For Immediate Release: For Further Information Contact:
January 10, 2008 Brian Corwell 815-625-3722
Get Foreclosure Information at www.YourIllinoisHome.com
Lee & Whiteside Counties, IL - If you are a homeowner at risk of foreclosure you need to know there are programs and services that can help but you must act quickly and before you are three months delinquent on your mortgage payment, according to Beth Llewellyn, CEO of the Partnership for HomeOwnership and a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified homeownership counselor with over 12 years of experience helping lower-income families achieve homeownership. Llewellyn's information for homeowners facing foreclosure can be found online at http://www.yourillinoishome.com/, a consumer site for buyers and sellers developed by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.
"Foreclosures in Illinois are a nine-month judicial process but after 90 days the lender will turn the delinquent loan over to foreclosure attorneys and then the fees really start to mount up," says Llewellyn. "The key is to not ignore letters from your lender. There are ways to work through a bad situation if you act quickly. A certified foreclosure intervention counselor can also negotiate with a lender, servicer or private mortgage insurance provider to restructure the loan if it can be determined the homeowner has the financial wherewithal to keep the home in the future."
Other options for people facing foreclosure include:
§ "Forbearance" whereby a lender lets a borrower pay less than the full amount of the mortgage or skip a few payments if there is a reasonable plan to become current on the loan.
§ "Reinstatement" is another option if the homeowner is able to make a payment that covers all of the previous late payments.
§ A "repayment plan" from a lender will allow a borrower who has fallen behind to make additional payments each month until the amount past due is paid.
To address the current wave of foreclosures, some state and local governments and nonprofit organizations are offering financial assistance. At-risk homeowners are encouraged to contact a local REALTOR® or a HUD-certified financial counselor to find out where to go for help. Llewellyn recommends the following:
§ U.S. Housing and Urban Development homeowner counseling, 1-800-569-4287, www.hud.gov
§ Neighborhood Works America Center for Foreclosure Solutions, 1-888-995-HOPE (4673), www.nw.org
§ Illinois Legal Aid, www.illinoislegalaid.org
Another option for the homeowner is to sell the home. Oftentimes in these situations the sale will be a "short sale in lieu of foreclosure." A "short sale" is an industry term for when the owner of the home does not have enough equity in the property and not enough cash or liquid assets to be able to sell the property, pay off liens and selling expenses (e.g., property taxes, transfer taxes, real estate commissions) and provide a clear title to the purchaser.
According to Llewellyn, a foreclosure will stay on the credit report for at least 10 years as it is a court action similar to bankruptcy. However, foreclosure can do even more damage to a credit report than bankruptcy. Ultimately, if you attempt to get a home loan in the future you must prove to the lender that the foreclosure happened due to something beyond your control such as job loss or illness.
"It's ideal if the homeowner who chooses to sell can work with a professional REALTOR® before they are delinquent three months," said Brian Corwell, president of the Sauk Valley Association of REALTORS®. "Within this short window of time, a professional REALTOR® might assist in negotiations with the lender to place the property on the market and possibly save the buyer any equity left, as well as prevent a foreclosure on their credit file."
Find more information about foreclosures and short sales at http://www.yourillinoishome.com/.
YourIllinoisHome.com was created by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) specifically for consumers who are looking to buy or sell a home in Illinois, learn more about the Illinois real estate market and find an Illinois REALTOR®. IAR is a voluntary trade association whose 60,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, IAR works to protect the rights of property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation that safeguards and advances the interest of real property ownership.