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Grayslake Real Estate And Bankruptcy Law Blog

An overview of the short sale process

In a short sale, a home is sold for less than what a homeowner owes on the mortgage. Banks may allow a short sale because it costs less than a foreclosure and can take less time to complete compared to a foreclosure. Sellers may prefer a short sale over a foreclosure because it does less damage to their credit score. Illinois homeowners who ask to go through the short sale process generally lack the financial resources to stay current on their mortgages.

Those interested in a short sale may also believe that their financial situation is not going to improve in the near future. Homeowners will first need to seek approval for a short sale from their lenders. This is generally done by submitting paperwork explaining the reason for making such a request and why it makes sense for all parties. The lender will then have to approve any offer made by a buyer before the transaction can close.

What to do when debt collectors call

Some Illinois consumers are likely among the one-third of all adults in the United States whose debt went to collections in 2016. In 2017, 30 million people in the U.S. interacted with a debt collector. According to the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau, most people who get into debt do so because of such unexpected hardships as divorce or job loss.

People should be aware that they have certain rights in dealing with debt collectors. For example, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act restricts how often a debt collector can call a person and when. People should also make sure the debt collection company is legitimate. They should get the name of the company and look online to see if there have been complaints about it. They can also ask for verification of the debt. They should get a copy of the original creditor's contract and ask the debt collector to send copies of it as well. If the company cannot provide them, they must stop contact.

Improving the chances of selling a home during the winter

Illinois homeowners who are interested in selling residential real estate during the fall and winter months may need to make a bit of extra effort to sell their home in the off-season. Tough weather and shorter days can sometimes discourage buyers from getting out and looking at properties. However, there are some things that homeowners can do to add more appeal to their home and make it more likely that they will sell during these colder months.

One step that homeowners can take is to upgrade the photos of their home. Before potential home buyers decide to get out and travel in the cold weather, they are likely to look online first. Professional photos that that show the home's landscape during warmer seasons can add a certain level of appeal and get home buyers motivated to look at homes on cold days.

How to stop creditor harassment

If you are currently struggling with credit card debt, mortgage payments, medical expenses, student loans and other bills, you are certainly not alone. Approximately two million people suffer from overwhelming medical bills alone in the United States. As a result of this debt, many people are constant victims of creditor harassment. Whether you receive annoying phone calls throughout the day, in the evenings and throughout the weekend or you are getting threats from credit collectors, you may be scared to answer your phone. Fortunately, there are ways to stop this creditor harassment and reclaim your privacy. 

Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop creditors from calling. Once you submit your bankruptcy paperwork, an automatic stay is put in place. During an automatic stay, all of the creditors listed on your paperwork are notified and are no longer able to do the following:

What are your disclosure obligations?

As a resident of Illinois who is set to sell your house soon, you should get to know your obligatory disclosures. These are the pieces of information about your home that you must make public knowledge before attempting to sell the house.

The Illinois General Assembly takes a look at the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act. This act defines all of the various situations, issues, features, and so on that you must disclose to potential buyers. You must state in writing what the safety, quality, and overall healthfulness of your property is like. This may include making mention of things like:

  • Any unsafe conditions
  • Past floods and current flood risks
  • Municipal code violations
  • Material defects in structures or components of the home
  • Boundary line disputes
  • Environmental problems

Is Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 best for you?

Illinois residents like you who have fallen into debt still have options to get back out of it. We at the Law Office of Paul R. Idlas are here today to give a brief rundown of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, two of the most common types.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of your assets to pay off unsecured debts. This can be difficult due to the fact that not much is exempt from liquidation. You could lose cars, property, expensive jewelry and more. On the plus side, it allows you to wipe your debt away quickly. You can also start with a clean slate instead of having to worry about repayment plans.

What are the best ways to sell your home quickly?

When you are selling your Illinois home, sometimes you may really take your time with the process. You might want to thoroughly clean house and declutter so you are relocating with a fresh start. Other times it may take a while because you need to renovate and decorate your new place before moving there. However, there may be times when you need to move with speed due to a job relocation, financial or personal reasons. In those cases, what are the best ways to sell your home quickly?

According to Forbes magazine, there are certain techniques that real estate agents suggest that have been shown to expedite the sale of a residential property. First, be aware that buyers love receiving a financial incentive. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as lowering your asking price slightly below market value to make the purchase more attractive to those seeking their next home. You might also offer to pay for some of the closing costs. Or, pay the broker a higher commission as incentive to have your home shown more frequently. 

The correlation between divorce and bankruptcy

Strained finances can push any couple over the edge into divorce territory. Financial stress is one of the most-cited reasons marriages end.

It is not a surprise that the divorce process itself can lead to a worse financial situation. What was once difficult with two people may now feel impossible with just one. If you were part of a two-income household, the cut of one entire paycheck may make digging out of debt hopeless. Bankruptcy is becoming more common among divorced people.

Keeping your home during bankruptcy

When you decide to file for bankruptcy in Illinois, you may worry about losing one of your most important possessions--your home. At the Law Office of Paul R. Idlas, we want to help you understand what might happen to your house once you start resetting your finances. 

You may think that filing for bankruptcy means you will lose all of your possessions which have any value. The Washington Post says this does not always include your home. There are different types of bankruptcies and the particular terms of each one determine whether you may keep your house. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you typically set up a payment plan. In this situation, you may generally keep your home. However, it is essential to make timely payments to ensure you retain all of your valuable assets. 

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