Bulletin: SA2011006

Date:
March 31, 2011
To:
All Illinois Issuing Offices
RE:
Special Alert - Illinois Mortgage Foreclosures by Fisher and Shapiro, LLC

Dear Associates:

On March 2, 2011, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois County Department, Chancery Division issued General Administrative Order No. 2011-01 (the "Order") relating to altered affidavits in connection with pending foreclosures handled by the law firm of Fisher and Shapiro, LLC. A copy of the Order is attached to this Bulletin. Click here to access a copy of the Order. Order

The Order states that representatives from the law firm of Fisher and Shapiro reported to the Circuit Court of Cook County that affidavits filed in pending mortgage foreclosure cases by the law firm of Fisher and Shapiro were altered without the affiant's knowledge. Fisher and Shapiro notified the Court that approximately 1700 foreclosures are pending in which an altered affidavit was filed with the Court. These cases are in various stages of the foreclosure process.

The Order stayed all pending mortgage foreclosure cases in which Fisher and Shapiro filed an altered affidavit. A list of pending foreclosure cases identified by Fisher and Shapiro in which altered affidavits were filed was attached to and incorporated into the Order. The stay applies to all identified cases as well as unidentified cases in which affidavits were altered. A copy of the Attachment to the Order is attached to this Bulletin. Click here to access the Attachment. Attachment

The Order prohibited Fisher and Shapiro from proceeding with any of its pending foreclosure actions set forth in the Attachment. The law firm was ordered not to seek any order in any such pending case, including but not limited to, any default, summary judgment, judgment of foreclosure, or order approving sale, or proceed to sale in any of the affected foreclosures, until certain remedial actions were taken, as set forth in the Order. These required actions include, at a minimum, the following motions with respect to each stayed case: a Motion to Vacate Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale; a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Affidavit, including the amended affidavit; a Motion to Vacate Judicial Sale (if the sale has occurred); a Motion to Lift the Stay (with averment regarding the most recent affidavit filed with the Court); and a Motion to Vacate Confirmation of Sale, if applicable. These motions must be filed in all cases, including those cases which have gone to sale, the sale has been confirmed, and the successful purchaser has not yet taken possession. The Order contained additional requirements regarding notice to affected parties, including third party purchasers and tenants, if known. The Order also applies to any successor law firm or any law firm substituting for Fisher and Shapiro.

In light of the foregoing, all issuing offices are instructed not to accept any orders or close any transactions involving foreclosures handled by the law firm of Fisher and Shapiro, LLC or the sale of REO property acquired through foreclosures handled by Fisher and Shapiro, LLC, without the written approval of a Stewart Legal Services representative. This includes, but is not limited to, the properties listed on the Attachment to the Order. Attachment Please note that the Attachment, in pdf format, may be searchable by typing in the name of the lender and borrower in the "Find" feature or "Search" feature.

If you have any pending transactions or if you have recently closed any transactions involving properties which are or were the subject of a foreclosure handled by Fisher and Shapiro, LLC, please contact the following Stewart Legal Services representative:

Charles J. Vachout, Jr.
Illinois State Counsel
Vice President/Assoc. Sr. Underwriting Counsel
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
2055 W. Army Trail Road, Suite 110
Addison, IL 60101
630-889-4058
cvachout@stewart.com

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THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None