When either the County Sheriff or special process server appear at your home and serve you, your spouse or teenage child with a foreclosure complaint, perhaps the single most important question is “How long can I stay in the house”. The general rule under Illinois law is that a residential homeowner, who resides in the home as his primary residence, has, at a minimum, the longer of:
a) seven (7) months from the date of being served the complaint; or
b) 90 days after entry of judgment of foreclosure
Merely filing a foreclosure or being served with a foreclosure complaint alone does not mean you must immediately move from your home. However, being served with a complaint does trigger an important statutory deadline. Once service is made on all named defendants, Illinois’ right of redemption starts to run which permits a homeowner to pay the bank the entire loan balance, plus their interest, finance charges, court costs and attorneys’ fees, to keep or “redeem” their home. Until the redemption period has expired, no bank in an Illinois foreclosure can compel the judicial sale of your house which results in you losing title to your house.
The redemption period is the longer of: 7 months after all defendants are served or 90 days after entry of judgment of foreclosure. Without a judicial sale of your house first occurring, the Bank cannot legally force you out of your home. Certain exceptions exist that if the house’s value has significantly decreased due to it being vacant or abandoned, the Bank can speed up the judicial sale process. Generally, Illinois residential homeowners are entitled to the their redemption rights under Illinois law and as result, are not immediately evicted from their home.
Being served with a foreclosure complaint is a very stressful and shocking moment in one’s life. While your first inclination may be to panic- do not do so. As described above, Illinois’ residential homeowners have consumer-friendly statutory provisions that legally provide them time to formulate a plan, review their budget, discuss modification options with the bank or if those efforts fail, sufficient time to locate alternative housing. Consulting an experienced foreclosure attorney is proactive, smart decision to make when served with a foreclosure complaint as Illinois law dictates that certain important deadlines start to run against you in foreclosure case.
* This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.