My landlord is walking away from his mortgage, how long until the bank forecloses and forces me to move out? how long do I continue to pay him?

Asked by KMG, Chicago, IL Mon Nov 12, 2012

Landlord stopped paying mortgage as of August 2012.
My current lease runs through Nov 2013, located in Chicago, Illinois

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Scott Newman, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Your question is a very complicated one and you should consult an attorney as your particular situation deserves an answer from someone who knows all the facts before giving advice.

I will tell you that if your landlord stops paying his mortgage tomorrow- because Illinois is a judicial state- you would be safe to assume you have at least 12 months and likely more- again no promises but that is what the statistics say.

After the 12 months- or whenever the bank completed their foreclosure- the home would go to Sheriff Sale at which point the bank would own it again.

The property would then go through redemption and confirmation periods- during which time the previous owner can buy the property back by paying what he owes plus penalties, fees, etc which never happens.

Once all this occurs- think something like 14-18 months in all but the rarest of cases- you then get a notice from the Sheriff on your door- it's a huge orange sticker- notifying you of the date you will be evicted.

In Cook County the Sheriff is running about 4 months from date of notice posting until actual eviction.

Again, definitely speak to an attorney because you have rights but knowing the process and how long things take should definitely put your mind at ease so I figured I'd take the time to give you the basics.

Scott Newman
Newman Realty
1 vote
Chris & Mich…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Mon Nov 12, 2012
How did you find out that the landlord has stopped paying the mortgage? foreclosure timeframes vary considerably based upon the state and the lender.
1 vote
Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun May 18, 2014
This may qualify as more of a rant than a direct answer, but one that may help tenants make an informed decision should they find themselves in this situaiton.

Working with multi-family buildings thoughout the northside of Chicago, I have seen so many multi-units where the owner is short selling and still collecting rent. These people should be locked up, the owners that is.

They can't feign innocence. Owning a two flat, or 4 flat, or any investment property, in Chicago, or elsewhere, is a business decision. You know how much you need to come up with monthly. Landlords are pocketing 1 - 3 years worth of rent while neglecting their mortgage which in turn negatively affects the market for everybody.

The behavior is despicable. Sure, there are members of the banking community that need a good dose of lock-up as well. But these landlords,who have often times stopped taking care of their buildings, still collect rent, and then when somebody wants to buy their short sale, they refuse to do anything to accommodate the sale.
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Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun May 18, 2014
You need to speak with an attorney and by doing so you will save a ton of money. It can take the bank 12mo or longer to finish the foreclosure process. Once the bank takes over they 'usually want you to move out so they can sell it and will almost always offer you CASH 4 to move out. You do not need to pay them anything, but best to speak with an attorney.
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Charles Edwa…, Both Buyer And Seller, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 5, 2012
Do you like the area? Would you stay Long term? If the answer is yes to these questions.Ask the
landlord to sell it to you.You can buy it subject to the existing mortgage.Forget the due on sale
clause that some will say kicks in.Find a RE broker,and a RE attorney ,they can make it happen.
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Ivan Sagel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Illinois is a judicial foreclosure state. The process can take 18-24 months. If it is a condo and the landlord is not paying the association fees, then the association can seize the unit after 6 months. Make sure the dues are getting paid or just pay them directly. I could also help your landlord with a short sale that would not damage his credit as much.

Talk to your lawyer about the risks and rewards of not paying your landlord.

Best of luck,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes
David Hanna, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012
This can become a very complicated issue, and my best advice it to start actions to end your tenancy. Ask your landlord if you can break the lease, and if there is no response or he says no, consult an attorney. You do not tell us how you know the landlord is "walking away", and there is quite a difference between that and being delinquent on the loan.
You are legally obligated to pay rent while you live there, regardless of those circumstances, unless the unit condition is uninhabitable or needs repairs.
There may be a better solution for the landlord/owner, a short sale that preserves your tenancy and let's them end their responsibilities with legal protection and possibly no financial consequences other than a hit to their credit.
We have been successful with this and it is a good option in today's environment.
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Jeff Stewart, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012

I feel everyone has given you really good info on how to proceed on your end but I would like to offer a different way of helping.

Do you really like the place you're in currently? If so, it makes me cringe when I hear a person walking away from their mortgage, resulting in foreclosure, when they can very easily explore the option of short selling their property making things much easier on you and your landlord. The reason it's easier on you is because you won't be forced out of your rental - if your landlord was to short sell the property we would market the property to Buyers who know you have a lease until November 2013. Legally the new owner would need to honor the terms of your lease which is why we would market the home to investors. Another thing is showings - obviously those can get a little annoying for a tenant who is being put in this situation beyond their control. What I would want to do is to price the property extremely well in order for us to go under contract quickly. I would also be able to restrict showings to certain days or certain hours that are convenient for you. I really feel going this route will make your life a lot less stressed because you at least know what's going on and there isn't as much uncertainty.

On your landlord's side short selling impacts his life much less than letting the property going into foreclosure. It can impact his credit much less, his finances and just his future because the ramifications of short selling are much less than foreclosing.

If your landlord is willing to try this out and make this work I would love to be the person to help you both out. Your zip code of 60616 gives me hope we can sell the property quickly now I just need to get started right away. Fortunately August 2012 wasn't long ago so we still have time to make this right!

Call or email me with any questions and please pass my information on to your landlord in order to get started.

Jeff Stewart
REALTOR®, @properties
3101 N. Greenview Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
309-269-3499 CELL | 773-305-0480 FAX
0 votes
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012
It can take about 1 yr from the time the process starts for the foreclosure to complete. Once that happens it can take the bank 1-2 months before they even contact you, via a R E agent, to get your information and usually offer you 'cash for keys'. They will pay you $$$ if you move within 30 days. If you do not acceot it then they start the eviction proces, but that takes about 3 months and then f you are still not out they go tot he sherif to throw you out, but that process takes anopther 3 months. None of this affects your credit so do not worry. You have plenty of time to stay and some of it will be rent free.
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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Tue Nov 13, 2012
I'd start looking for a new place now and would not hesitate to break your lease. As for how long will it take for the bank to foreclose it's hard to say for certain but you'll get a written notice of foreclosure delivered to the property at one point. I'd guess you have at least 3-4 months before you'd have to vacate.

I would suggest speaking briefly to an attorney regarding your walking away from your lease. I would continue to pay the rent while your there but would as I said start looking for a new place immediately and once I found it would not hesitate to simply move out and pay only for the time you were there. While you're obligated to pay the rent the owner is obligated to maintain the property that is the essence of the legal contract that exists between you and the owner. Failing to pay the mortgage is not maintaining the property and in my mind negates the lease agreement.
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Sohail Salah…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012

This is a very good question however there is no definite length of time. As of now, the time is averaging 1 to 5 years, depending on the bank and the owner's situation in an entirety. I recommend speaking to a good attorney who specializes in these issues. I worked with Patrick Joy with SPK Law many times and he has helped out a tremendous amount of my clients who are in the same situation as you are. Give him a call and see what he suggests.

Patrick Joy

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Group Founder

Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing

Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 

O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030

"Locally Known, Globally Recognized"
0 votes
Laura Meier, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Consulting with an attorney that can research where the property is at in the foreclosure process would be ideal, plus provide a strategy for how to handle your particular situation and the length of time you could stay in property! Here is a recommendation for an attorney that specializes in Landlord /Tenant disputes:

Richard Magnone
Reda Ciprian Magnone LLC

Please keep in mind that although the landlord may have stopped making the mortgage payment, it is necessary for you to keep making your monthly rental payment for various reasons. Legally the owner still owns the property not the bank. An attorney will provide the specific details for the reasons why necessary to keep current.

Laura Meier
Short Sale Specialist /Foreclosure Consultant
212 E. Ohio St.
Chicago IL 60611
Cell 312-282-2122
0 votes
Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Working with a lot of multi-units in Chicago, I feel like I see this problem routinely. What kills me are the tenants, especially in lower income areas, that tell me that the landlord still comes by to collect rent even though a notification of foreclosure proceedings has already been delivered. For all the heat the banks have taken in this fiasco, too little press has been given to the borrowers, including the landlords, that thought nothing of skipping months, or even years of payments for some imagined reason that they shouldn't have to pay because of declining property values.

Hopefully this background information will inform your decision.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Mon Nov 12, 2012
A couple of thoughts, first your obligation to pay rent is not dependent on his paying the mortgage. Your lease is a promise to pay, so unless they told you, preferably in writing not to pay anymore, don't think that withholding your rent won't expose you to an eviction.
Lenders are all over the map on how soon they will act. I know one owner going on 5 years without making a payment, others get action in 60-90 days.
If you want to break your lease and move, you may get break due to you the banks activities, so keep your eyes open for new places to rent. If things get at all difficult between you and your landlord, read over your lease, the Illinois Landlord Tenant Law and consider speaking with a Real Estate Attorney.
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I have actually seen cases be made by tenant's attorneys that the landlord not staying current on the mortgage has caused the loss of the quiet enjoyment of the property.

I am aware of a girl in Chicago who was a single mother and lived with her teenage son. The bank had people coming to the property all the time and the landlord wouldn't be honest with her and she freaked out because she had strange people coming onto her property without notice and moved.

The landlord tried to sue her and lost.
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Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Each one is different. I have seen it take 6 months to a few years. I would bet to say you would be fine. The bank will contact you if they are kicking you out. They have to serve you with ample notice.
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Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
The foreclosure process may take well over a year for it to be finalized. You have a lease and you are obliged to pay him according to terms of the lease. Do you still want to live there? If not, talk to the owner about amicably leaving.
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jeff donnell…, Agent, Saint Charles, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Foreclosures in Chicago/ Illinois take any where from 6-18 months and some times more. The bank that forecloses can not evict you if you have a valid lease.
0 votes
Sari Levy, Agent, Addison, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
From the time the bank files a Lis Pendens it can take 2 years in Illinois. But individual results may vary.
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