4 Ways A DUI Can Ruin Your Life

The state of Illinois arrested 21,735 drivers for suspected drunk driving in 2021, and the crime resulted in 330 fatalities that year. DUI is dangerous, and getting charged with this crime can cause you severe problems in many areas of life. However, with the help of skilled Naperville DUI lawyers at Covert Marrero Covert LLP, it is possible to have a positive outcome on your case. Learn more below about DUI consequences to your life, then speak to one of our attorneys for legal advice.

What Are Penalties In Illinois For A First-Time DUI Conviction?

The first way a DUI can ruin your life is by saddling you with a criminal record and the resulting penalties. A first-time DUI in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor, and your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year. You could receive up to a year in jail.

If your blood alcohol level (BAC) was more than .16%, you also must pay a minimum fine of $500 and complete 100 hours of community service. If a child under 16 was in the car you will pay at least a $1,000 fine and get up to six months in jail.

The criminal penalties for a DUI conviction are merely the start of your problems. If you are convicted, you face the following collateral consequences to your life:

Employment And Education Difficulties

Many people charged with DUI have difficulty finding or keeping a job. If convicted, you are even more likely to face employment problems. When an employer runs a background check, it is likely an arrest or conviction will appear on your record. Also, having your driver’s license suspended can impede your ability to get to work and may prevent you from working in driving-related occupations. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you risk losing it if you have a DUI conviction.

Next, your ability to get an education can be affected by a DUI charge or conviction. Certain educational institutions want you to have a clean record of attending their programs. If you are already enrolled, the school could suspend or expel you for a criminal charge.

Auto Insurance Premium Increases

If you are convicted, your auto insurance rates are sure to rise, and often by a significant amount. If your auto insurance is canceled, finding a replacement policy could be challenging.

Damaged Personal And Professional Relationships

People with DUI convictions are looked upon dimly in American society. Many people in your personal and professional circle may not want to associate as closely with you after a DUI conviction. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled DUI attorney, it is possible to fight a drunk driving charge and potentially beat it.

Charged With Drunk Driving? Contact Our Naperville DUI Lawyers Now

Few things can derail your life faster than a DUI conviction. Before you know it, you could be put behind bars, fined, and have your driver’s license suspended for drinking and driving. That’s why you need to enlist the Naperville DUI lawyers at Covert Marrero Covert LLP by dialing (630) 717-2783 now. Even a first offense is not something to take lightly, and our attorneys will strive to get your charge reduced or even dismissed.

Pros And Cons Of Buying Foreclosures

When a home is sold through a foreclosure auction, it means the owner could not keep pace with their monthly payments. After several missed payments, the lender can take possession of the home and sell it at auction. The purpose is to recover as much of the outstanding debt as possible on the home loan. Buying a foreclosed property for investment purposes means buying a home where the last owner did not pay mortgage payments, property taxes, or both.

If you are considering buying foreclosures for your next investment, the information in this blog post will be of interest. For help with buying foreclosures or other types of Illinois investment properties, our Illinois foreclosure attorneys can guide and advise you. Call today for a legal consultation at (630) 717-2783.

Pros Of Buying Foreclosures

There are several potential benefits of buying foreclosures as real estate investments. They are:

Lower Price

When the bank repossesses a home during a foreclosure, they are often motivated to sell it to reduce their losses. There may be an unpaid mortgage balance, outstanding property taxes, and other liens the lender had to pay off. Because the bank may want to recoup its losses quickly, you can purchase the asset at a lower price than similar homes in the community.

The price of the home also may be less than average because the property may not be in mint condition. Some foreclosed homes have not been kept up and may need substantial repairs. So, while you could get a lower price for the home, be prepared to spend money on repairs and renovation.

Investment Potential

Because the home is often cheaper, you can have a solid return on your investment. Foreclosure purchases are popular with house flippers who can purchase a home at a lower price and make the necessary repairs affordably. Then, they can sell it for a profit. But if you want to do this, it is vital to have a thorough understanding of the home’s condition, so make sure you pay for a complete home inspection before purchase.

Cons

Buying foreclosure can be a wise investment decision, but there are cons to consider. They are:

Timeframe Is Uncertain

Banks generally want to offload their foreclosed assets quickly, but the timeline to acquire a foreclosed can vary. Even if you are the only investor who makes an uncommon offer, the lender could have dozens of foreclosures. This means it could take weeks or months for the lender to sort through all of the information requests and offers. If you want to get the home quickly to turn a profit, you might need to wait longer than you prefer.

Home Condition

Foreclosed homes may not be in ideal condition. After all, if the owner could not afford the loan payments, they probably could not afford to keep the house in good repair. They also may not have had the time or energy to do the necessary upkeep and maintenance to keep the home in good condition.

Also, the home may have been vacant for months, so there could be even more run down. There also are the possibilities of squatters and vandalism. Ensure you understand the home’s condition and needed repairs before closing.

Investing In Real Estate? Our Illinois Foreclosure Attorneys Can Assist You

For assistance with investing in real estate, speak to one of our Illinois foreclosure attorneys at Covert Marrero Covert LLP today. Call (630) 717-2783 for a consultation about local real estate opportunities, including buying foreclosures. Our real estate attorneys have years of experience with all types of Illinois real estate transactions.

How To Prepare When You Know Divorce Is Coming

Getting a divorce is a complicated emotional process, but many people underestimate the legal and financial complexities. Between the stacks of paperwork, asset division, and potential disagreements about child custody and support, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But the tips in this article can help the divorce process go more smoothly.

If you have questions about divorce, our DuPage County divorce lawyers can help. Covert Marrero Covert LLP, routinely handles divorce and family law cases, such as contested and uncontested divorces, child custody and support, alimony, visitation, and prenuptial agreements.

Get A Divorce Attorney

You will need a DuPage County divorce lawyer when you are certain divorce is imminent. It is faster and less expensive if you and your partner can settle the divorce without litigation, often known as an uncontested divorce. Even if you have an uncontested divorce, you will likely need an attorney to handle the process.

Your attorney also can advise you about many critical divorce issues, such as whether it is worth going to court. For example, is it worth it if you want the Mustang in the divorce and it costs you $20,000 in legal fees to get it? On the other hand, spending thousands to get primary custody of your child is likely more important.

Some divorces can be settled with mediation, and your attorney can advise you. A third-party, objective negotiator handles mediation to settle the more contentious aspects of the divorce.

Collect Financial Information

The next step is understanding where you stand financially, which is critical for dividing assets during the divorce. Illinois is an equitable property division state, meaning that marital property is split equitably, not necessarily equally. An asset or debt is considered marital property if obtained after the marriage but before the divorce date. Some of the assets that you should think about to prepare for property division in divorce are:

  • The marital home
  • Other properties you own
  • Vehicles
  • Household goods
  • Retirement accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • Pensions
  • Investments
  • Life insurance policies

Your divorce attorney will help you understand which assets are subject to property division during the process. Some assets could be commingled – marital and separate property – and negotiations may need to be negotiated to divide these assets equitably.

Understand What You Owe

Marital debt is also split equitably in Illinois, so you must understand what you owe as a couple. Collect all account statements showing the balances due and give them to your attorney. This includes mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, etc.

Show Your Income

You must document the income for both parties. Assuming you are both full-time workers, paystubs and two years of income tax returns should suffice. Showing each party’s income will be important in determining if spousal maintenance will be paid.

Speak To Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Today

Following this blog post’s advice may ease the process if you are getting divorced. For case-specific information about divorce in Illinois, contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at Covert Marrero Covert LLP at (630) 717-2783.

How Does A Deficiency Judgment Impact Illinois Foreclosure?

Are you facing foreclosure in Illinois? The foreclosure process is complicated, and it can have financial consequences that last for years. In addition to issues related to foreclosure, the lender can get a deficiency judgment against you for the outstanding balance when the foreclosure is done. Learn about deficiency judgments in this blog post, and speak to our Illinois foreclosure attorneys today if you need assistance.

Deficiency Judgment Overview

In Illinois, the lender can ask the court to approve a deficiency judgment if they want to pursue you for what you owe after the home forecloses. The outstanding debts are supposed to come from the foreclosure sale proceeds. But if the sale amount does not cover the outstanding debt, you must pay what is left according to the deficiency judgment. Two kinds of deficiency judgments can be ordered in Illinois:

In Personam

This type of deficiency judgment is issued against the borrower. In this situation, you would be personally liable for the debt, which means the lender could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, or even seize your non-exempt assets.

In Rem

This type of deficiency judgment is passed on the property. This means that the borrower redeems the home by paying the balance to the lender with extra interest and fees. In this situation, the lender could put a lien on the home for the remaining debt.

For example, suppose you owe $500,000, and the house sells for $300,000, so the deficiency is $200,000. If the mortgage lender sues you and obtains an in personam or in rem deficiency judgment, you must pay them back. If you do not pay the judgment by shutting your bank account or generally refusing to pay, your lender may send a collection agency after you.

Fortunately, there are options if you are hit with a deficiency judgment. For example, the best choice is to file for bankruptcy when you get an in personam deficiency judgment. Chapter 7 is usually best because all of the debt is wiped out. If you file for Chapter 13, you must repay part of the debt with a repayment plan. Regardless, you should have an experienced attorney advising you.

It is hard to say if a lender will come after you for the deficiency amount. The lender may want to avoid lawsuit expenses and forgive some or all of your debt. But if the lender mails you a Form 1099-C, you must include the debt forgiven as income on your next tax return.

How Do You Find Out The Deficiency Type In Your Case?

The deficiency judgment will come at the foreclosure sale confirmation after the foreclosure sale. This occurs when the foreclosure is over. You should review the order confirming the sale to determine which type of judgment was ordered. The document should have a paragraph that describes the judgment type and how much the deficiency is.

Contact Our Illinois Foreclosure Attorneys Today

If you face foreclosure and have legal questions, you do not have to face your situation alone. An experienced attorney can help you get the answers you need. Contact our Illinois foreclosure attorneys at Covert Marrero Covert LLP for help at (630) 717-2783.

How Can I Protect My Home In An Illinois Divorce?

During an Illinois divorce, a typical disagreement is who gets the house. There is no rule about who gets the house in this situation, but there are ways that you can protect your home and other assets if divorce occurs. Learn more in this article, and speak to our DuPage County divorce lawyer to learn how to protect your assets in a divorce.

Protect Yourself With A Prenuptial Agreement

The first way to protect specific assets, such as a home, in a divorce, is to draft a prenuptial agreement before the marriage. A prenuptial agreement signed by you and your future spouse allows you to say which property, income, and debts are yours if the marriage ends. Any property, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, and real estate, that was yours before the marriage can be protected with a prenuptial agreement.

If the house you lived in with your spouse was in your name before the marriage, having a prenuptial agreement can be essential to protect it after a divorce. Your prenuptial agreement also can have terms about spousal support, including amounts and duration.

Talk to our DuPage County divorce lawyers today about drafting a prenuptial agreement to protect your home. If you are already married, you also can speak to your attorney about drafting a post-nuptial agreement. If your spouse signs, you can still ensure that a house you owned before the marriage remains yours if the marriage ends.

Keep Assets In Your Name Only

Suppose you owned the home before marriage, and you and your spouse moved into it after the wedding. If you want to protect the home in case of divorce, it helps to keep the property in your name. You should not transfer the house into your spouse’s name because it is potentially marital property at that point and is subject to division in a divorce.

You also should keep any bank accounts and retirement accounts in your name that you had before the marriage. By doing so, these assets should be protected in a divorce.

Other Ways To Protect Assets In A Divorce

There are other ways to protect assets after you are married. Some effective ways include:

Use Separate Bank Accounts

If you have joint bank accounts with your spouse, open accounts only in your name. But you should tell your spouse you have done this to coordinate your payments of monthly costs coming from the joint account.

Do Not Have Joint Credit Cards

If you have credit cards in both of your names, have your spouse help you pay them off and then close them. Only have credit cards in your name. Doing this makes it easier to determine what are marital debts and which are separate debts.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Today

If you owned the marital home before you were married, there are things you should do to protect it if the marriage ends. If you have questions about protecting your home and other assets during a divorce, contact our DuPage County divorce lawyer at Covert Marrero Covert LLP at (630) 717-2783.