Niece Saves Her Family's Home from Wrongful Foreclosure
In 2015, Arnesia, the niece of Leroy, sought the help of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) to challenge the foreclosure filed by Wilmington Trust and to file a counterclaim for reformation of the note due to a mutual mistake in the amount of the payment at the inception of the note and mortgage. CVLS placed the case with Lloyd Brooks, who then passed it on to Seth McCormick, a CVLS contract attorney, when he went back on the bench. After years of litigation, a bench trial in front of Judge Weaver-Boyle was held in February.
Finally, on a momentous day, Judge Weaver-Boyle announced her ruling, and it was in favor of Arnesia and her family. The judge ruled that they had met their burden of establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, that a mistake was made at the inception of the mortgage. She entered judgment in favor of Arnesia on the reformation claim and against Wilmington on both the foreclosure claim and the reformation claim. The judge further ruled that the excess payment of $9,000 by Leroy Norman and Arnesia could be kept by Wilmington to ease the burden of the $30,000+ they had paid in taxes and insurance on the home since 2015.
The ruling means that Arnesia's parent's trust now owns the home free and clear of all liens, and they do not have to pay the taxes or insurance Wilmington paid. This is the best possible outcome for Arnesia and her family, and Seth couldn't be more delighted. "This case is why I volunteer for CVLS, and I am ecstatic at the outcome," said Seth.
"This case is why I volunteer for CVLS, and I am ecstatic at the outcome."
-Seth McCormick, Great Lakes Consumer Law Firm, LLC
While Seth suspects that Wilmington may try to appeal, they have already incurred substantial attorneys' fees, and they may decide to cut their losses. In a short call with Arnesia, she was crying tears of joy and wanted to tell her father the good news.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of fighting for justice and how much of a difference legal aid services, such as CVLS, can make in people's lives. Arnesia and her family can now breathe a sigh of relief and rest assured that their home is safe from wrongful foreclosure.