Homeownership. It has been called the key part of 'The American Dream.' Having a piece of land, even if a small one, and a house to call one's own, is something many Illinois residents have envisioned since they were children. Since very few people these days can afford to purchase a home outright, this usually means that aspiring homeowners must borrow money to achieve their dreams. This is often in the form of a mortgage, which is a type of loan secured by the property which is being purchased. Unfortunately, this means that if something happens and a homeowner cannot pay his or her mortgage payments, the home can be taken by the lender to satisfy the loan.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many people blamed the housing bubble. This was apparently a combination of over-construction of houses as well as systemic use of bad lending practices in the banking and mortgage industries. Whatever the reasons, many Americans, including Illinois residents found themselves facing losing their homes to foreclosure. Because of this, in 2009 the federal government introduced the Making Home Affordable Program. This initiative consisted of two parts, one of which was the Home Affordable Modification Program. HAMP expired at the end of 2016, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored corporations that deal in secondary mortgage markets, have announced replacements.
Being an adult and managing your finances can be challenging. Many Lisle residents are barely making ends meet with their current incomes and expenditures. When unexpected expenses pop-up, many people with difficulty paying their bills will turn to credit cards or other forms of personal loans to pay for these unexpected costs. Sometimes these forms of credit can get out of control and some people run into the possibility of home or business foreclosure.
What is foreclosure? It is a legal process by which a lender can take back (i.e., repossess) an Illinoisan's home. If successful, at the end of the process, the resident will have to move out.
In Illinois, homeownership is a milestone, a step signaling success and the achievement of the American dream. Because of that symbolic value, the prospect of foreclosures and its alternatives can be especially frightening. But fortunately, Illinoisans stuck in a scary financial situation can sometimes stop foreclosures.
The Chicago area may not have the snowbird attraction of cities in the Sunbelt. Places like Arizona, Texas or Florida draw folks away during the winter months. Condominiums, rather than detached single-family homes, tend to be the abode of choice for those flocking south.
The Great Recession is over. That does not mean that everything is just fine in Illinois. Many find themselves in financial difficulty that threatens to see them put out of their homes. Leveraging legal strategies to prevent foreclosure, or at least gain some time to examine all options, is something that is available. First, you have to know what's possible and consulting experienced legal counsel is how that's done.
Foreclosure on a home isn't the goal most people in Illinois have in mind when they sign for their mortgage. If you happened to enter into that contract with a spouse from whom you are now divorced, the possibility of something like that happening may be more distant from your mind.
The prospect of losing one's treasured assets is something that sparks fear in the hearts of a lot of people in Illinois. The home you struggled hard to purchase and maintain represents one of the greatest physical legacies you have created. The last thing you want to do is lose it because some unexpected major life event occurs leaving you suddenly in a financial bind and facing bills you can't handle.
The last Great Recession is slowly fading into history. According to the numbers, it ended in about 2009 or so. But that does not mean that the negative effects of the economic downturn have disappeared. The burst of the housing bubble that was a big contributor to the problems can still be felt today around DuPage County and the rest of Illinois. For many people what that means is the threatened loss of a home through foreclosure.