Squires-Cannon v. Forest Preserve District of Cook County, No. 16-3131 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
In 2006, plaintiffs purchased a 400-acre Barrington horse farm with Amcore financing. In 2009, Amcore filed for foreclosure in Illinois state court. Amcore failed and the FDIC became its receiver. BMO bought Amcore’s loan assets at a discount from the FDIC and took over the foreclosure action. To cut its losses on the loan, BMO assigned the note to the Forest Preserve for $14 million. The Forest Preserve made the (winning) credit bid of about $14.5 million at the foreclosure sale. The foreclosure court entered a deficiency judgment of $6 million. The Illinois Appellate Court later reversed the foreclosure judgments. There is apparently no current judgment in that action. The original owners have filed five lawsuits, in addition to raising affirmative defenses and counterclaims in the foreclosure action. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of their suit that alleged unconstitutional takings, fraud, and derivative claims for conspiracy and aiding and abetting. The court rejected arguments that the Forest Preserve violated the takings clause by passing an ordinance converting the estate into a forest preserve; by buying the mortgage and taking over the foreclosure action; and by physically entering the estate and installing Forest Preserve signs at the estate entrances. Derivative conspiracy and aiding-and-abetting claims fall with the three theories.