Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 12-CH-408. Honorable Leonard J. Wojtecki, Judge, Presiding.
The denial of defendants' petition for relief from a default judgment of foreclosure and the order confirming the ensuing foreclosure sale pursuant to section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure was affirmed, notwithstanding defendants' contention that plaintiff was not licensed under the Collection Agency Act, since the decision of the appellate court in Dina holding that a mortgage made by an unlicensed lender was void as a matter of public policy applied to the contract, not to a judgment of the trial court, and being based on principles of contract law, it did not speak to jurisdictional matters.
For Appellants: Jack Kozar, Kozar Law Office LLC, Elmhurst.
For Appellee: Edward J. Lesniak, Susan M. Horner, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., Chicago.
JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Hudson and Spence concurred in the judgment and opinion.
[¶1] Defendants, Geronimo and Catalina Ontiveros, appeal after what they assert is the denial of their motion to vacate a default judgment of foreclosure and the order confirming the ensuing sale. However, as we will discuss, the only matter of which we have jurisdiction on appeal is the denial of defendants' petition for relief from judgment, brought under section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2012)). On the merits, defendants assert that, because plaintiff was not a licensed collection agency under the Collection Agency Act (Act) (225 ILCS 425/1 et seq. (West 2012)), the foreclosure and confirmation orders were void. We hold that lack of such licensure could not have made the judgments void. We therefore conclude that defendants did not state a basis for section 2-1401 relief, and so we affirm the petition's denial.
[¶2] I. BACKGROUND
[¶3] Plaintiff, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., filed a foreclosure complaint against defendants; possible lienors Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for Fremont Investment & Loan, and the City of Aurora; and nonrecord claimants and unknown owners. The complaint stated that the original mortgagee was MERS, as nominee for Nationstar Mortgage LLC; a mortgage document consistent with that allegation was attached to the complaint. Also included was an " Allonge to Note" dated November 11, 2008, in which Nationstar Mortgage LLC assigned the note to plaintiff.
[¶4] On February 29, 2012, Geronimo Ontiveros filed a pro se appearance but not an answer. Plaintiff moved for a default judgment against all defendants, which the court granted, and on August 24, 2012, the court entered a judgment of foreclosure. The judgment did not include a finding pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule ...