Understanding the Foreclosure Process in Illinois

To understand the foreclosure process in Illinois you will need some specific information how that process works. The foreclosure process in Illinois is handled by the judicial court system on an individual case basis. A decision on a foreclosure case can rarely be acquired short of 3 months, and that assumes that any named defendants are served on the first attempt to deliver the summons, and assuming the defendant(s) don’t contest it. Because of the ninety day reinstatement period beginning from the date the summons was served, a judgment can’t be entered before that date. Because of the statutory redemption periods, a sale cannot happen anywhere from thirty to ninety days from the date the judgment of foreclosure is registered. The court can increase the redemption period on a depending on the case.

The first step of the foreclosure process in Illinois is the pre-foreclosure procedure. Prior to a mortgage company foreclosing on a borrower, a title search should be done. All liens that seem senior to the bank’s lien needs to be dealt with before the foreclosure, or the buyer at the sale will acquire the home subject with senior lien attached to the property. All other lien holders are required to be named as defendants in the bank’s foreclosure suit to guarantee that the title of the property is free and clear of liens for the foreclosure auction.

The second step is the recording of a Complaint to Foreclose Mortgage. When a property owner defaults on his loan agreement the lender can record a Complaint to Foreclose Mortgage with the court. The Complaint is then served on the borrower and all named defendants in the complaint. If a defendant can’t be located, Illinois law provides for service by publication. Once a summons is received, a defendant has 30 days to record an answer with the court. If the defendant(s) fails to file an answer, the court will record an order of default if requested by the lender filing the Complaint. If the property owner or other lien holder can file an Answer contesting the foreclosure, the case then can be brought to litigation and possible trial by those involved with the case.

When the mortgage company receives a favorable judgment the property owner gets a statutory ninety day redemption period prior to the property going to auction. This statutory period can be reduced by the court if the property in question is deserted. The court can also reach a decision allowing for the redemption period to be lengthened.

Step 3 of the Illinois foreclosure process is the Sheriff’s Sale. The date of the sale needs to occur after the redemption period has ended. A Notice of Sheriff’s Sale is then placed in a newspaper located the county where the property is situated once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. A period of 7 days must pass after the final notice of sale is published, at which time a Sheriff’s Sale is held. The lender selects the starting bid price, which is usually the full loan amount owed on the property. The property is awarded to the highest bidder and receives a Certificate of Purchase.

After a sale occurs, the officer in charge of the auction has to file a Report of Sale within ten days of the sale. At this point a Motion to Confirm Sale must then be filed and the sale confirmed by the court. The final step is a Sheriff’s Deed is supplied upon the ratification of the court.

These 3 steps are the basics to understanding the foreclosure process in Illinois. Keep in mind that all the court proceedings will be from and with your county courthouse where you reside.

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