are no buyers, the lender may buy the property
    by submitting a credit bid based on the amount owed on the mortgage. If the lender takes the property, it could be sold in a private sale at a later date.  

If the homeowner has not vacated the property by the time of the foreclosure sale, an unlawful detainer lawsuit could be filed to evict the homeowner.  You may ask for time to move
    out of the property; however the bank does not have to grant the request and may request that you evacuate the property immediately.

The above information is publicly available from the Homeowner Preservation Foundation
Alternatives to Foreclosure
FORECLOSURE AVOIDANCE COUNSELORS
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan

If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you
with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake
package for your servicer.

Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government.
These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR ILLINOIS AGENCIES ONLY
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UNDERSTANDING FORECLOSURE
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IF YOU LIVE IN COOK COUNTY
SENIOR'S AND REVERSE MORTGAGES
Chicago Paralegal Services
...serving the
public since 2006
YOUR LENDER MIGHT OFFER THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO FORECLOSURE:

FORBEARANCE

    This option temporarily suspends payments, allowing you time to make up the shortfall. If an agreement is reached and you are able to meet its terms,  the lender should not take foreclosure
    action against you.

REPAYMENT PLAN

    A lender might be willing to spread the owed amount over several future payments until the loan is caught up.

LOAN MODIFICATION

    A lender might be able to modify your existing loan to allow you a more manageable monthly payment. Although this may increase the loan amount over the life of the loan, the monthly
    payments would be more affordable.

REFINANCE

    If there is sufficient equity remaining in the property, a lender might consider refinancing your loan. In this instance, missed payments would be calculated into the new loan balance.

PARTIAL CLAIM

    If you have an FHA loan and meet HUD’s guidelines, you may be eligible for a Partial Claim, which is an interest-free loan designed to help homeowners reinstate a delinquent loan. This
    would be an additional loan to your original mortgage, and would be paid back either after the original mortgage is paid off or the property is sold.

FORGIVING A PAYMENT

    Although extremely rare, a lender may sometimes forgive a missing payment provided you agree to then remain current on your mortgage from that point on. This option is extremely
    unlikely, but does occur.


SHOULD YOU BE UNABLE TO REMAIN IN YOUR HOME, A LENDER MIGHT CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FORECLOSURE ALTERNATIVES:

SHORT SALE

    A lender might be willing to sell the home for less than the balance due on the loan.

DEED IN LIEU

    This option gives the property rights of the home back to the lender. Less negative effect on your credit score and may include borrower relocation assistance.
Foreclosure is a legal process that employs many terms that may be new to you.

Here's a helpful
glossary to help you understand the most common words and concepts.

Seek the advice of an
attorney for your particular situation.


HUD KNOWLEDGE BASE - DOWNLOADABLE INFO