Taskforce Seeks Foreclosed Homeowners Who Are Due Money

citizen | 9/13/2011, 3 p.m.
Public officials from local government agencies are seeking individuals who have faced foreclosures because they...
Cook County's Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown stands with local, county and state officials during a press conference in August announcing the Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Fund Task Force. (Photo Courtesy of the Office of Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court)

Public officials from local government agencies are seeking individuals who have faced foreclosures because they may be entitled to receive money from a surplus fund.

On Aug. 25, a group of elected officials announced a task force created to find Cook County residents who have lost property due to foreclosure.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Fund Task Force is a public outreach campaign to apprise citizens of approximately $16 million in mortgage foreclosure surplus funds which is currently being held by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

The surplus funds represent an estimated 1,944 of foreclosure court cases. According to a press release from the Clerks office, Foreclosure Surplus is the profit owed to an individual who foreclosed on property that was subsequently sold at a dollar amount over what was owed to the bank at the time of foreclosure.

According to the Clerks office, some homeowners are not aware if they have a mortgage surplus after losing their property because the bank or mortgage company does not tell them. Additionally, after losing property many homeowners do not check to see if they are owed money.

Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Fund Task Force members include: Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Joseph Berrios, Cook County Assessor; Eugene Moore, Cook County Recorder of Deeds, City of Chicago Mayors Office; and Dan Rutherford, Illinois State Treasurer.

Assessor Berrios offered his help to Clerk Brown to inform the public about mortgage foreclosure surplus funds. The two then met with various county elected officials involved with the tax process as well as a representative from the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer and the City of Chicago Mayors Office to discuss how to reach the greatest number of individuals.

I am thrilled that Assessor Berrios, reached out to me to organize this effort between our offices on behalf of all taxpayers in Cook County. I would also like to thank the other members of the task force, The City of Chicago Mayors Office, Recorder, Eugene Moore and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford for lending their support to this great effort, stated Clerk Brown in the release.

Each public official in the task force is providing a link on their website to the Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Fund portal, located on the Clerk Office website, at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org. The participating agencies website addresses are www.cookcountyassessor.com; www.ccrd.info; www.treasurer.il.gov and www.cityofchicago.org.

I am very pleased to be involved in this cooperative effort to help taxpayers during these hard economic times, Assessor Berrios stated in the release. I applaud Clerk Brown for taking the initiative in forming this task force to help Cook County residents receive the money that is owed to them.

Eugene Gene Moore, Cook County Recorder of Deeds also weighed about the taskforce.

My office has discovered that many foreclosures that have occurred in Cook County have been based upon forged signatures, improper notaries and other document irregularities. Homes have been lost and families devastated. Let us, City, County and State Elected Officials, make sure that we do not victimize Cook County citizens again. The surplus funds should be made available to the citizens of Cook County in accordance to statute without undue delay.

Clerk Brown has launched an outreach campaign, introducing an online search engine at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org in an effort to locate people who are owed these Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Funds from foreclosed homes in Cook County.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus search engine allows citizens to enter their first initial and last name to see if they are on the surplus list. If an initial match is made, additional screens open up with directions to the court forms necessary to file a motion, petition for the turnover of the surplus funds, and file an appearance with the presiding judge.

For more information about the Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Funds please call the Clerks Office Chancery Division at 312-603-5133.

Thelma Sardin, press release