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Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Missirlian

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

February 10, 2017

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JONATHAN MISSIRLIAN, Defendant-Appellee.

          Rule 23 order filed December 16, 2016

          Rehearing denied January 20, 2017

          Rule 23 order withdrawn February 1, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 09-CH-25185; the Hon. Michael F. Otto, Judge, presiding.

         Reversed and remanded.

          Locke Lord LLP, of Chicago (Simon A. Fleischmann and Ryan M. Holz, of counsel), for appellant.

          Stephen D. Richek, of Chicago, for appellee.

          Panel JUSTICE LAMPKIN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Hall and Reyes concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          LAMPKIN JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 In a mortgage foreclosure action, a mortgage assignee's lack of a license to conduct the business of residential mortgage lending was not a basis to invalidate the assignment, and thus, the trial court erred when it concluded the assignee lacked standing to pursue foreclosure, denied confirmation of the foreclosure sale, and dismissed the foreclosure action.

         ¶ 2 Plaintiff Nationstar Mortgage LLC (Nationstar) obtained a judgment of foreclosure and sale on a condominium held by defendant Jonathan Missirlian, who had defaulted on his loan. After Nationstar purchased the condominium, the trial court denied confirmation of the sale on the basis that justice was otherwise not done and dismissed the foreclosure action for lack of standing. Specifically, the trial court held that the violation of the licensing statute by a previous assignee rendered the mortgage assignment to Nationstar invalid, and thus, Nationstar lacked standing to pursue foreclosure.

         ¶ 3 Nationstar appealed, contending (1) defendant failed to meet his burden to establish the sale was improper or justice was otherwise not done, (2) the assignment of the mortgage to an unlicensed assignee in a secondary market transaction did not invalidate the assignment, (3) federal law preempted application of the Illinois statutory licensing requirement in this matter, (4) defendant failed to establish that Nationstar and the previous assignee lacked standing as the servicers of the loan, and (5) Illinois law bars the invalidation of mortgages based on license violations.

         ¶ 4 For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the ...


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