After Decreasing Last Year, Chicago Foreclosure Activity Is Back on the Rise
The good news is that Chicago foreclosure activity was at its lowest level in three years in 2011. The bad news is it's headed back upward.
A rising number of local homes were repossessed by lenders or sent to court-appointed auctions in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the Chicago Tribune. An estimated 11 percent more houses were repossessed in the last quarter of 2011, and 62 percent more properties were auctioned off.
Many experts predicted this temporary slowdown in foreclosure activity - not because folks were better able to afford their house payments, but because big banks put a halt on many foreclosures to investigate their flawed procedures. Now it looks like they're back in business.
But a foreclosure notice doesn't have to be a death sentence for home ownership. Chicago bankruptcy has the power to legally stop the foreclosure process, no matter how behind you are on your payments.
As of the fourth quarter, resolving a foreclosure case in Illinois took an average of 567 days. Now, many factors are involved that cause each particular case to differ - and there's no guaranteeing how fast the bank will foreclose on your home. But even if you are several months behind on your mortgage, there is time to take action if you're still in your house.
Since being delinquent on your mortgage payments - as with any bills - can seriously damage your credit score, it's always better to deal with your situation sooner rather than later. That said, Chicago bankruptcy lawyers have seen a bankruptcy filing stop foreclosure hours before a home sold at auction.
As foreclosure becomes an everyday threat for more people, the power of the automatic stay has become indispensable. An automatic stay is a court-ordered protection mechanism that goes into effect the moment a homeowner files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It then stays in effect throughout the 3-5 year repayment process.
After you have paid off the required amount of unsecured debts, the remainder of your debt burden will be forgiven.
Being underwater in your mortgage is not ideal, but it's not enough to threaten your home ownership. More often than not it's the other burdens - the credit card debt, the medical bills, the car payments - that make house payments so troublesome. Bankruptcy can relieve these burdens, making it possible to stay in your home.
Many folks mistakenly believe they can get away without making payments because they didn't receive a foreclosure notice right away. However, just because banks are slow to file paperwork doesn't mean they're going to give you a free ride. When you stop making payments, you're starting the foreclosure process rather you know it or not.
When you do nothing to stop foreclosure, you risk losing more than your house - you risk losing your freedom. Foreclosure hurts credit and leaves homeowners without a roof over their head.
By filing for bankruptcy in Chicago, you can avoid not only losing your home, but having to search for a new place to live. You will also have the chance to start building equity and repairing your credit.
In short, bankruptcy provides the breathing room you need to get back in control of those house payments - and get back on your feet financially.
More Blog Entries:
Consumers With Bad Credit Could Benefit From Chicago Bankruptcy: January 6, 2012
Chicago Bankruptcy Aids in Foreclosure Prevention Unlike Fed Plans: December 2, 2012
Chicago-area Foreclosure Filings Decrease, by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune