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RENTING IN CHICAGO? Landlord's Foreclosure Could Result in Your Eviction!


Do you rent your home or apartment?  Feel you're protected from the effects of foreclosure in today's depressed housing market here in Chicago?

Think again!

Often, property owners in distress rent out their homes, condos, or apartments to help pay their monthly mortgage if they can't sell their property outright.  Owners of larger apartment buildings may be susceptible to foreclosure if their vacancy rates get too high, or other aspects of their financial portfolio take a beating.

RealtyTrac, a firm that compiles foreclosure statistics nationally, estimates as many as 40% of all foreclosures involve rental property.

The Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing calculated the that eviction or displacement of 2,500 renters and their families are possible in Chicago this year.   Once the bank becomes the owner of the rental property in which you live, they can evict the tenants.  

This not only adds instability to the renter's living situation.  It can put their Security Deposit at risk as well.  Here in Chicago, across Illinois, and in other states, banks are not compelled to refund held security deposits for properties they acquire in foreclosure.

A newly-enacted Illinois law does provide a bit of protection, however.  According to Kathleen K. Clark, the Lawyer's Committee Executive Director.  "If the tenant wasn't named as part of the foreclosure filing and is being taken into eviction court, they must be given 90 days notice," she said. "It's not a tremendous help, but it does give them a little bit of time."

The law also provides for sealing and confidentially of all court records pertaining to a tenant evicted by the bank due to his landlord's foreclosure.  Law enforcement agencies and certain government entities would still have access to these court records.

In order to take advantage of the 90-day notice requirement, however, the tenants must be current in their rent, or have made good-faith, but unsuccessful, attempts to keep payments current.  This requirement prevents tenants who find about about their landlord's impending foreclosure to stop making their rent payments.

Read yesterday's column by Chicago Tribune Real Estate Editor Mary Umberger for more info.


Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 1:30 PM by Dean's Team


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