“They don’t think there’s anything they can do to help themselves. They’re embarrassed. They think they have to dish out thousands of dollars for an attorney, and they can’t do that, so they just walk away.”
– Luz Ruiz-Echandy, a Harris Bank employee who tutors consumers on their finances, telling the Southtown Star how many Cook County residents who face foreclosure feel they have no options to fight it. However, the county, facing a growing number of foreclosure cases, is giving borrowers a chance to negotiate with their lender’s attorney or representative to try to rework their loan terms. Homeowners don’t need a lawyer in a foreclosure case. There is an appearance fee of $188, but defendants can seek a financial hardship waiver.
According to Action Now, a Chicago-based nonprofit group, of the 25,561 of last year’s 27,653 foreclosure judgments in Cook County were by default, meaning the borrower never showed up in court.