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New law by Mulroe protects buyers of foreclosed properties

foreclosure 082418Technicalities were being used to exploit homeowners

CHICAGO – To eliminate a legal loophole that has allowed self-styled “distressed property consultants” to exploit homeowners over decades-old paperwork, State Senator John Mulroe’s sponsored legislation was signed into law yesterday.

An appellate court ruled that the formatting of a summons document rendered a foreclosure case invalid, a move that has encouraged such “consultants” to dig through old foreclosure judgments, offering to reopen them in exchange for a cut of the proceeds from any litigation. The judgment turned on the fact the defendant’s name was printed in an attachment to the summons rather than on the front page.

“This practice exploits both the original homeowner and any subsequent purchaser,” Mulroe said. “This legislation closes a disingenuous loophole and protects homeowners, and I’m glad to see it signed into law.”

Senate Bill 2432 clarifies that a summons is still valid even if it contains a formatting inconsistency, so long as the summons has been issued by a clerk of the court and other basic procedures are duly followed. It also bans distressed property consultants from making agreements with a foreclosure defendant in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

Lastly, it provides new protections to purchasers of foreclosed property, including:

    •        requiring future purchasers of foreclosed property to be named as parties in actions to reopen the foreclosure
    •        allowing them to remain in the property during the action to reopen
    •        requiring actions to recover foreclosed property to be brought within two years of the date a future purchaser takes possession
    •        and clarifying that a future purchaser who holds the property and pays property taxes for two years holds legal title to the property.

Signed by the governor yesterday, the new law is effective immediately.

New law by Mulroe streamlines court fines and fees

courtroom 082218CHICAGO – To ensure that fines and court fees paid by those going through the justice system in Illinois remain fair and consistent, a new measure by State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) was signed into law Monday.

“Court-related fines and fees support the justice system’s operations, but we can never lose sight of the fact that they should always be consistent and never seem arbitrary or unfair,” said Mulroe, the legislation’s sponsor in the Illinois Senate. “This broad realignment of the fine and fee structure came about based on the findings of an intensive study by the Statutory Court Fee Task Force, and I’m pleased to see it become law.”

The law will expand the ability of those assessed with fines to receive waivers as well. The legislation also clarifies to which agencies fines and fees are to be given and in some cases how they are to be used: It specifies that in misdemeanor traffic, conservation, and ordinance offenses, the arresting agency keeps the fine, and for other offenses the fine goes to the county to defray costs of prosecution. In addition, fees collected by the Illinois State Police would be marked specifically for the funding of cadet training.

House Bill 4594 takes effect July 1, 2019 and will sunset Jan. 1, 2021, giving the General Assembly the opportunity to reassess how well the new fee structure has worked.

Mulroe secures streamlined treatment for patients

physical therapy 081618CHICAGO – Patients will no longer have to visit a doctor’s office for a physical therapy referral under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe.

“State government shouldn’t be in the business of mandating that people see a physician before they can seek treatment from a physical therapist,” Mulroe said. “This legislation will streamline health services, saving people time and money.”

Mulroe responds to veto of plan to support Medicaid patients, providers

mulroe 051618CHICAGO – State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) plans to file a motion to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have helped Medicaid patients in long-term care facilities whose applications take an excessive time to process.

“The governor’s veto of this legislation will hurt patients and long-term care facilities,” Mulroe said. “Without this measure, facilities will continue to not be paid while their patients are waiting for their determination. The governor’s veto will burden patients and providers with the negative effects of a slow, bureaucratic determination process.”

Under current federal law, determinations for long-term care Medicaid applicants must be made within 45 days. House Bill 4771 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide provisional eligibility and coverage for applicants who have waited more than 45 days until their eligibility is determined.

“The fact that some long-term care facilities have closed because of delayed Medicaid eligibility processing is unacceptable,” Mulroe said. “These facilities need to be paid for the services they provide within a timely manner. I plan to file the necessary paperwork to override the governor’s short-sighted veto.”

Currently, there are more than 8,000 applications pending more than 90 days due to state delay.

Gov. Rauner vetoed the legislation yesterday. Mulroe plans to push a motion forward to override the governor’s veto during the upcoming fall legislative session.

 

Sen. John G. Mulroe

mulroe-2014-150

10th District

Years served: 2010 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Criminal Law; Executive; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Subcommittee on Const. Amendments.

Biography: Born July 21, 1959, in Chicago; BBA, accounting, Loyola University; J.D., Loyola University School of Law; member of Chicago and Illinois State Bar associations; full-time attorney; former assistant state's attorney and arbitrator for Cook County; certified public accountant; married (wife, Margaret), four children.

Associated Representative:
Robert Martwick
Michael P. McAuliffe