Sewickley, LLC v Chicago Title Land Trust Co. (IL)

Summary: A partial appraisal by itself does not constitute a sufficient objection to a foreclosure sale.

Sewickley, LLC v Chicago Title Land Trust Co., 2012 Il App 112977, 974 NE2d 397, 362 Ill Dec 876 (1st D, 2012).

Facts: A loan secured by real estate was made to the defendant trustee in the amount of $975,000. After failing to make mortgage payments, the bank foreclosed on the property leaving a principal balance of $824,539.63. The trustee, as well as interested parties John Athans, Loula Athans, and The Lincoln restaurant were served according the circuit court’s General Administrative Order (GAO). The GAO allowed appointment of special process firms to handle service of process in order to deal with the high number of mortgage foreclosures. None of the defendants answered within the required 30 days. Approximately a month after the response was due; an attorney filed an appearance on behalf of the trustee, John Athans, and Loula Athans, as well as a motion to quash service. The motion to quash was denied.

The bank made a motion for default, and a motion to strike was filed in response. Additional time was given to file and answer the bank motion for default, however no answer was filed. The bank filed another motion for default, and again, extra time was given and there was no responsive pleading. On the bank’s third motion for default, the court entered a default judgment of foreclosure and sale. The bank transferred its interest to Sewickley, LLC. A judicial sale was held, and a single bid of $300,000 was placed by Sewickley.

After the sale, an additional appearance was filed on behalf of The Lincoln Restaurant with an identical motion to quash service. The motion was once again denied. Sewickley moved for an order approving the sale and an order for possession. The trustee, John and Loula Athans, and The Lincoln Restaurant (Athans) filed a motion for procedural due process and to void the foreclosure, the orders of default, and the judicial sale. Athans requested an extension and gave a cover page and a valuation page from and appraiser in support. Despite the extension, Athans did not file a response to the plaintiff’s motion.  After holding a hearing, the court granted an order in favor of Sewickley. Athans then filed a motion for rehearing and reconsideration, and, for the first time alleged that the bid at the judicial sale was an inadequate price. The motion for rehearing and reconsideration was denied because it was procedurally too late and substantively lacking.

Holding: Affirmed. The appellate court affirmed earlier holdings that General Administrative Order’s granting law firms handling mortgage foreclosures to designate special process servers based upon the fact that the mortgagor has no liberty or property interest in who serves them and their procedural rights are not violated by a GAO. Furthermore, Athans’ contest of the judicial sale was foreclosed upon because they had ample time to raise the defense after hearing that the sale had been approved, but did nothing more than attempt to delay it. The cover page plus the one page (out of 90) of the appraisal document is not a sufficient objection because it did not provide the entire report nor a testament from the appraiser certifying its authenticity. For these reasons the appellate court affirmed the holding of the lower court.


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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Wed, 10/10/2012 - 4:35pm