Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 CH 35163 The
Honorable Pamela Myerson, Judge, presiding.
Justices Pierce and Mason concurred in the judgment and
1 In 1961, Harvey and Rosalind Collins bought a property in
Chicago. In 1979, Harvey signed a quitclaim deed, conveying
the property to Rosalind. Rosalind died, and Harvey then
signed a mortgage, which eventually came into the hands of
Reverse Mortgage Solutions (RMS). After Harvey's death,
RMS tried to foreclose on the property, but the Collins's
daughter, Rasheeda Rahman, fought the foreclosure.
2 We find that the 1979 quitclaim deed contains a sufficient
description of the property to convey it from Harvey to
Rosalind. But, after Rosalind died intestate, Harvey
inherited some portion of the property through Rosalind's
estate, which he was able to convey through the mortgage. We
remand for further proceedings on RMS's complaint. We
also affirm the trial court's denial of Rahman's
request for sanctions against RMS.
4 In 1961, Harvey and Rosalind Collins, a married couple,
purchased property at 1486 East 56th Street, Chicago, as
joint tenants. Eighteen years later, in September 1979,
Harvey executed a quitclaim deed on the property to Rosalind.
The quitclaim deed contains a description of the property
with skimpy detail, but notes that Rosalind resides at 1486
E. 56th Street. At the bottom of the quitclaim deed appears
the "address of property" as 1486 E. 56th Street
(while also stating that "the above address is for
statistical purposes only and is not a part of this
5 Rosalind died in May 2003. Harvey continued to reside at
6 In 2006, Harvey executed a "home keeper" mortgage
with All America Reverse Mortgage. Harvey received $323,
927.68 in exchange for a mortgage on the property. The
mortgage note attached and incorporated a legal description
of the property. The mortgage was eventually transferred to
Reverse Mortgage Solutions. In July 2011, Harvey died.
7 RMS filed a complaint to foreclose on the property. The
complaint also included a count to reform the reverse
mortgage Harvey had signed in 2006 because it contained the
wrong legal description. The complaint stated that the
reformed mortgage should use the property description from
the 1979 quitclaim deed (which was attached to the
8 Harvey and Rosalind's daughter, Rasheeda Rahman, moved
to dismiss the foreclosure complaint. Rahman alleged that,
due to the 1979 quitclaim deed, Harvey did not have title to
the property to convey in the 2006 mortgage, and,
accordingly, RMS lacked standing to foreclose.
9 RMS then filed an amended complaint for foreclosure and
reformation and moved to quiet title, alleging that the 1979
quitclaim deed was a nullity because it did not sufficiently
describe the property; thereafter, Harvey inherited the
entire property after Rosalind's death. RMS included a
count for an equitable lien, alleging that Harvey had
represented that he had full title when he acquired the
mortgage and RMS should have first claim on the property.
10 Again Rahman moved to dismiss under section 2-619(a)(9) of
the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9) (West
2014)), alleging that Harvey lacked full title to the
property when he acquired the mortgage due to the 1979 deed.
RMS replied by asserting the invalidity of the 1979 deed and
arguing that, even if it was valid, Harvey still had a
mortgageable interest and RMS was entitled to an equitable
lien. The trial court granted Rahman's motion to dismiss,
in part holding that the quitclaim deed's description,
though incomplete, was legally sufficient. The trial court
also held that RMS had alleged only theories, not facts, as
to how Harvey had regained interest in the property. The
trial court noted that probate law would not have
automatically vested interest in real property to
Rosalind's heirs, and if Harvey did not have an interest
in the property, then he could not have promised that
interest in the mortgage. The trial court dismissed the claim
for an equitable lien with prejudice, and the counts to
foreclose and quiet title without prejudice, while the
reformation claim remained pending.
11 RMS filed a third amended complaint to quiet title and for
foreclosure, reformation, a declaratory judgment, unjust
enrichment, constructive trust, equitable lien, and
accounting. Rahman moved to dismiss the quiet title,
foreclosure, reformation, and declaratory judgment counts,
and answered the other counts. In responding, RMS included an
affidavit from Richard Bales, a lawyer for a title company.
Bales stated that he had reviewed the relevant documents, and
based on his review, "the 1979 deed conveyance is
ambiguous on its face." The trial court dismissed the
quiet title, foreclosure, reformation, and declaratory
judgment counts with prejudice. The trial court held that the
1979 quitclaim deed was ...