Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Real Estate Law

Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2008 Lawpulse, Page 606  To the chagrin of matrimonial lawyers, Chicago has begun taxing the transfer of a divorcing couple's jointly owned home to one of the ex-partners.
New law attempts to simplify zoning hearings By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498  A new law classifies zoning decisions as legislative acts, not administrative rulings. This will streamline zoning proceedings, proponents say.
The New RESPA Regulation By James K. Weston October 2008 Column, Page 532 The Federal Reserve finally issues a new RESPA rule.
Bidder beware By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 Lawpulse, Page 438 Winning bidders at judicial foreclosure sales can ultimately lose if a subsequent buyer offers more and the lender withdraws its foreclosure motion before the judge confirms the sale, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
Correspondence from Our Readers July 2008 Column, Page 330 Sharia law? Voluntary dismissal; confrontation clause; HUD-1 form.st.
The Last Gasp for RESPA Reform? July 2008 Column, Page 372 HUD's proposed new RESPA regs leave a lot to be desired.
Correspondence from Our Readers June 2008 Column, Page 274  Sharia law; Rukavina and law-related services.
No referendum required for annexation under section 7-1-8 of the municipal Code May 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 236 On February 26, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Kendall County denying the plaintiff's complaint for a mandamus order.
RESPA and Avoiding Mortgage Fraud: What Goes on the HUD Settlement Statement? By Philip J. Vacco May 2008 Article, Page 248 Improper handling of buyer incentives on the HUD Settlement Statement can make you an unwitting participant in mortgage fraud.
Cashing in on home sweet home By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2008 Lawpulse, Page 174 Reverse mortgages are a popular, if controversial, way for elderly clients to cash in on the equity in their homes. Here's how they work and why you should be wary.
For New Lawyers April 2008 Column, Page 215 Is a co-signer entitled to a foreclosure notice?
“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.