About the Firm

Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, we offer a free initial consultation.

What are your qualifications?

I am a licensed attorney with over 20 years of litigation experience, with well over 50 jury trials, in Lake Cook and the collar counties.

What practice areas does your law firm handle?

We practice primarily in criminal law and Foreclosure defense.

General Law and Criminal Defense

Do I need a lawyer at my arraignment?

Yes. The rules of the legal system are complex and become more complex with each passing year. Arraignments are intimidating, can involve different issues depending on the type of case and the courts, prosecutors and clerks are not obligated to offer any help or advice

Can't I represent myself in my case? Why would I hire a lawyer?

Yes, you have the right to represent yourself. Court rules, rules of evidence and the court system is better handled by trained, seasoned professionals who know the system, issues and defenses that are not obvious to the average citizen. Laws are written to be understood by lawyers and just like doctors, it is not wise to work on yourself.

How should I assert my right to remain silent if questioned by the police?

In a civil and forthright manner inform the police officer or law enforcement official that I am invoking my right to remain silent and demand to speak to my attorney. IMPORTANT POINT: You have a right to remain silent, not to give false information. Giving law enforcement false information is a separate offense and can make a petty offense into something more serious.

What is the process after I am charged with a crime?

A bond will be set depending on the severity of the allegations. This is either a pre-determined amount for common offenses (DUI or fist-fight), for more serios allegations, set in court before the bond court judge who determines bond based upon the allegations, defendants prior history and connection to the community.

If I was pulled over and forced to answer questions at a road block, is that legal?

Road blocks are legal but no one should ever be force to answer questions. The right to remain silent applies. Again, remain silent, do not give false information.

Is there a difference between probation and parole?

Yes. Probation is a sentence that generally avoids jail and has terms such as regular meetings with probation officers, public service hours, fines, court costs, limits of leaving the state and the like. Parole is the monitoring of a person after their release from prison for a pre-determined amount of time.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A text book definition is that a misdemeanor has a maximum potential sentence of 1 year (or less) in the local county jail. A felony has a minimum potential penalty of 1 year in prison (Illinois Department of Corrections) all the way up to natural life.

Is there a difference between a dismissal and an expungement?

Yes. A case can be dismissed for a number of reasons. A dismissed case remains on the record (kept by the clerk of the circuit court). This record will reflect that the case was filed and dismissed. That information is open to the public. An expungement, if granted, removes the entire record from the public eye.

Will my case go to trial?

An overwhelming majority of cases do not go to trial. This is because the court system does not have the resources to take every case to trial, hence, offers to reduced sentences, reduced fines, probation, etc . . . Every person is entitled to trial if they so choose.

Are lawyer results guaranteed?

Never. Each case has its own set of facts and circumstances that set it apart from others. Results cannot be guaranteed. Lawyers are skilled at reading the situation and finding those special facts or nuances. That is not to say that certain types of cases do not lend themselves to common results and a good lawyer will know when, and when not to, seek those results.

I plan on pleading guilty; do I still need a lawyer?

Yes. It is a common misconception that pleading guilty means you do not need a lawyer. While this is true, courts for the more serious allegations likely will not accept a plea of guilty without the accused consulting a lawyer. What is not well known is that while a court is interested in guilt, it also must judge punishment. This phase is often overlooked by the public. Justice does not only concern guilt, but the punishment must fit the crime and not consulting a lawyer leaves a person open to serving a harsher sentence than is fitting for the circumstances.

Should I take a plea bargain if offered?

This depends on the circumstances. A good lawyer will recognize a good offer from a bad one. Prosecutors are interested in guilt and often evaluated on their conviction rates. They are also prideful about the sentences handed down and by not consulting an attorney, the accused could accept a "bad" offer and wind up serving a harsher sentence than fits the crime.

Foreclosure

What is a Residential Foreclosure?

A Residential Foreclosure is a lawsuit brought by a lender (usually a bank or Trust) seeking to get possession of your home and force a sale to pay off the balance of the loan.

What do I do if someone comes to my home and gives me lawsuit papers?

The best option is to accept the papers and consult a lawyer. Refusing the papers will not stop the foreclosure from moving forward because the lender's lawyers will convince the court you knew you had to be in court.

How is a foreclosure started?

The lender files a summons and complaint with the court which is given to the sheriff or process server to serve on the homeowner.

Will I receive anything in the mail before a lawsuit is filed?

Yes, almost all mortgages require a letter to be sent to the homeowner giving them a "grace period" to get caught up. This letter will come in the regular mail, in a very bland envelope and look like junk mail. The lender is hoping you throw it away.

If I am behind in my house payments, is there anything I can do?

Contacting your lender right away can forestall a foreclosure but it depends on the lender and nothing is guaranteed.

How many payments can I miss before there is a foreclosure?

Generally, after the third missed payment the lender sends the case to the lawyer to file suit.

I received a letter stating I am in default. What does this mean?

This means you have not appeared in court and the lender does not have to prove you owe the money. This makes it very easy to then prove damages and seek possession of the home.

If I receive a default letter, is it too late to do something?

No. Under Illinois law a default can be fixed but it becomes more and more difficult the longer you wait to convince the court to allow you to fight it.

Do I have to go to court?

Yes and no. If no one appears the court can find the homeowner in default. This will not happen if you or your lawyer appears.

What do I do at court?

The reason for a court appearance is too varied to fully explain here. Consult with an attorney.

Can I represent myself?

Yes. You have a right to represent yourself. The court, the lender's lawyers and even the courtroom clerks are forbidden to give you legal advice.

If I do not have a lawyer, what will happen with my foreclosure case?

If you or your lawyer fails to appear after the homeowner receives the summons and complaint, the homeowner will be found in default, a judgment will be entered, and the home scheduled for a sheriff's sale in a matter of months.

How can lawyer help me in my foreclosure case?

A lawyer will review your case for any possible defenses. A lawyer should use all legal means to move your case along the path agreed upon with the homeowner (whether deed-in-lieu, modification, short sale) to avoid the worst-case scenario, sale and eviction.

How much will an attorney cost me?

Legal fees will vary from attorney to attorney. Our philosophy is that the fees should never exceed per month what one would spend on a two-bedroom apartment in the same area.

Are there alternatives to foreclosure?

Yes. Because foreclosures are down in number (but still large as compared to before 2008) banks now seem more willing to work with homeowners. Such resolutions include deed-in-lieu, cash-for-keys, consent judgment, modification and short sale. But keep in mind, the court case will still move along toward judgment and sale if no one appears in court.

Does bankruptcy stop a foreclosure?

No. As soon as a homeowner files for bankruptcy, the lender will go to the bankruptcy court and that court will instruct the lender to stop seeking money from the homeowner but will give them the right to still seek possession of the home. The foreclosure case will then proceed toward judgment. This can happen as soon as 30 days after the homeowner files for bankruptcy.

How does a foreclosure affect my credit?

There is no doubt a foreclosure damages your credit as soon as it becomes known the homeowner is getting sued. There are options after foreclosure to improve credit, often better than it was before the suit. Good credit repair can make someone eligible for a mortgage within a few short years after foreclosure. Our office works closely with firms that do a very good job with credit repair.

Should I speak with my lender?

A homeowner can speak with their lender but will often stop after encountering layers and layers of bureaucracy. Some lenders will stop speaking with a homeowner after a case has been filed and you have to go through its lawyers.

If I am speaking to my lender, can they still sell my house?

YES. The most used tactic is the lender engaging the homeowner in negotiations (usually asking for the same document time and time again). The lender's lawyers are often paid by the judgment they get so they will pursue the case in court to judgment even when the homeowner believes they will stop.

What is a judgment?

A judgment is a court decision. In this case, it is a judgment against the homeowner that they owe money and the lender can sell the home.

I received a letter that I have a judgment against me. What does this mean?

That the court has decided against you. The lender can now seek payment and sell your home. Under Illinois law this can be revered but the longer on waits the less likely the court will rule in your favor.

Is it too late to do anything after the judgment?

If it is a judgment from a default (did not show up for court) this can be reversed if done very, very soon. The longer one waits the less the court will grant it. If the judgment is handed down by a summary judgment motion, the courts will not vacate it. Seek and attorneys advice on the difference of the two kinds of judgment.

How long before the bank can sell my house?

90 days after judgment the home will be sold at sheriff's sale.

**the information posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an attorney-client relationship