Illinois woman files class-action against Fisher and Shapiro over affidavit issues
An Illinois woman is seeking class-action status after filing a lawsuit against Fisher and Shapiro, claiming the Chicago-area law firm mishandled foreclosure affidavits, causing the plaintiff and at least 1,700 others to face financial losses from Fisher's foreclosure actions. Fisher and Shapiro could not be immediately reached for comment. The case, which was filed by plaintiff Stacy Hill in the the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois-Eastern Division, ties back to a Chicago court's earlier decision to place 1,700 foreclosure cases handled by Fisher and Shapiro on hold after the firm voluntarily admitted it had mishandled affidavits attached to foreclosure files. At the time of the revelation in March, Fisher and Shapiro said signature pages were removed from the original affidavits and reattached to pages containing altered content. In the Hill v. Fisher and Shapiro case, Hill claims to be one of many homeowners who experienced financial hardship after the firm mishandled affidavits attached to foreclosure files. On behalf of similarly situated plaintiffs, Hill is suing for financial damages on the grounds that Fisher and Shapiro violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The plaintiff alleges that she and other class members faced financial hardship after the firm initiated foreclosure actions utilizing the mishandled affidavits. Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation fined PHH Mortgage $290,000 in the first fine levied in a probe of 20 state-licensed mortgage companies. In that case, PHH failed to sign affidavits in 19 cases after they had been altered by attorneys with Fisher and Shapiro, according to the department. The department did not fine the law firm. Write to Kerri Panchuk.