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Homeowner Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Sheriff’s Office provide legal advice?

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not provide legal advice. The Sheriff’s Office may provide information about its policies and procedures for Foreclosures/Judicial Sales. This should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions related to legal issues, contact an attorney or visit the 19th Judicial Circuit’s Center for Self Representation in the William D. Block Memorial Library in the Lake County Government Building, 18 N. County Street, Waukegan, Illinois.

My home is in foreclosure. How long before I have to move out?

The court has to order the property to be sold. The court document ordering the property to be sold is known as a Judgment of Foreclosure and is signed by a judge. The Judgment of Foreclosure is necessary in order for a foreclosure sale to take place. Next, the lender schedules a sale with the Sheriff’s Office. In most cases, there is a 30 to 90 day period after the Judgment of Foreclosure is signed by a judge, before the sale can be scheduled. This 30-90 day period is known as the redemption period. The redemption period provides homeowners the opportunity to apply for a loan modification or other financial agreement with the lender. After the foreclosure sale takes place, the lender’s attorneys return to court to get the sale approved. The judge signs the Confirmation of Sale at the final court hearing. The deed to the home is then issued to the lender or purchaser. A homeowner is provided a minimum of 30 days following the Confirmation of Sale before an eviction can take place. If the homeowner refuses to leave the property, the lender or purchaser may schedule an eviction with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Why isn’t the lender returning my calls?

The lender has taken legal action against you and has entered a lawsuit to take your property. Please consult the loss mitigation department of the attorneys representing the lender for more information. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office cannot contact a lender on your behalf to negotiate a loan.

Whom can I call for legal assistance?

There are several local attorneys specializing in civil law. The Lake County Bar Association may be contacted at 847.244.3143. Prairie State Legal Services is a local organization offering free legal advice for low-income persons and/or senior citizens and may be contacted at 847.662.6925.

A letter was sent informing me that my house will be sold at a Sheriff’s Sale. Do I have to attend the sale?

Please consult with your attorney. Details of the sale are posted on our website. If there is a winning bid listed on our website, the property did go to sale. If the winning bid is greater than the Plaintiff’s bid (also known as the opening bid), then a third party bidder may have purchased the property from the lender. If the winning bid is the same amount as the Plaintiff’s bid, then the lender takes possession of the property. The sale will still have to be approved by the court.

The original sale date for my house was changed to a different date. What does that mean?

The sale was postponed to a future date at the request of the lender. Only the lender can authorize a sale to be continued.

Do I have to move out of my home the same day it is sold?

No, you do not. Once the sale is complete, the lender’s attorneys must go back to court to get the sale approved in a Confirmation of Sale hearing. When the sale is approved by the judge, the deed to the home is issued to the lender or third party bidder. A homeowner is provided a minimum of 30 days after this final court date before an eviction can take place. If you would like to attend the final court date, please call the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 847.377.3380 to find out the date and time of the hearing. The sale confirmation hearing will take place at the County Board Room (CBR) located on the 10th floor of the Lake County Courthouse at 18 N. County Street in Waukegan.

Someone from the lender’s office called and told me I have to move out even though the Sheriff’s sale did not occur yet. Do I have to move out immediately?

No, you do not have to move out of your home before the sale takes place. As previously stated, you are not required to move out of your home until after the judge confirms the sale in court. Typically, homeowners are given a minimum of 30 days after the confirming sale hearing, before they have to move out. Note: Only the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has the authority to conduct an eviction.

Can the Sheriff cancel my sale?

No, the Sheriff’s Office does not have the authority to cancel or stop a sale. Only your lender can request to stop or cancel a sale, or a court order signed by a judge indicating a sale be stopped or cancelled.

The house I am renting is in foreclosure. What can I do? Do I still have to pay the rent?

If you have legal questions, you should contact an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may contact Prairie State Legal Services or the 19th Judicial Court’s Center for Self Representation.

The lender called and said my house is in foreclosure, but I do not see my property listed on your website. How do I find out if my house will be sold?

If you do not see your house listed on the website, the case may still be in court. Once the judge approves the lender’s case against you, court documents will be sent to the Sheriff’s Office directing that a sale be scheduled. If you would like to find out the court status of your property, please call the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 847.377.3380.

Whom can I call for assistance?

Tenant(s)s seeking assistance with food, shelter and medical services may view the Family Crisis Services Brochure or connect with www.FindHelpLakeCounty.org.


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