Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Real Estate Law

“Law-Related Service,” New RESPA Forms By James K. Weston April 2008 Column, Page 212 Real estate lawyers worry about proposed changes in the rules governing "law-related service."
Seller must refund earnest money deposit for failure to provide real estate disclosure statement April 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 On January 30, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Christian County awarding the plaintiffs $10,000 plus costs for the defendant's failure to provide the plaintiffs with a real estate disclosure statement. 
Duty to disclose triggered by written interrogatories only March 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 26, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the holding of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County and remanded for renewed discovery and trial proceedings. 
Ethics and the Attorney / Title Agent By Michael J. Rooney March 2008 Article, Page 132 This author argues that attorneys can serve as title agents, provided they make necessary disclosures and get corresponding consents.
Asked and Answered February 2008 Column, Page 95 Judgments against joint tenancies.
Helping Clients Who Face Foreclosure By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Article, Page 76 Notice of foreclosure creates a personal crisis for your home-borrower clients. Here's how to counsel them.
Predatory Lending Laws: The Next, Not Last, Step By James K. Weston January 2008 Column, Page 50 New laws expand the prohibitions on predatory lending.
Negligence is a proper consideration in determining entitlement to tax deed indemnity fund December 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 632  On October 4, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the third district appellate court, holding that the plaintiff, Chris Malmloff, was not entitled to compensation from the tax deed indemnity fund. 
Title insurance purchaser guaranteed right to choose title insurance company. PA 095-0570 November 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 576 The Title Insurance Act has been amended to ensure that title insurance purchasers have a right to choose the title insurance company that will indemnify against loss arising from a defect in title to real property. 
POD and TOD accounts and your estate-planning arsenal By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 Lawpulse, Page 510 Payable/transfer-on-death accounts are handy probate-avoidance tools that can even be used to transfer real estate. Or can they?
Predatory Lending: The Continuing Saga By James K. Weston October 2007 Column, Page 554 A new bill would redefine yet again the Illinois' anti-predatory-lending law.
New law on attorney modification clauses in real-estate contracts? By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2007 Lawpulse, Page 454 Has the second district made it easier for a party to a real estate contract to make a counter offer disguised as a mere "modification"?
SLAPP suits take a hit By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2007 Lawpulse, Page 454 A new bill would discourage developers and others from suing - and thus trying to silence - opponents of their subdivisions, landfills, and the like.
Termite Traps for Homebuyers By Terry Sharp and Lance C. Martin August 2007 Article, Page 424 Simply getting an inspection may not give your clients what they need. Here are steps you can take to protect them.
Legislative Developments for Real Estate Lawyers By James K. Weston July 2007 Column, Page 384 Mortgage fraud and bifurcated closings were among the issues for this year's General Assembly.
State must take reasonable steps to inform homeowner debtor of impending house sale June 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 On April 19, 2007, in a case that was remanded to the Illinois Supreme Court from the United States Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, effectively, affirmed its own prior decision, holding that the state and the purchaser of a tax deed had made sufficient efforts to give notice to the delinquent taxpayer.
Tax nonpayment sales and the mentally ill - does the system work? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2007 Lawpulse, Page 286 Do recent cases indicate that Illinois should change its laws to further protect mentally ill property owners?
Governor Puts Predatory Lending Legislation on Hold By James Weston April 2007 Column, Page 214 An executive order shuts down a controversial program to combat predatory lending.
Land Surveyor Liability to Third Parties in Illinois By Richard F. Bales March 2007 Article, Page 136 The land surveyor made a mistake - what are the damages? The defenses? Who can recover? This article explores those questions from the plaintiffs' and defense perspectives.
Merger doctrine does not apply where parties operated under mutual mistake of fact March 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, recently reversed the Circuit Court of Cook County's finding that the merger doctrine required a dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims because the evaluation of the tax credit at the time of closing was a matter of public record. 
Purchasers of condominiums at foreclosure sale to pay association fee - PA 094-1049 March 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 Section 9 of the Condominium Property Act (Act) has been amended by adding paragraphs 4 and 5 to subsection (g). 765 ILCS 605/9(g). 
Impairment of servient estate does not necessitate denial of an implied easement February 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 On December 7, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed in part the holding of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which denied plaintiff Gacki's motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to defendants Raymond and Lori Bartels, because the plaintiff's claimed easement would impair or reduce the value of the servient estate.
Getting back in the closings game By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2007 Lawpulse, Page 8 Lawyers should try to reclaim their place at the residential real-estate table, a leading practitioner writes. And that requires more than going along for the ride.
The Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act By James K. Weston January 2007 Column, Page 52 This law, effective January 1, is designed to protect soon-tobe-forclosed landowners from a "rescue" scam.
Surpluses from foreclosure sales do not go to the purchaser January 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On November 13, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of McHenry County, holding the circuit court abused its discretion by distributing a portion of the surplus funds from a sheriff's auction to the winner of that auction.
Asked and Answered December 2006 Column, Page 682 Must Homebuilders Give Buyers an Express Warranty?
Discovery rules changed for appeals of property assessments of over $1 million December 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 650 The Property Tax Appeal Board (Board) has added section 1910.79 and amended section 1910.95 of 86 Ill Adm Code 1910, effective September 29, 2006, in order to "streamline and expedite the appeal process" for appeals on property assessments of $1 million or more.
Confidentiality rules created for predatory lending database November 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 584 The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (Act) required that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) establish a database for its Predatory Lending Database Pilot Program (Database Program). 
Correspondence from Our Readers November 2006 Column, Page 574 Beyond "deed and green";CDL/DUI update.
The New Eminent Domain Law: Protections for Landowners, Hurdles for Governments By Joseph V. Healy November 2006 Article, Page 596 A review of the legislature's response to Kelo, which takes effect January 1.