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Important information for homeowners in foreclosure

August 19, 2009

From press release

URBANA, Ill.—Lenders must attach a homeowner notice containing the following pertinent information to the summons in all foreclosure actions, said a University of Illinois Extension consumer and family economics specialist.

“If it looks like foreclosure may be in your future, it will be empowering to learn about your legal rights now,” said Susan Taylor.

Important information for homeowners in foreclosure include the following:

1. Possession: The lawful occupants of a home have the right to live in a home until a judge enters an order for possession.

2. Ownership: You continue to own your home until the court rules otherwise.

3. Reinstatement: As the homeowner, you have the right to bring the mortgage current within 90 days after you receive the summons.

4. Redemption: As the homeowner, you have the right to sell your home, refinance, or pay off the loan during the redemption period.

5. Surplus: As the homeowner, you have the right to petition the court for any excess money that results from a foreclosure sale of your home.

6. Workout options: The mortgage company does not want to foreclose on your home if there is any way to avoid it. Call your mortgage company or its attorneys to find out the alternatives to foreclosure.

7. Payoff amount: You have the right to obtain a written statement of the amount necessary to pay off your loan. Your mortgage company must provide you this statement within 10 business days of receiving your request, provided your request is in writing and includes your name, the address of the property, and the mortgage account or loan number. Your first payoff statement will be free.

8. Get advice: This information is not exhaustive and does not replace the advice of a professional. You may have other options. Get professional advice from a lawyer or certified housing counselor about your rights and options to avoid foreclosure.

9. Lawyer: If you do not have a lawyer, you may be able to find assistance by contacting the Illinois State Bar Association or a legal aid organization that provides free legal assistance.

10. Proceed with caution: You may be contacted by people offering to help you avoid foreclosure. Before entering into any transaction with people offering to help you, contact a lawyer, government official or housing counselor for advice.

“For other good advice on getting through tough financial times, including which bill to pay first, how to talk to your creditors, how to save food dollars, how to talk to your children about your financial situation, and more, visit U of I Extension’s ‘Getting Through Tough Financial Times’ Web site at http://www.ToughTimes.illinois.edu,” said Taylor.

From the Aug. 19-25, 2009 issue

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