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Understanding Foreclosure Defense: An Interview with James Calvo of Calvo Law Offices PC

By James Calvo

Please tell us a little bit about your firm and the areas of law that you practice.

Calvo Law Offices, P.C. was founded in 2010 with the mission of providing competent and aggressive representation to homeowners in or at risk of foreclosure. While our law practice concentrates solely on residential mortgage foreclosure defense in Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties, the services of our office span over a myriad of related fields. Since its inception, Calvo Law Offices, P.C. has expended its services to include loan modifications, bankruptcy and settlement negotiation.

When do you consult with a lawyer about a possible foreclosure?

We would recommend that if you are experiencing difficulties making mortgage payments or have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, you should contact a foreclosure attorney to discuss your options. Contrary to popular belief, you have options.

If your loan is in default and the lender is threating to or has already initiated the foreclosure process, you should seek advice from a foreclosure attorney. The sooner in the foreclosure process that you take action, the more options you have.

As a practical rule in our office, we will meet with a potential client as long as there has not been a judgment of foreclosure and sale entered against the homeowner.

What are the most crucial things homeowners need to know when their home is being foreclosed?

One of the most common misconceptions about the foreclosure process is that the lender can evict the homeowner, or that they will have to leave the property within a certain period of time. Many potential clients express their concern over being evicted any day or sharing stories such that the lender changed the locks while homeowners were away.

While such horror stories may be shared and talked about on the internet, the lender does not have the right to change the locks or evict someone, without obtain the possessory rights to the property, and in Illinois this can only be done through the judicial foreclosure process.

What are the options available to help homeowners keep their home (or reduce their losses)?

There are many alternatives to foreclosure. A homeowner, often times can apply for a loan modification, which would modify the terms of the loan in order to bring the payments to a manageable level.

If the homeowner does not wish to retain possession of the property, a common alternative to a foreclosure is a short sale. If the property is worth less than the amount of the mortgage, a short sale is a viable option. A short sale is a process where the borrower applies with the lender for permission to sell the property for an amount lesser than the balance due. If approved, the lender will allow the homeowner to sell the property for its current fair market value and will agree to waive the remaining balance due.

Lastly, another alternative to a foreclosure is a Deed in Lieu or Consent Foreclosure. If the homeowner simply wants to "let the property go", the lender will often times accept what is called a Deed In Lieu, wherein the homeowner gives the lender a deed to the property and the lender waives any claims against the homeowner. Another variation of this option is the Consent Judgment, wherein once a foreclosure action has been initiated, the homeowner can agree not to contest the action and voluntarily enter a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale, turning the property over to the lender.

Because the Deed in Lieu or Consent Judgment option expeditiously resolve the matter, the homeowner can often times negotiate a cash payment from lender for the relocation costs.

What can people do if a lender doesn't comply with all of the foreclosure requirements?

Illinois is a state that mandates that all foreclosure must be completed through the judicial process. This requires that the lender comply with pertinent law and regulations. However, this is not always the case.

The most important part is that the homeowners must know their rights. For example, Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the borrower has the right to request that the lender or its collection agency cease contacting the borrower directly. Oftentimes, big banks and collection agencies verbally abuse borrowers and fail to heed requests to cease communication. In such cases we bring counterclaims suing respective lenders for such violations, in order to ensure that our clients' rights are respected throughout the process.

What is your best and favorite advice to give your clients (homeowners) during the foreclosure process?

To carefully consider all options available, to make the best strategic and economic decisions possible and to avoid emotional decisions.

What's the best way for people to contact your firm?

You can contact Calvo Law Offices, P.C. by visiting out website at; via email to or by calling our office at (630) 857-3788. We offer free initial consultation for all potential clients.

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About The Author

James W. Calvo is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois with a B.S. in...

Phone: 630-857-3788

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