Are You Considering an REO Property?

REO, Wheaton real estate attorneysIf you have shared with friends and family members that you are in the market for a new home, there is a good chance that someone has at least suggested that you look into buying a foreclosure property. In this context, a foreclosure property is a home that is being sold at auction by a bank because the owner of the property could not keep up with his or her mortgage payments. At a foreclosure auction, there is the possibility of getting a fantastic deal, but not all foreclosure auctions are successful. When foreclosure auction does not result in the sale of the foreclosure property, the property remains under the ownership of the lender and becomes a real-estate owned property or REO.

Understanding a Foreclosure Auction

When a home is seized by the lender during foreclosure, the home is typically put up for sale in public auction. As such, the property will be sold to the highest bidder. However, in many foreclosure auctions, the bidders are not given the chance to walk through or inspect the home before making their bids. In most cases, the highest bidder will also be expected to pay cash for the property immediately following the auction. The combination of these factors makes buying a foreclosure property at auction a rather risky proposition. It is also why some foreclosure auctions do not result in the sale of the property.

An unsuccessful foreclosure auction leaves the lender with a home that has already caused the lender to lose money due to the defaulted mortgage loan. Now that the property is considered REO, however, there may be benefits for you as the potential buyer.

REO Sale Basics

While a foreclosure sale is typically a singular event that takes the form of an auction, an REO sale is very much like any other residential real estate deal. The lender will usually list the property and get real estate brokers involved to facilitate the sale. Prospective buyers will also get the chance to inspect the home and arrange private financing without the pressure of bidding in an auction.

You should remember, however, that most REO properties will be sold “as-is.” This means that while inspections can and certainly should be done, the lender is not likely to cover the cost of any repairs. Your broker and your lawyer could try to negotiate with the lender regarding the price of the property if substantial repairs are required, but there is no guarantee that that lender will move on the listed price. With this in mind, you will almost certainly want to include a contingency provision in your offer that allows you to back out if the property needs more work or repairs that you are willing to pay for or do yourself.

It is also important to ensure that a title search is conducted on any REO property that you are considering buying. The home could have liens or other encumbrances on it that might become your problem once the transaction is finalized.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

If you are thinking about buying a real-estate owned property or a foreclosure property, you could get a good deal, but there are many potential pitfalls. Contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney to ensure that your best interests are protected at every stage of the home-buying process. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/buying-post-foreclosures-reos-1798183

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/guide-reo-properties/

What Is a Judicial Foreclosure?

foreclosure, Wheaton real estate lawyersIf own your home, you probably are familiar with the concept of foreclosure. You more than likely know that if you fall seriously behind on your monthly mortgage payments, your lender has the legal right to initiate proceedings through which the lender can seize your home. What you may not realize, however, is that foreclosure is a rather complicated series of steps and that Illinois law mandates that the court system must handle the foreclosure process. This means that every foreclosure in the state is known as a judicial foreclosure.

How Other States Handle Foreclosure

There are 16 states, including Illinois, which require the courts to oversee foreclosures. Five other states use judicial foreclosures almost exclusively—but as a customary practice rather than a legal requirement. Non-judicial proceedings are used in the 29 remaining states, either as just an option or because the law prohibits judicial foreclosures.

In situations where there is no requirement for judicial foreclosure, the mortgage contract will often include a provision that grants the “power of sale” to the lender. This provision effectively allows the lender to foreclose and seize the property without going through the court system. If the homeowner does not make the payments required by the mortgage agreement, power of sale gives the lender the authority to take the home and sell it in an effort to recover the remainder of the loan balance. In Illinois, a power of sale provision is not enforceable.

State or Federal Court

In most cases, a lender will begin a foreclosure by filing a complaint in the appropriate county court based on the location of the property. Lenders have the option, however, of filing foreclosures in federal court instead. Some believe that federal courts act more efficiently on foreclosures that state-level courts do, but others say that it is harder for lenders to sell properties in federal foreclosures. The U.S. Marshall Service handles federal foreclosure sales, while that responsibility at the state level usually falls on the county sheriff’s department.

How to Handle a Notice of Foreclosure

Assuming that you are least four months behind on your payments, you most likely have received a notice of default in the mail. However, when the lender files for foreclosure, you must be personally served with notice of the lender’s filing. You have 30 days in which to file a response to the complaint and summons or the court could enter a default judgment in favor of the lender.

The best thing you could possibly do in such a situation is to immediately call a qualified lawyer to talk about your options. Your strategy for moving forward will depend on your unique circumstances, and it is important to act quickly.

Call a Wheaton Real Estate Attorney for Help

If you are facing possible foreclosure, contact an experienced Wheaton residential foreclosure attorney at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team. We will help ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected.

 

Sources:

http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/241366/Insolvency+Bankruptcy/Is+Federal+Court+Really+a+Better+Place+to+Foreclose

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=107100000&SeqEnd=115800000