Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division
JAMES P. TAYLOR and KATHERINE TAYLOR, Plaintiff-Appellant,
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 17 CH 4455
Honorable Anna Helen Demacopoulos, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James P. Taylor & Katherine L.
Taylor, pro se.
Attorneys for Appellee: James V. Noonan, of Noonan &
Lieberman, Ltd, of Chicago, for appellee.
JUSTICE REYES delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice McBride and Justice Burke
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Plaintiffs James and Katherine Taylor, pro se,
appeal from an order of the circuit court of Cook County
dismissing their amended complaint for wrongful foreclosure
against defendant Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC
(Bayview). The wrongful foreclosure complaint alleged
certain wrongdoings by Bayview, which was the plaintiff in an
underlying foreclosure action against the Taylors
(Bayview Loan Services, LLC v. Taylor, No. 12 CH
16916) (foreclosure action). The circuit court dismissed the
amended complaint pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of
Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2016)) finding
that such a complaint was barred by section 15-1509(c) of the
Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law (Foreclosure Law) (735 ILCS
5/15-1509(c) (West 2016)) where a final judgment had been
entered in the foreclosure action and title to the property
had vested in another entity. The Taylors now appeal this
ruling. For the reasons that follow, we conclude section
15-1509(c) operates to bar the Taylors' wrongful
foreclosure complaint and therefore affirm the judgment of
the circuit court.
3 On March 28, 2017, James filed a pro se complaint
for wrongful foreclosure and for other relief in the circuit
court against Bayview. This complaint was later amended to
add Katherine as a plaintiff. In their amended complaint, the
Taylors alleged counts against Bayview for a violation of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, common law fraud,
fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress. These counts
were based on Bayview's allegedly improper conduct
related to the foreclosure action. Specifically, the Taylors
alleged that on March 6, 2014, Bayview became a party to the
foreclosure action when the circuit court entered an order
allowing it to substitute as party plaintiff. Then, in August
2015, the Taylors received an IRS Form 1099-C which
discharged the debt associated with the promissory note at
issue in the foreclosure action. The 1099-C form indicated
that the Taylors would not be personally liable for the debt.
On September 3, 2015, the sale of the property at issue in
the foreclosure action was confirmed and a personal
deficiency judgment was entered against Katherine. According
to the Taylors, the 1099-C form operated to extinguish the
mortgage debt and therefore no personal deficiency judgment
should have been entered against Katherine in the foreclosure
4 Bayview filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section
2-619(a)(4) and section 2-619(a)(9) of the Code in which it
argued the Taylors' claims were barred for two reasons;
pursuant to section 15-1509(c) of the Foreclosure Law and by
virtue of the doctrine of res judicata. Regarding
section 15-1509(c), Bayview asserted that title to the
property had vested to a third party purchaser by judicial
deed and because the title vested, the Taylors (who were
parties to the foreclosure action) were barred from bringing
any claim against Bayview. Bayview further argued that all of
the elements of res judicata were met in the case;
the parties are the same, there is an identity in the cause
of action because the Taylors are attacking the foreclosure
action through their wrongful foreclosure complaint, and the
parties to the foreclosure action and this action are
5 In response, the Taylors argued that section 15-1509(c) of
the Foreclosure Law and res judicata do not apply
because the final judgment in the foreclosure action was void
due to "a fraud upon the court" and "extrinsic
fraud." The Taylors asserted that the March 6, 2014,
order to substitute plaintiff in the foreclosure action was
void because they never received notice of the proceeding.
According to the Taylors, they received a notice of motion
which indicated the motion to substitute plaintiff would be
presented on March 16, 2014, accordingly they were not
present in court on March 6, 2014, when the order was
entered. The Taylors maintained that they were
intentionally and knowingly prevented from attending the
March 6, 2014, proceeding and were thus prohibited from
raising a defense and responding to the motion to substitute.
6 The circuit court held a hearing on the matter. The Taylors
consistently maintained that because the order substituting
Bayview as the party plaintiff in the foreclosure action was
void, all of the subsequent orders in the foreclosure action
were also void and, therefore, their wrongful foreclosure
complaint could not be barred by section 15-1509(c) or
res judicata. The circuit court then inquired
whether the Taylors had raised this issue in the foreclosure
action. The Taylors informed the court that a motion to
dismiss Bayview for lack of standing had been extensively
litigated and ultimately denied.
7 After hearing the arguments of the parties, the circuit
court granted Bayview's motion to dismiss with prejudice
finding section 15-1509(c) of the Foreclosure Law barred the
wrongful foreclosure complaint. This appeal follows.
9 Prior to addressing the merits of this appeal, we
acknowledge Bayview's extensive argument regarding the
Taylors' failure to follow our supreme court's rules
regarding briefs (see Ill. S.Ct. R. 341 (eff. May 25, 2018))
and its suggestion that we forfeit the entirety of the
Taylors' arguments. We observe that even though the
Taylors are pro se, they are still held to the same
standards as an attorney, including the requirement that our
supreme court rules must be followed. See Ammar v.
Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck, LLP, 2017 IL App (1st)
162931, ¶ 16. While their statement of facts was
argumentative and citation to relevant legal authority was
lacking in several places, we will forfeit only those
arguments raised by the Taylors that are insufficiently
presented. See Walters v. ...