How to Avoid Foreclosure

If you are a homeowner at risk of foreclosure you need to know there are programs and services that can help. It’s important to act quickly and before you are three months delinquent on your mortgage payment.

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. 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.

  • NEW! 90-day grace period. Troubled Illinois homeowners facing foreclosure will get up to a 90-day grace period under a law signed by Governor Quinn April 5, 2009.

At-risk homeowners are encouraged to ask a local REALTOR® or a HUD-certified financial counselor to find out where to go for help including these:

  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development homeowner counseling, 1-800-569-4287,