The Mortgage Foreclosure Timeline in Illinois

Illinois is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning that a defaulting borrower will not lose ownership of their property without certain due process protections provided by a court of law.  Statutes require that certain time lines be followed, giving you an opportunity to try and save the property if possible.  The following is a synopsis of some of the relevant time restrictions in a residential mortgage foreclosure case.   

After payments have been missed, the note holder files a lawsuit and gives notice of the suit by serving the borrower with a complaint and summons. The borrower gets 30 days to file a written response with the court.  In Lake County, Illinois, the borrower also has an option to request mandatory, non-binding mediation within the first 42 days of being served with a summons.

A borrower has an absolute right to reinstate a loan with 90 days of service of the summons and complaint.  Reinstate means catching up on the defaulted payments including late fees and costs. 

If the loan remains delinquent, the plaintiff will seek a judgment through the courts.  If the borrower never appears in the case, a default judgment is entered.  If the borrower does appear, the plaintiff must seek a more comprehensive remedy known as summary judgment.

After judgment is entered, a borrower has a right to redeem within either 90 days after entry of the judgment or 7 months after entry of the judgment, whichever is later.  Redeem means paying off the entire balance due on the loan including all interest, late fees, court costs and attorney’s fees.

If the loan is not timely reinstated or redeemed, the property will go to sheriff’s sale.  The sale must be advertised no more than 42 days and no less than 21 days prior to the sale.  The borrower must be sent written notice of the sale at least 10 business days before the sale.

After the sheriff’s sale takes place, the lender must go back to court to confirm the sale, typically about 14-45 days after the sale takes place.  The law requires that the occupants be allowed to stay in possession of the property for 30 days after the sale takes place but in some cases will be granted up to 60 days to vacate before an eviction takes place.

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