ARC Law Group, LLLP  
             5608 South Racine, Chicago, IL 60636
Telephone: 773/434-7904 Facsimile: 773/

Welcome  At ARC Law Group, we believe in empowering our clients by providing information on items related to our practice areas. Periodically, we will post those articles or news clips here.
Contact us if you have questions on any of these subjects.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?
Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program

Landlords and Rental Property

Lenders and Vacant Homes

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

Illinois Law  Grants New Powers for Landlords to Deal with Crime on Rental Property

Public Act 97-0236 allows landlords and municipalities the ability to deal with criminal activity on rental property. Now, landlords have to include new language in their lease or in an addendum which will allow the lease to be void if criminal activity occurs at the property. The law also allows landlords to assign their eviction rights to the local corporation counsel of a municipality if they feel that the tenant might retaliate.

Amended /Weakened Vacant Home Measures Passes City Council

The Vacant Home Measure passed in July 2011 held banks responsible for the maintenance of vacant properties, even before foreclosure.  The amendment requires banks to start maintaining vacant properties within 60 days of a default on a mortgage.  In addition to boarding up buildings, mowing the grass, and snow removal, banks are also required to post a sign on the property with the phone number of those responsible for the properties.

Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program 

Finally some downpayment assistance for homebuyers and not just first time homebuyers!  So, what is the program?  This is a pilot program that will provide up to $10,000 in downpayment assistance for buyers in the form of a loan that is foregivable after two years from the date of purchase.  The buyers will also get a thirty year, fixed rate mortgage to purchase the property.  Buyers must meet certain income requirements and must be purchasing vacant properties that are located in six Cook County suburbs that have a lot of foreclosures.  The suburbs included in the program are:  Berwyn, Maywood, Park Forest, Riverdale, Chicago Heights and South Holland.  There are limits on the purchase price. 

More information can be found at:

Reverse  Mortages

A reverse mortgage was very popular during the real estate boom years when the price of real estate kept escalating.  They are still used now but they are not as popular as before because you have to have equity in your home to qualify.  With home prices rapidly falling in many areas, those properties that contain equity are becoming increasingly rare these days.

Essentially, a reverse mortgage allows an individual over the age of 62 to covert part of the equity in their home into cash.  However, in order to do so the individual must reside in the home, own the home outright or have a low balance and sufficient enough equity in the home in order to qualify.  An appraisal is done to determine a value for the subject property.  When a value is determined, (and the person is otherwise qualified) the individual can then elect from different payment plans.  This means that they can elect to receive a monthly checks, installments or a combination of the two over their lifetime.  The loan is not obligated to be paid back until the owner dies, sells the home, or moves out of the home.  The important thing to note is that the debt is not passed on to an estate or to heirs.  It is advisable that individual considering a reverse mortgage consult with both an estate planning attorney and a real estate attorney in the state where the property is located prior to proceeding forward.

Home  Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

Just what is a HAFA Short Sale?  This program, started in 2009 was introduced to help home owners who were not able to keep their homes through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The HAFA program took effect on April 5, 2010 and expires in December 2012. 

The HAFA program provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. Any servicers that participate in HAMP are also required to comply with HAFA.  Although the program is voluntary, a majority of all banks participate in HAMP. ING Bank does not participate at this time.

Key components of the HAFA Short Sale Program:

- The short sale process is normally completed in 60 days or less from when an offer is submitted to the bank for review.
- It allows the buyers to receive pre-approved list prices from the bank prior to listing the property.
- It provides that borrowers can not be assessed a personal deficiency judgment, be obligated to sign a promissory note or be required to bring money to the table in order to close.
- Borrowers are given $3,000 to help for moving/relocation expenses at closing.
- It saves time and repetition in that the Borrower is allowed to use the information previously tendered for a HAMP modification for a HAMP short sale.


 What is a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure?

This is a process whereby the borrower returns back the property to the lender in exchange for a release from any personal deficiency judgment.  This is significant in that without the release, the lender is free to sell that deficiency judgment to a third party debt collector in the future.   A Deed in Lieu is only possible when there is one lien on the property or if there are multiple liens it can only be held by one lender.   Also, in order to pursue this avenue with a lender, a borrower normally has to have listed the property for sale from anywhere from 90-180 days.  Borrower must provide a good faith effort to sell the property.

Contact ARC Law Group for a confidential consultation or an appointment with one of our attorneys.  
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