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Foreclosure Questions and Answers


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Common Questions About

What is the difference between and other foreclosure web sites?
  • Local – is based out of Chicago and has a recorder for every county courthouse we cover.
  • Current – our local presence allows us to offer the most current foreclosure, auction, REO, and tax sale/tax lien listings.
  • Comprehensive – our recorders provide our subscribers with data no other services can provide; a change in status due to the day’s auctions results, secondary liens and mortgages on properties, and comments relating to important items our recorders find in the files.
  • Easy to Use – we created with the investor in mind. We made a full service site where you can do all of your research in one place leaving you more time to make money and spending less time looking for the deals.
What if I have a question about investing in foreclosures or about using your site?
  • Customer Service – our live chat and customer service is provided by local foreclosure investors who can answer your questions about the local market.
How can I learn more about investing in foreclosures in Illinois?
  • Seminars – our seminars are not classes taught by gurus from some other state in order to sell expensive books or CDs. Our seminars are taught by local foreclosure investors who teach you the real step-by-step mechanics of making money in the Illinois foreclosure market. To learn more about our seminars go HERE.
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Common Questions on How to Use

How do I start?
  • Sign up for any of the subscription plans and find out just how many opportunities exist in the foreclosure market. Start by choosing an area you are interested in and search for properties in that area by city, zip or county. When you find a property you are interested in save it to the ‘My Listings’ page, your own unique database of properties you are tracking. Use our mail merge tool to get in contact with the homeowner by mail and don’t give up!
What information do you provide about the property?
  • No one offers more property details than our service including: owner of record, mortgage information, secondary liens and mortgages, property sq.ft., comparable properties, MLS, pictures when available, mapping, title searches and more.
What is the ‘Or. Amount’ on the search page?
  • The Or. amount is the original loan amount of the mortgage when it was first taken out.!
What is the ‘balance due’ on a property and why is it larger/smaller than the ‘or. amount’?
  • The ‘balance due’ on the property is the amount of the foreclosing mortgage due when the foreclosure or judgment for auction is entered. This is a dynamic figure that may increase/decrease with made and missed payments and legal fees.
How can I learn more about using your site and investing in foreclosures?
  • offers seminars which teach investors how to take advantage of one of the most dynamic growing sectors of the real estate market. For more information visit our Seminars Page.
How do I cancel your service?
  • To cancel your subscription to
    • Visit the ‘My Profile’ page
    • Click on the ‘cancellation’ button
    • You will receive an email confirmation.
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Support and System Requirements

Minimum system requirements for
    We provide a very detailed information on each property, so in order for it to be seen properly we do have some minimum system requirements:
  • Preferable Display Resolution: 1024x768. If your monitor is set for a lower resolution, please check to see if you can simply change the settings.
  • Adobe Flash Player™ 9. The Adobe Flash technology is installed in 98% of all web browsers and it provides for a higher level of interactivity than a web browser alone.
  • Javascript™ Enabled. ILFLS uses a lot of modern features on technology which require use of JavaScript to be seen properly. Please check whether you have JavaScript enabled in your browser.
  • Browsers. We highly recommend the use of Firefox Browser. ILFLS is optimized to work with the other modern browsers as well. Please have your Browser updated to the latest stable version, especially if you are using Internet Explorer 6 and below. Please contact us if you are having problems with accessing the site and also please refer to our Developer Blog for more information.
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Common Questions about Foreclosures:

Are the properties listed on your site for sale?
  • The properties on our site represent different stages of the foreclosure process. Properties that are in the auction stage may be bid on at the auctions. Properties in REO are owned by the bank whom you must contact about the property. The bank’s information is provided on our property ‘details’ page. Properties in foreclosure may be purchased by contacting the homeowner. To learn more about the stages of foreclosure go HERE.
What is a foreclosure?
  • When a homeowner defaults on his/her mortgage and misses payments the bank files a ‘lis pendens’ against the homeowner. In Illinois, the process is a ‘judicial’ foreclosure, which means that the foreclosure process goes through the courts. The foreclosure process can last up to a year or more
How can I purchase a foreclosure and who do I contact?
  • Until a property is sold at the auction, the property is under the control of the homeowner so they are the person you must contact. In order to contact the homeowner investors send letters, postcards and directly contact the homeowner. provides an easy to use mail merge and sample letters for our subscribers. The strategies are discussed in depth at our monthly seminars which are FREE to new premium subscribers to our service. Learn more
How do I know how much the properties are worth?
  • On our property details page we provide not only a list of comparable properties that have sold in the area, but an option to ‘Search the MLS’ directly on our site.
Can I save the properties that I am interested in?
  • subscribers may save properties of interest into the ‘My Listings’ page which is the subscriber’s own unique database of properties they are tracking. From the ‘My Listings’ we offer a convenient mail merge to send letters to the homeowners.
What else should I know about foreclosures?
  • Foreclosures represent an incredible opportunity for real estate investors. Our site receives over 4000 new foreclosures every month in the Chicagoland area. The successful investor knows that it is a numbers game when contacting homeowners in foreclosure and although it may take a little bit of time to get your first deal, when it does it will really payoff and other deals will soon follow. So don’t give up!!
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Common Questions about Auctions:

When and where do the auctions take place?
  • When you find a property with an ‘auction’ status on our site just click on the ‘details’ button. Our details page provides the time, date and location of the county auctions. You can also get a free list of auctions the day before the auction on our site. However our subscribers get the lists of auctions weeks, sometimes months before the actual auction.
How do I buy properties at the auctions?
  • Properties at the auctions go to the highest bidder. In order to bid you must bring a certified check for 10-25% (depending on the type of auction) of the final bid amount at the auction. The entire amount is due within 24hrs of the auction. A majority of the auctions only ask for 10% of the final bid amount, however if you see ‘judicial sales’ corporation they ask for 25%. To learn more go to Illinois Auctions.
What will be the opening bid at the auction and how do I know how much money to bring?
  • The opening bid at the auction is determined by the plaintiff and is usually within 10% of the ‘balance due’ amount listed on our site. In order to ensure that you have enough to bid on a property investors bring several smaller certified checks up to the maximum amount they are willing to bid.
Can I still contact the homeowner if it is before the auction date?
  • Up until the day the property is sold at the auctions you may still contact and purchase the property from the homeowner. This can be a good strategy considering that ‘time is of the essence’ for the homeowner when they have an auction date looming.
Is there a lot of competition at the auctions?
  • Depending on the county there may be many people bidding on the same properties but that is not to say there are not opportunities at the auctions. However, the most common results at the auction are that the property goes back to the plaintiff, the bank REO, or is cancelled.
Why do auctions get cancelled?
  • An auction may get cancelled because of several different reasons:
    • The homeowner pays the bank back the money owed and gets their loan reinstated.
    • The homeowner refinances the property.
    • Bankruptcy cancels the auction.
    • The sale of the property to a third party.
    • The bank and the homeowner arrange a repayment program.
What else should I know about auctions?
  • Auctions represent an incredible opportunity for real estate investors but it is important to have time to analyze the properties. lists auctions on our site weeks, sometimes months before other services. In addition, if an auction gets continued, cancelled or becomes an REO, we list the auction results on our site first. To learn more about auctions you can attend one of our seminars.
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Common Questions about REOs:

What is an REO?
  • An REO is simply a bank owned property. When the homeowner cannot make payments on a property and it is not sold at an auction the property reverts back to the bank. An REO may also occur when a homeowners gives the ‘deed in lieu of foreclosure’ to the bank; this occurs when the homeowner cannot make payments but does not want to go through the foreclosure process so they ‘hand over’ the deed to the bank.
Who do I contact to purchase an REO?
  • The bank or the realtor handling the property for the bank should be contacted. The bank’s contact information is listed on our property details page.
Where are the listings of REOs?
  • lists the REOs on our site months before other services in our easy to search database of thousands of REOs. As soon as a property goes back to the bank at an auction the REO status is immediately updated on our site; no other foreclosure listing service comes close to how ‘current’ our REO listings are.
What else should I know about REOs?
  • It is important to contact the bank or the realtor handling the REO for the bank very soon after a property goes to REO. The bank is not in the business of holding onto properties and just wants to recoup some of the money from the ‘non-performing’ loan. If there is a deal to be had the chances are whether it’s through the bank or on the MLS through a realtor the property may sell fast. The key is to find out about the property as soon as it reverts back to the bank.
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ILFLS Web Tutorials

ILFLS Account Management Features

In this short introduction we show how to login to ILFLS, where to go to manage your account and add more services.

Read more and post comments on our Developer's Blog

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How to search for Pre-foreclosures with additional criteria

In this tutorial we go over some of the search approaches when using We do a sample search by multiple zips and property type. After that we save the search and save the records in the My Listings page for additional research and review.

Tutorial 3: How to Print the coming Auctions Lists - 1

In this tutorial we cover the basic Auction Print functionality. Search, save and export your list to the Printer. In later sessions we'll show how to do this using My Listings and the Download Feature. If you are eager to find out how this can be done please contact us or comment on the blog item for this Topic

Tutorial 4: How to Print the coming Auctions Lists - 2

This feature allows the user to prepare a list of the coming auctions in ready to print format. If you are eager to find out how this can be done please contact us or comment on the blog item for this Topic

Read more and post comments on our Developer's Blog

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Tutorial 5: How to use the Mail Merge tools on - 1

This feature allows the user to prepare a list of selected addresses and to Mail Merge them using the online tools on

Read more and post comments on our Developer's Blog

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