New complaint filed against Jacksonville attorney

By Gary Scott on June 23, 2015 at 1:04pm

A Jacksonville attorney is once again possibly in trouble with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

A complaint filed on June 9th accuses G. Ronald Kessinger of having a conflict of interest by buying the foreclosed home of two people he had represented in the foreclosure proceedings.

According to the complaint, Jacksonville Savings Bank filed a foreclosure notice against Heath and Trina Baldwin of Jacksonville in 2011. Kesinger agreed to represent them in the foreclosure matter, as well as bankruptcy proceedings.      After the bankruptcy plan failed, the house was auctioned in 2012. There were no bidders, and Kesinger arranged with a Jacksonville Savings Bank official to purchase the property for $60-thousand, about $17-thousand less than the original purchase price.

The complaint alleges Kesinger knew the purchase of the home would subject the Baldwins to a deficiency judgment, which totaled about $26-thousand after interest. It says he placed his own financial interests in direct conflict with the financial interests of the Baldwins.

It also says at no time did Kesinger tell the Baldwins beforehand he’d bid on the house. They reportedly declined his offer to sell the house back, and the complaint notes Kesinger didn’t offer them the same financing arrangement he got through Jacksonville Savings Bank.

The complaint also alleges Kesinger didn’t advise the Baldwins of their right to object to the approved sale, and at no point did he seek to withdraw as their attorney.

This isn’t Kesinger’s first run-in with the attorney disciplinary commission. He was censured as the result of a complaint in 1999, suspended in 2013 for six months after allegedly revealing confident information told to him by a client that resulted in that client’s conviction for felony-murder.

Another complaint filed last year accused Kesinger of obtaining a loan from a client and submitting a false application for a loan. That case is still pending.

A phone call placed to Kesinger’s office this afternoon went unanswered.