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“In Rem” Deficiency Judgments: Risky Nonsense?

It’s a curious practice: Foreclosure plaintiffs file a complaint seeking a personal deficiency judgment against the mortgagor, but provide in the order confirming sale that the deficiency judgment is “in rem”. In rem, of course, means that the judgment is against the thing – the property which, by the terms of the order of confirmation, is transferred to the purchaser at the foreclosure sale (or its assignee).

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Court Issues Key Decision On “Merger” Clauses

Contractual ambiguity may allow consideration of extrinsic evidence to clarify those portions of “integrated” contracts that are unclear, but it does not open the flood gates for consideration of parol evidence on other points or to establish entirely new terms.

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Plaintiff Must Show Due Inquiry Before Publication

Three attempts to serve process at approximately the same hour over a four-day period do not “demonstrate a well-directed effort to ascertain the whereabouts of defendant by inquiry ‘as full as circumstances permit’” and hence fail the law’s preconditions for resort to publication service, a panel of the Appellate Court in Chicago has ruled.

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