The Illinois Supreme Court on Monday announced the formation of a special committee to investigate the fairness of mortgage foreclosures in Illinois and perhaps change the rules that govern the process.
Among the areas to be investigated are the different rules and procedures concerning how foreclosures are handled in different counties as well as legislative proposals pending in the Illinois General Assembly that may impact mortgage foreclosures. The committee also is charged with making recommendations regarding foreclosure rules that could be implemented statewide.
Speeding up the foreclosure process isn’t the committee’s priority, said Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis. Rather, the committee will focus on improving the system so homeowners better understand the court process while the court also determines how to best deal with allegations of unreliable documentation in cases.
Last month, Cook County Circuit Court stayed at least 1,700 mortgage foreclosure cases after Fisher and Shapiro LLC, a law firm used by lenders, told the court that the cases contained altered documents.
The committee will be composed of 14 people, ranging from judges and bankers to lawyers and a representative from the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Lewis Nixon, supervising judge of the mortgage foreclosure section of the Cook County Circuit Court, will chair the committee.
At the end of 2010, 70,550 mortgage foreclosure cases were still pending in Cook County alone.