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Cook County clerk's mortgage surplus fund
Real Estate

The office of the Clerk of Circuit Court of Cook County, Dorothy Brown, has more than $17 million in mortgage surplus money ready to be claimed by Cook County citizens, according to a media release.

Last year, the Clerk's Office disbursed more than $1 million to 37 individuals who were owed mortgage surplus funds. In 2009, $2 million was disbursed to more than 50 individuals. The list of real estate escrow surplus cases goes as far back as 1990, although the largest concentration of cases begins in 2000.

The clerk's office has mortgage surplus amounts ranging from 13 cents to $460,000. Many people are owed surpluses in amounts between $3,000-$10,000.

Log on to Article Link Here and click on "Mortgage Surplus Search." For more information, call 312-603-5455. People may also go to the clerk's office at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, and go to the accounting department on the 10th floor.

People who have mortgage surplus money because their foreclosure cases are on the list must then go to the clerk's office's chancery division; file a notice of motion ( send notice of motion to the bank's attorney ) and a petition for turnover of surplus funds. They will then be given a court date when the petitions will be heard before a judge. If the judge grants the release of the funds, the accounting department will issue surplus checks.

Real estate news:

—Buying Berkus: Nate Berkus—the interior designer who rose to fame through his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and now has his own New York-based talk show—has listed his seven-room Gold Coast condo for $2.65 million. Berkus, 39, paid $1.5 million for the condo, which is almost 4,000 square feet, in 2003. In 2006, he paid $550,000 for a one-bedroom, 550-square-foot unit in Manhattan.

—Loehmann's, Kenneth Cole close: On the commercial end of things, the women's apparel discount chain Loehmann's closed its 27,000-square-foot State Street store Jan. 29, according to Crain's. It also has closed a store in Oak Brook, although the stores in Northbrook and Morton Grove are still open.

Also, Kenneth Cole—the clothing, footwear and accessory line—recently closed its shop at 540 N. Michigan after more than a decade in the space. It was the only store in the state; two off-price outlets are still in Aurora and Gurnee.

—Going postal: A local real estate investment firm wants to transform a former post office in Streeterville with restaurants and other retail tenants after paying $5.9 million for the two-story building, Crain's reported. Newcastle Ltd. bought the 15,500-square-foot property at 227 E. Ontario, which the U.S. Postal Service recently moved out of after leasing for many years. "Properties don't come available in this market very often," says Newcastle President/CEO Michael Haney. "We think it's an excellent location for a retail property."

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