Illinois continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S. Homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments for a variety of reasons, and borrowers are unaware that even if they are unable to make their mortgage payments and falling to foreclosure, they may have an effective defense that can save their home from foreclosure, or, at minimum, buy more time by working with an experienced foreclosure attorney.
Your attorney will evaluate the foreclosure case file to find errors in the paperwork and develop effective defense strategies for foreclosure defense in Illinois.
Bank Failed to Prove It Owns the Mortgage
Illinois statutes require the foreclosing party to demonstrate standing-- registered to conduct business in the State of Illinois. In Illinois, if the homeowner believes the lender does not have any interest in the mortgage and note, the defense can be based on proving that the lender lacks standing. It is important that this defense is raised in a timely manner so that the court does not deem you wrote you wave your claim.
Violations of Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
Many borrowers who need to put on a foreclosure defense in Illinois can focus on material violations of federal laws, such as the TILA, Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Some of the most egregious TILA violations may include:
- Lender failed to clearly itemize the amount financed as required when it involves a lien or security interest placed on the principle dwelling.
- Failure to clearly and accurately disclose the number, amounts and payment schedule for the loan.
- Failure to clearly and accurately disclose the annual percentage rate.
Providing evidence of the lender’s breach of TILA can lead to invalidation of the mortgage and force the lender to return all interest and fees paid on the loan.
Predatory Loan by Lender
One of the biggest issues during the foreclosure crisis have to do with predatory lending and abusive tactics used by lenders to target homeowners. In many cases, these homeowners actually qualified to receive regular mortgages. Nonetheless, many lenders and brokers made significant money in fees and interest by putting borrowers into subprime home loans.
If you were preyed upon by your lender with an unfair loan, the act may provide the leverage you need for successful resolution of your situation.
Mistakes by the Mortgage Servicer
Lenders contract with mortgage servicing firms to handle the administrative task associated with receiving and disbursing mortgage payments as well as enforcing the terms of the loan, often, these companies make mistakes that give borrowers the Avenue they need to launch an effective foreclosure defense in Illinois, including the following errors:
- Crediting your mortgage payments to the wrong account-- causing your account to show as delinquent
- Charging you excessive or improper fees.
- Significantly overstating the amount required to reinstate your mortgage.
When a lender makes a substantial mistake on the amount you need to reinstate your mortgage, the court takes this very seriously because it may deprive you of a primary remedy to help save your home.
New Supreme Court Rules
Effective, May 1, 2013, mortgage lenders have a legal obligation to inform struggling homeowners of the availability of mediation programs offered through the Circuit court. In addition, lenders must attach the original mortgage to the foreclosure complaint. Supreme Court Rule 113 requires lenders to include a copy of the note signed by the mortgagor.
This includes all endorsements pertaining to the transfer of ownership of the mortgage-- which many lenders may have a problem producing because of the lax procedures for maintaining evidence of assignment.
These are just a few of the strategies available for mounting a foreclosure defense in Illinois. Contact an experienced attorney who can make clear your available options and can you save your home.