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Timeliness of a mortgage foreclosure proceeding

Kane County recently implemented a mortgage foreclosure mediation program to reduce the amount of Kane County mortgage foreclosure proceedings. This is because mortgage foreclosure proceedings impose an incredible time burden on the court system, lasting on average 647 days in Illinois.  

The lengthiness of the mortgage foreclosure process is due to the timing restrictions of the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law. 

Some simplified definitions for the reader – The mortgagee is the lender. The mortgagor is the borrower. 

Month one: The mortgagee files the Mortgage Foreclosure Complaint and serves the mortgagor with summons. Service of summons takes approximately 30 days.  

Month two: The mortgagor has 30 days to file an appearance or other pleading after service of summons. 

Month three: The mortgagee sets a Motion for Default hearing. Any hearing date is approximately one month later because the mortgagee must provide notice to the mortgagor and correlate the motion with the judge’s schedule. 

Months four through eight: The judge enters a Judgment of Foreclosure if the mortgagor fails to appear at the hearing. However, the mortgagor has the right to redeem the property. This redemption period for residential real estate ends seven months from the date the mortgagor was served or three months from the judgment, whichever is later. In this example, the right of redemption does not expire for another four months. 

Month nine: The mortgagee schedules the judicial sale (“Sale”) of the property for after the redemption period’s expiration. After the Sale, the mortgagee sets a hearing to confirm the Sale.    

Months 10 and 11: The judge confirms the Sale if proper notice of the Sale was given, the Sale’s terms were conscionable, and the Sale was not conducted fraudulently. The mortgagor may remain in possession for 30 more days. 

The above example is an approximate, best-case scenario for the mortgagee, and many reasons could delay the process. Multiply this process by thousands each year and it is easy to see how the mortgage foreclosure process overburdens the court system and could take almost two years to complete.

• Anthony Scifo is a resident of Kane County. He concentrates his practice in family law and divorce, general litigation, probate litigation, and personal injury. His goal with this column is to help educate the public regarding the court system and the law.


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