Lakin attorney still pleading for definition of 'until'

Steve Korris Jun. 2, 2006, 5:22am

Paul Marks

Lakin Law Firm attorney Paul Marks has asked Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron to reconsider an order throwing out a proposed class action suit.

Byron's April 21 order hinged on the word "until" because the mortgage loan in question allowed interest for every day until the date of payoff.

Marks argued that "until" does not mean "including," but Byron rejected that logic and granted summary judgment to defendant HomEq Servicing.

Plaintiffs Thomas Hogle and Rebecca Hogle of Alton claimed in the suit that HomEq charged extra interest at the closing of a mortgage loan.

The Hogles at first claimed no less than $409.22 in damages. They reduced the claim to $135.14 after the defense showed that they received a refund of $274.08.

Finally the Hogles claimed a single day of improper interest, at $27.98.

At Byron's hearing Marks relied on an 1850 decision of the Illinois Supreme Court giving "until" an exclusive meaning rather than an inclusive one.

Byron said over and over that he could not accept that definition, yet Marks in his motion for reconsideration offered no new insights into "until."

He cited no case in his favor but the one from 1850.

Byron has not set a hearing on reconsideration.

Like plaintiffs in at least 20 other Lakin Law Firm suits over mortgage fees and charges, the Hogles closed their loan at Centerre Title.

Alton attorney Emert Wyss, owner of Centerre Title, searched files of his title company for prospective Lakin Law Firm plaintiffs.

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