A multi-million dollar home that attorney Brad Lakin built at the height of Madison County's class action boom faces foreclosure.
BMO Harris Bank filed a complaint against Brad and Hallie Lakin claiming they owe $2,302,543.11, plus interest, costs, advances and fees over property located at 4 Oak Crest Drive in Bethalto.
The Lakins took out a $2.5 million mortgage on the property on May 24, 2005.
According to BMO's Dec. 22 foreclosure complaint, the mortgagors have not paid a monthly installment since before March 1, 2014. Interest accrues at $244.45 per day.
Designed by architect Nolan Pederson, the home sits on 5.8 acres. It is 15,005 square feet, has five bedrooms, seven and a half baths and boasts a "one of a kind gourmet kitchen."
Class Action Era
The former Lakin Law Firm of Wood River built Madison County's reputation as the nation's consumer class action action capitol, having participated in most of the 350-plus cases filed here.
President George Bush, however, showed up in Collinsville in 2005 to rail against class action litigation. After his visit, Congress passed a law that would direct most new class actions to federal courts.
The law didn’t ruin class litigation in Madison County, for lawyers such as Lakin had piled up more than 200 pending cases at that point that they could develop for years.
However, the tide had turned. Founder Tom Lakin was convicted on drug charges in 2008, and Lakin Law Firm was renamed in 2009 to LakinChapman.
The firm suffered perhaps its biggest blow in September 2011 when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a $43 million verdict against Ford Motor Co., Jablonski v. Ford. The case, which blamed Ford for a Lincoln Town Car fuel tank explosion, was won in Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian's court in 2005.
By November 2011, Lakin's firm began significant lay-offs.
The Lakins' Bethalto home was initially listed for sale on Nov. 17, 2012 for $3.3 million. The price was reduced another eight times over two years and was removed from listing on Nov. 13, 2014, at a price of $1.67 million. The property tax bill in 2013 was $36,157.