Back in my long-ago days as a practicing attorney I took on a pro bono client, a very convincing elderly lady, who claimed that the previous owners were trying to cheat her out of an apartment building she’d bought. After the expenditure of a great deal of time, it became clear that she had simply forged a deed granting herself title to property on which she had no legitimate claim. She had half a dozen lawyers in half a dozen different firms pursuing similar claims on her behalf.
Forging deeds to unencumbered property and then stripping the equity from them via a mortgage loan has been a fairly common occurrence in Cook County.
You can check the status of recordings against your property by doing a Property Identification Number (PIN) search at the Cook County Recorder’s site. You can find your PIN on your real estate tax bill, or look it up in an address search at the Cook County Assessor’s site.