In response to the foreclosure crisis, the Illinois Supreme Court has adopted three new rules which it believes will better protect homeowners facing foreclosure. These rules, while potentially beneficial to debtors, should be understood and complied with by lenders in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the foreclosure process.

First, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 113 establishes new evidentiary and notice requirements for residential foreclosures. Under new Rule 113, lenders are now required to attach to the Complaint a copy of the note signed by the debtor and all endorsements or contracts evidencing the chain of ownership of the note and mortgage. This rule seeks to curb the confusion which often results from the frequent transfer of mortgages. In addition, Rule 113 requires that lenders: (i) submit a prove-up affidavit; (ii) draft and submit notices of default judgments to the clerk for mailing to the defaulted parties; and (iii) mail notices of the foreclosure sale to the debtors at least 10 days prior to sale (in addition to advertising the sale).

Second, in the event a debtor appears in court or files an answer to a foreclosure complaint, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 114 requires that lenders file a Loss Mitigation Affidavit prior obtaining a Judgment of Foreclosure. The Loss Mitigation Affidavit should set forth any types of loss mitigation which apply to the subject mortgage, what procedures have been taken to offer the loss mitigation to the debtors, and the status of any ongoing loss mitigation efforts.

Finally, the new Illinois Supreme Court Rules contain set guidelines for Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Programs. These programs are only applicable to residential foreclosures. Although counties in Illinois are not required to offer mediation for residential foreclosures, in the event they elect to do so, the programs will be governed by the procedures set forth in Rule 99.1. Lenders in Central Illinois should note that Peoria County is one of the 6 counties in Illinois which has adopted mandatory mediation for residential foreclosures. As a result, lenders moving against residential property in Peoria County should familiarize themselves with the mandatory mediation process. For additional information Peoria County's mandatory mediation procedure, please visit the Peoria County website, or click on the following link:

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The VanFleet Law Firm has a strong history in Commercial Litigation, Banking Law and General Business Law matters. Founded by Joseph VanFleet in 1998, the practice has grown and flourished over the years thanks to the talent, expertise and tenacity of the VanFleet legal team. Today, it provides counsel to a broad range of local, regional, national and international clients.

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