A group of Chicago-area lawyers concentrating in real estate practice has formed the Association of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys to share information and better help clients facing questionable foreclosures. The association is the first of its kind in Illinois.
The group was established by Chicago area real estate attorney Erica Crohn Minchella in October in response to an unsettled foreclosure market. Thousands of foreclosure filings are now in question as a result of recent revelations of improper or incorrect paperwork by financial institutions using so-called “robo-signers.”
“We are looking specifically at the way Illinois courts view foreclosure issues, which is different than other states,” says Minchella. “We want help to communicate with local attorneys about how best to practice before the Judges located in Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake Counties.”
The 12-member group plans to meet monthly to share research, pleadings and strategies to reduce costs for individual clients. The association will also serve as a sounding board for complex tax situations, and ultimately hope to raise the level of practice before the court for both Plaintiffs and Defendants.
According to RealtyTrac, Chicago and its suburbs saw a 35 percent increase in foreclosures in the third quarter compared to a year ago. That’s the second highest jump in the country among metro areas. Chicago was also toward the top of the list of homes repossessed. Lenders took back more than 12,000 homes in the third quarter.
“There is a significant need to help homeowners. Our discussions will prepare each of our members to walk into a court as part of an organized group of lawyers who are grappling with the complex matters associated with foreclosure on a daily basis,” Minchella explains.
She adds, “Our intent is to follow sound legal practices and raise the level of dignity among those most impacted by the foreclosure crisis, instead of them being simply nameless and faceless homeowners.”
Minchella has practiced law for nearly 30 years, concentrating her time, talents and passion in assisting clients to get out of debt and build a strong financial future. Her field of expertise includes the spectrum of foreclosure defense, distressed property issues, short sale transactions and counseling clients in re-establishing their credit and becoming debt and mortgage free.
For additional information about the Association of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys, contact Minchella at [email protected] or 847.677.6772.