Nobody’s Safe from Foreclosure

Just days after Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels brand announced it would be working with the John Buck Co. to convert the 27-story Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash into a 250-room hotel, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on October 26, 2011, that the chairman and CEO of the Chicago-based firm is now facing foreclosure on a personal investment. Developer John Buck was sued on October 7, the day after a loan on an Oak Brook office building matured with a balance of $27.6 million. As Crain’s said, the news shows “that not even Chicago’s savviest real estate practitioners can avoid trouble in the current market.”

Calling the lawsuit a “rare blemish” for Buck, Crain’s also noted that “foreclosure suits don’t carry much shame in the current market, where many reputable borrowers voluntarily default because their properties are worth so much less than their debt, wiping out their investment.” The Oak Brook building is 91 percent leased, but Crain’s noted that 85 percent of the leases are scheduled to expire by 2013 and cable provider Comcast, which occupies roughly 70 percent of the building, has a lease that expires in April and renewal terms would require “significant rent concessions.”

Crain’s said it is unclear if Buck will challenge the foreclosure suit, “but many borrowers in his situation see no point in bothering.” While many homeowners might enjoy the thought of simply cutting their losses and walking away from a property that has been hit hard by the housing market, the truth is that a majority still want some sort of foreclosure help that will help keep them and their families in their homes. You should know that whatever unfortunate twist of fate might have contributed to your financial troubles, filing a bankruptcy means test can be the first step in determining the best type of bankruptcy for your situation. Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can answer all of your questions and help you work with your debtors to improve your situation. A Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can allow you to consolidate, eliminate or reorganize your debt, and our firm can help when you contact our office to set up a free consultation.

Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

With Inventory Down, Will Housing Market Ever Look Up?

The number of sales of existing homes and condos climbed in Chicago’s nine-county area for September while prices fell, but the supply of available homes slipped for the second consecutive month, the Chicago Tribune reported on October 21, 2011. Local multiple listing service provider Midwest Real Estate Data LLC said that inventory in the Chicago area dropped almost 50 percent from a year ago, to 8.9 months, meaning it would take almost 9 months to sell the number of properties that were on the market in September. “Even though we say there’s less inventory, there’s still a lot of inventory, and we don’t know when that other shoe will drop with an influx of foreclosures,” Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, told the Tribune.

The dip in inventory was the lowest it has been in the past 24 months except for April 2010, but the Tribune noted that the expectation is that it might be temporary. While the number of homes entering foreclosure was slowed by state and federal investigations of lenders’ foreclosure processes, a report by data aggregator RealtyTrac indicated that the number of homes that entered the foreclosure process nationally rose 14 percent in the third quarter. Furthermore, the Tribune said many of those homes will become bank-owned foreclosures and relisted for sale.

Has the housing market downturn left you and your family scrambling for foreclosure help ? Now could be the time for you to consider filing a bankruptcy means test to determine a better way to manage your debt. Whether you were suddenly hit with a mountain of medical bills or have been unable to find employment after being laid off, our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can assist you in understanding all of your legal options. Contact our firm today to set up a consultation that will allow you to see how a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy could provide you with the fresh start you have been seeking.

Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

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