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Fast-Tracking Foreclosure on Abandoned Properties

 Posted on November 24, 2017 in Mortgage Foreclosure

Fast-Tracking Foreclosure on Abandoned PropertiesWhen a lender concludes that it must foreclose on a mortgage, it likely wants to get through the process as quickly and smoothly as possible. The sooner the lender can reclaim the property, the sooner it can try to find a new buyer and recuperate the cost from the failed mortgage. However, the foreclosure process does not work quickly. While this is inconvenient for all mortgage lenders, the situation is most dire for those trying to foreclose on an abandoned property. Recognizing this problem, Illinois is one of the few states to have a fast-track foreclosure law.

Foreclosure Process

Illinois is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning the lender must go to court to receive a judgment on the foreclosure. The process includes:

  • Filing a foreclosure complaint against the borrower after 120 days of missed payments;
  • Giving the borrower 30 days to respond and 90 days to reinstate the mortgage;
  • Attending court to determine whether foreclosure will be allowed; and
  • If the lender receives a positive ruling, waiting for the redemption period to pass before being allowed to sell the property.

Even if the foreclosure is uncontested, it can take an average of 215 days to complete. Lenders in areas with a large number of foreclosure cases can expect the process to take longer.

Abandoned Property

It is preferable for the borrower to continue to occupy a property during the foreclosure process. Once a property has been abandoned, its value will decrease over time due to neglect. The problem is compounded if the lender owns adjacent properties, as the blight from the abandoned property will decrease the value of properties surrounding it.

Fast-Track Foreclosure

Illinois enacted its fast-track foreclosure law in 2013, allowing lenders to expedite the process for abandoned properties. Theoretically, lenders who use the process may be able to foreclose on an abandoned property in as little as 90 to 180 days. However, the court must first conclude that the property is abandoned. Besides showing that the property is unoccupied, the lender must present at least two of the following conditions:

  • A written statement of intent to abandon the property by the borrower;
  • Broken or missing windows or doors;
  • Inactive utility services;
  • An official judgment that the property is unfit for occupancy;
  • Signs of interior fixtures being removed; or
  • Reports of trespassing or vandalism in the past six months.

Obtaining Foreclosure

If you agreed to a mortgage with borrower who has since abandoned the property, you need to act quickly to foreclose. A Chicago creditor’s rights attorney at Dimand Walinski Law Offices, P.C., can lead you through the foreclosure process. Schedule an appointment by calling 312-704-0771.

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