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Cook County foreclosure defense attorneyDue to financial issues that have affected many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has implemented a moratorium on foreclosures, which is meant to ensure that families can continue living in their homes during this public health emergency. While the moratorium has been extended multiple times, it is currently set to expire on June 30, 2021. This means that those who have been unable to make mortgage payments may face the loss of their homes. Some lenders have stated that they will resume foreclosures as soon as the moratorium ends, while others may wait to proceed with foreclosures until the end of 2021. Homeowners who are facing foreclosure will want to understand their options and determine whether they can work with their lender to create new payment options or whether they will need to find new living arrangements. 

Options for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

To prevent foreclosure, those who have been unable to make mortgage payments will need to determine how they can become current on past-due payments, and they will also need to make sure they will be able to make ongoing mortgage payments. Homeowners may be able to work with lenders to address these issues, and available options may include:

  • Forbearance - Those who have been unable to make mortgage payments may qualify for relief in which they will not be required to make payments for a certain period of time, or the amount of payments may be temporarily reduced. While missed payments will need to be made up, homeowners will generally not be required to pay a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period. Instead, missed payments may be added on to the end of the loan, or the amount of payments may be increased temporarily. Homeowners who received a forbearance before June 30, 2020 may request up to two extensions of three months each, but the maximum period for forbearance is 18 months.

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Beverly commercial real estate lawyer for due diligenceAll types of real estate transactions can be complicated, and buyers and sellers will need to address multiple issues related to the financing, the title to the property, the condition of the premises, and land use laws. Commercial real estate closings can be especially complex, and unlike residential closings, the parties will not be protected by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Because of this, it is crucial for buyers and sellers of commercial real estate to conduct due diligence that will allow them to identify any issues that may need to be addressed before the sale can be finalized.

Types of Due Diligence in Commercial Real Estate Closings

The issues that need to be addressed when performing due diligence can generally be grouped into the following categories:

  • Physical - A physical inspection of the property should be performed to examine its condition, ensure that it is up to code, and determine whether repairs, renovations, or improvements will be needed. This can identify any defects that the buyer may ask the seller to correct while also helping the buyer determine their budget for any work that will need to be done to be able to use the property as planned.

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Cook County real estate attorney for COVID-19 landlord reliefFor more than a year, people and businesses throughout the United States have been struggling to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has placed many landlords in a difficult position, since residential tenants who have lost their jobs or commercial tenants who have experienced a loss of revenue may be unable to pay rent. At the same time, federal, state, and local governments have placed a moratorium on evictions to protect the health and safety of tenants. In many cases, this has left landlords with few options, since the standard ways of dealing with non-paying tenants are unavailable. Fortunately, multiple relief programs may provide assistance for landlords, ensuring that they can cover their ongoing expenses.

Emergency COVID-19 Relief

The federal government has created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to make funds available for those who have been unable to pay rent or utilities. A household can qualify for relief if they meet the eligibility criteria. These include a reduction in income or other financial hardship because of COVID-19, a risk that a person or family will experience homelessness or housing instability, and a household income that is at or below 80% of the median income in the area.

A household can receive up to 12 months of rental assistance, and this may be extended for an additional three months if necessary. At least 90% of any funds awarded must be used to pay housing-related expenses, including ongoing rent payments and rent that is past due, utilities, and home energy costs. Landlords can apply for relief on behalf of tenants, and funds awarded may be paid directly to a landlord.

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Cook County real estate attorney

There are a variety of complex legal and financial issues involved in a residential real estate transaction. Buyers and sellers will both need to meet multiple requirements, and as they get closer to the date where the transaction will be finalized, various concerns can arise that may affect the sale. Closing costs are one issue that the parties to a transaction should be aware of, and buyers and sellers should be sure to understand what costs they will be required to pay.

Typical Closing Costs

Multiple people or companies will be involved in a real estate transaction, and there are costs for the services they provide. These costs must usually be paid by the closing date. While certain costs may be assigned to the buyer or the seller, the parties may negotiate the terms of their purchase contract to address these issues, such as by agreeing that the seller will be responsible for paying certain costs that would usually be paid by the buyer.

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Cook County real estate attorney short sale

No matter how careful you are about managing your money, unexpected financial difficulties can arise that may cause you to be unable to pay your bills and cover your ongoing expenses. Currently, many people throughout the United States are struggling with financial issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have lost their jobs or who have faced additional expenses related to an illness may have trouble making mortgage payments, and defaulting on a mortgage may lead a lender to begin foreclosure proceedings. While the federal government has placed a moratorium on foreclosures for the time being, if you are unable to become current on your mortgage payments by the end of this moratorium, you may face the loss of your home. If you are unable to prevent foreclosure, you may be able to complete a short sale that will allow you to avoid owing additional money to your mortgage lender.

What Is a Short Sale?

In a short sale, you will sell your home for less than the total amount that is owed on your mortgage. This can be a good option if your home is “underwater,” meaning that you owe more money on the mortgage than the home is actually worth. Typically, your mortgage lender will need to approve a short sale, and they may do so if you can show that it will be more financially beneficial for them to allow this type of sale rather than pursuing foreclosure proceedings. 

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