• A Look at What Foreclosure Means for You

    Missing one mortgage payment or accidentally paying the incorrect amount doesn’t necessarily mean you will face foreclosure and the prospect of filing for bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to stay current on multiple mortgage payments, your lender may try to repossess your property and sell it to pay back your debt. In fact, your lender can get a court order cancelling your property rights if you continuously fail to make your monthly mortgage payments, which is why it’s so important to enlist the services of a foreclosure attorney. Foreclosure Attorney Chicago

    If you begin to fall behind on your monthly mortgage payments, it’s a good idea to consult a Chicago bankruptcy attorney . As your bankruptcy lawyer will explain, your lender ne eds t o give you an opportunity to make payments or obtain a loan modification before beginning a foreclosure proceeding. Even though the legal requirements vary by state, you generally need to be considerably behind on your payments for foreclosure to begin. If you are filing for bankruptcy in Chicago, this will result in an automatic stay, which will immediately stop creditor activity on your property. However, every bankruptcy case is unique, so it’s important to discuss your financial situation with a foreclosure attorney in your area.

  • Homeowners Over 50 Being Hit Hard by Foreclosure

    Reuters reported on August 21, 2012, that a report from the AARP Public Policy Institute shows roughly 3.5 million homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth. One troubling aspect to the report was the finding of the much higher rate of growth in foreclosures for homeowners over the age of 50 between 2007 and 2011. The Associated Press video above from July 2012 noted many of the challenges facing older homeowners.

    According to Reuters, 2.92 percent of mortgage loans to these households had been foreclosed at the end of last year. AARP said this was an astonishing 873 percent increase from 2007. “The study adds to the growing mountain of evidence that the economy has shredded retirement possibilities, especially for low and middle-class households,” Reuters said. “Lower home values are especially devastating for these demographic groups.”

    Reuters noted that another report by the online marketplace for foreclosed properties, RealtyTrac, found that the number of foreclosures rose in 59 percent of the nation’s top metro markets. Illinois accounted for two of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates.

    If you are facing the threat of foreclosure, you should know that filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you delay the process and may be able to help you keep your home. It can also provide you and your family with the fresh start you need to get your finances in order and stop struggling with incessant calls from creditors. Complete the form on this page to let our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers review your case or contact our firm today at (866) 930-7482 to set up a consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Chicago-area Foreclosures Higher Than Last Year as Lenders Tackle Backlog

    Nearly 12,000 homes in the Chicago area received a foreclosure notice during July, RealtyTrac Inc. said on August 9, 2012. The Chicago Tribune reported that the overall number of 11,8885 was down from the 13,092 foreclosure notices in June, but was 37 percent higher than the level of activity in July 2011. “The increase in homes entering the foreclosure process raises the possibility that more properties could end up being foreclosed upon in coming months,” the Tribune said.

    According to the Tribune, 5,374 homes entered the foreclosure process, 3,274 were scheduled for a court-ordered sale and 3,237 were repossessed by lenders and became bank-owned. Many existing cases languished for more than a year while federal and state authorities were investigating the foreclosure practices of lenders and the industry dealt with allegations that it had processed foreclosures without verifying documents.

    “We’re seeing a rebound in foreclosure activity off of artificially low levels last year,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist told the Chicago Sun-Times. “What we’ve seen over the past year and a half is kind of a false bottom. The market is reaping the consequences of delaying foreclosures in the form of increased numbers this year.”

    If you are facing foreclosure, you should know that you can delay the process by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or possibly even save your home by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy . If you want to understand the options that are available to you, either complete the form on this page or contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 to schedule an initial consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Chicago Area’s Most Expensive Home Going To Auction

    A 26-room, 26,500-square-foot French-inspired chateau in Winnetka that has not found a buyer since being put up for sale in 2009 will go to auction, fully furnished, next month. The Chicago Tribune reported on September 8, 2011, that the home’s listing agent, Tim Salm of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, estimated that the cost of constructing and furnishing what he called the “trophy home of the North Shore” at $40 million.

    The house, owned by investment company CEO Sherwin Jarol and his wife, Deborah, was unofficially put up for sale in 2009 for $32 million, although it was officially listed and placed in the local multiple listing service with a $28 million asking price before being pulled from the market, according to the Tribune.

    Salm blamed the “sour economy” for the property’s failure to sell conventionally, but told the Tribune “international marketing of the auction will net a larger pool of prospective buyers” for the house, called Le Grand Reve. The auction will be conducted on October 29, 2011, without reserve.

    Homeowners of all types have been struggling to sell properties in this market, often leading to doubts that any real form of foreclosure help exists. Even if you are not looking to sell your house, but rather just to stop struggling through hard times, you can get deserved relief today by filing for bankruptcy . Whether a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 process better suits your particular case, our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can answer all of your questions and help end creditor harassment. If you have been thinking about filing a bankruptcy means test , you do not have to take these steps by yourself. Contact our office to set up a free initial consultation today that can help you get an affordable bankruptcy now.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • New Home Construction Suffers Alongside Struggling Housing Market

    Around 54,000 new homes were built in the Chicago area in 2005, but only about 3,000 building permits have been issued so far this year to start construction on new housing, Voice of America reported on September 2, 2011. “The new home construction, at least in Chicago, is down over 90 percent from where it was in 2007,” Hine Lumber President Doug Jones told VOA. Hines is down to four locations and “a little over 100” employees after having 27 locations and more than 1,200 employees at its peak.

    The roughly 323,000 new homes sold in the United States in 2010 was the worst year on record since 1963, according to VOA. Builder Hal Stembridge, who started his construction business in 1979 during a recession, directed his anger at the government when he told VOA, “They’ve bailed out the banks. They’ve bailed out Wall Street. They’ve bailed out the car companies. But the largest employer in the United States is still suffering and that’s homebuilding.”

    New home or old, all of us have somehow felt the impact of the economic downturn. If you do not want to wait any longer while the government bails out everybody else, you should take control of your destiny and get deserved relief today. Our bankruptcy law firm can help you with a bankruptcy means test and determine if the Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 process is right for you to help end creditor harassment. If you want an affordable bankruptcy now so you can eliminate bills and stop foreclosure, call one of our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys today.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • $196K In HUD Funds To Be Used For Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced more than $10 million in housing counseling grants in “an effort to help families keep their homes and avoid mortgage scams” on September 2, 2011. Nine Chicago-area housing counseling agencies will share more than $196,000 to be used specifically for assistance related to foreclosure prevention counseling, mortgage modifications and mortgage loan scams, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    The disbursements are unspent funds from the 2010 appropriation and awarded to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. “It is crucial that we support these agencies in helping struggling families do whatever is possible to avoid foreclosure without being victimized by so called mortgage ‘rescue’ companies,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in the press release.

    The Tribune reported that the local agencies receiving funding were Latin United Community Housing Association, Rogers Park Community Development Corp., S&S Development Group, South Suburban Housing Center, Will County Center for Community Concerns, Parkers in Charity, Inc., DuPage Homeownership Center, Inc., and Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs. Funding for the agencies ranged from more than $19,000 to almost $27,000, according to the Tribune.

    The money being channeled toward foreclosure help may not be enough for many people currently struggling through hard times. One way to eliminate bills and stop foreclosure is to file for bankruptcy . Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help answer all your questions about a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 process and reach a debt settlement that will end creditor harassment. Whether you have heard of a bankruptcy means test or not, you can contact our firm for a free initial consultation that can answer all of your questions and help you get deserved relief today.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Chicago Home Prices Rise For Month

    Chicago led the way of eight cities posting month-to-month gains in a June report from the Case-Schiller Home Price index. While Zacks.com reported on August 30, 2011, that Chicago rose 1.32 percent for the month-to-month, it was also one of five hardest-hit metropolitan areas in year-over-year declines with those numbers down 7.49 percent.

    The Chicago Tribune reported on August 30, 2011, that a majority of the monthly improvement in the Chicago area came from the 6.5 percent price increase between May and June in homes that sold for less than $162,138. Homes sold for more than $275,128 rose 2.9 percent, while houses sold for between $162,138 and $275,128 appreciated 1.8 percent.

    The Tribune also noted that the condominium market in the Chicago area saw improved sales prices for the fourth straight month, with values increasing 4.3 percent from May to June. Zacks.com added that while the Case-Schiller data is the “gold standard for housing pricing information,” it is better to look at the seasonally adjusted numbers for three-month moving average. The most recent report, for example, includes data from April and March.

    If you are still facing foreclosure in your own housing situation and have been considering a short sale or bankruptcy as options, contact our Chicago bankruptcy information law firm today for a free initial consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Consumer Confidence Hits Lowest Level In More Than 2 Years

    The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 44.5 percent in August, a drop of nearly 15 points from a revised 59.2 in July. The Associated Press reported on August 30, 2011, that the sharp deterioration marked the lowest level for the number since the 40.8 reading in April 2009. Analysts had expected 53.3, according to the AP.

    The AP attributed the decline to a number of factors, including the Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the U.S. federal debt on August 5, 2011, and the Dow Jones industrial average’s four consecutive days of 400-point swings for the first time in its 115-year history during the following week.

    Consumers’ views on jobs are souring too with the unemployment rate stuck at 9 percent, according to the AP. The number of those who classify jobs as “hard to get” increased from 44.8 percent to 49.1 percent while the number identifying jobs as “plentiful” decreased from 5.1 percent to 4.7 percent.

    If you feel that your own confidence has been rattled by job difficulties and have questions about a bankruptcy means test or want Chapter 7 bankruptcy information , contact our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys today to help eliminate bills and stop foreclosure .

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • Teachers Want CPS To ‘Turn Up The Pressure’ On Banks, Stop Foreclosures

    The Chicago Teacher’s Union has asked Chicago Public Schools to end business relations with five major banks involved in the largest number of foreclosures for union members and their families. The demand is one of the requests the union is seeking from CPS after the Board of Education backed out in June on 4 percent across-the-board raises promised in union contracts, the Chicago Tribune reported on August 22, 2011.

    The union is asking that CPS end business relationships with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank until they agree to write down the mortgage principals and interest rates for all homeowners facing foreclosure within the school district to market value as a part of an affordable and sustainable loan modification program to prevent foreclosures.

    “We’re disappointed we couldn’t get (CPS) to want to try and stop home foreclosures,” Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey told the Tribune. “But we’re going to keep fighting for what’s in the best interest of schools. This is not the end of the world.”

    If your bank is trying to foreclose on your home, our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can answer the complaint and actively defend it in state court.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • Chicago Developer Facing Another Foreclosure Suit

    First Midwest Bank N.A. filed a $6.4 million lawsuit against developer William Senne over a business loan backed by 11 of his properties, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on August 11, 2011. The foreclosure lawsuit filed last month alleges a venture managed by Senne failed to pay off the business loan when it came due in August 2010.

    According to the complaint, the First Midwest suit is in regards to a loan obtained by retail stores in West Loop Promenade, a 78-unit condominium building built at 1201 W. Adams St. by Senne’s Senco Properties, in addition to 10 smaller residential and retail properties. The loan was originally taken out from Westmont-based First DuPage Bank in August 2005 before First Midwest took over following regulators shutting down First DuPage in October 2009, according to Crain’s.

    Crain’s reported that Senne, CEO of Chicago-based Senco, is also facing foreclosure on a 94-unit Bucktown condo project that has yet to be constructed and is still waiting to sell out a 212-unit West Loop development. The complaint, filed on July 8 in Cook County Circuit Court, says First Midwest is seeking to collect the unpaid debt, plus interest, fees and other costs.

    If you are dealing with your own threat of foreclosure , our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys