Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Real Estate Law

Procedures for appeals before the Property Tax Appeal Board amended April 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 Effective January 20, 2006, Part 1910 of Title 86, 86 Ill Adm Code 1910, was amended and new sections were added regarding property tax appeals.
When supplying a title commitment, title insurers are not liable for economic loss or negligent misrepresentation April 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 On January 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of both the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice.
New sections added and amendments made regarding motions and appeals to the Property Tax Appeal Board March 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 118 The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board has amended Part 1910 of Title 86, 86 Ill Adm Code 1910. The Board has added new sections and amended the Part with regard to motions, notice and consolidation of appeals. 
Title insurers not in “business of supplying information” when they issue title commitments, supremes say By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2006 LawPulse, Page 110 Some lawyers say the ruling "defies reality," while title insurers contend that it is squarely in the mainstream.   
No-Leasing Restrictions on Condominium Owners: The Legal Landscape By Jordan I. Shifrin February 2006 Article, Page 80 Here's a look at (mostly unsuccessful) challenges to these restrictions and some ways owners have tried to get around them.
Does Your Client Qualify for a Charitable Property Tax Exemption? By Karyn R. Vanderwarren January 2006 Article, Page 40 Whether you're counsel or a board member, you can help your charity try to qualify for an exemption and put the dollars you save to charitable use.
Predatory Lending Database Pilot Program By James K. Weston January 2006 Column, Page 44 A well-intentional law armed at predatory lending puts title companies and lawyers at risk, the author argues
The 2005 Amendments to The Illinois Mechanics Lien Act By Howard M. Turner December 2005 Article, Page 630 The changes make the act simpler and easier to understand, this author opines.
Anti-predatory-lending statute takes effect January 1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2005 LawPulse, Page 614 An amendment to the Real Property Disclosure Act will create a new predatory lending database. But some worry that it could unintentionally penalize good-guy lenders in targeted neighborhoods.
(Unrepresented) buyer (and seller, and opposing lawyer) beware By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2005 LawPulse, Page 558 What do you do when the other side in a real-estate transaction doesn't have a lawyer? ISBA members offer pointers.
In Defense of Kelo: One Lawyer’s Take on Takings By John H. Brechin October 2005 Article, Page 524 An approving look at the U.S. Supreme Court's much-criticized Kelo v City of New London.
RESPA – Here We Go Again? By James K. Weston October 2005 Column, Page 540  Is HUD trying once again to amend the RESPA statute by regulation?
TROs: A Guide to Winning Emergency Relief in Illinois By Richard L. Miller, II October 2005 Article, Page 530 A step-by-step guide to seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions.
Mortgage Escrow Account Act expands “mortgage lenders” and notice requirements - PA 094-0050 September 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 446 On June 17, 2005, the Mortgage Escrow Account Act (Act) (765 ILCS 910/1 et seq) was modified from its original form so as to broaden the scope of "mortgage lender" to include savings banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, and one who services the loan.
The Rental Housing Support Program Act’s Non-Deductible Charitable Donation By James K. Weston July 2005 Column, Page 366 Effective July 1, a new law requires counties to charge an extra $10 for every real estate document they record.
Is the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act Unconstitutional? By Roger L. Price June 2005 Article, Page 298 The author reviews recent decisions on the constitutional validity of the Act and recommends legislative action.
Finding a niche in FSBO home sales By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2005 LawPulse, Page 226 Some lawyers are making themselves available to do-it-yourself homesellers, with rewarding results.
How Illinois’ Homestead Exemption Really Works By David J. Dwyer May 2005 Article, Page 252 Here's how to calculate property taxes in Cook County under the new law.
Property Tax Code allows for post-judgment motions May 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 232 On February 17, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's dismissal of the property owners' appeal and remanded the case to the appellate court. 
Reducing Real Estate Fraud – Thumbprints and How Much More? By James K. Weston April 2005 Column, Page 208 Two different bills requiring notaries to maintain logbooks and record thumbprints are introduced this session.
All constitutional requirements must be met in order for property to qualify for a charitable-use property tax exemption March 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 On December 2, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the orders of the appellate and circuit courts, which reversed the Illinois Department of Revenue's (Department) holding that the property in question was not tax exempt. 
Sellers subsidize closings via HUD-approved programs By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2005 LawPulse, Page 110 The Nehemiah and AmeriDream programs allow sellers to pick up closing costs for homebuyers without violating RESPA. But is there a downside to this popular practice?
Attorney-Approval Clauses and Residential Real Estate Contracts: Mere Modification or More? By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2005 Article, Page 72 Most home-sale contracts empower attorneys to propose modifications. But do those "proposals" effectively nullify the contract?
For the doctrine of boundary by acquiescence to apply, both parties must acquiesce to the boundary in question for a considerable period of time February 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 68 On December 9, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded in part the decision of the Circuit Court of McHenry County awarding the plaintiffs certain property by reason of adverse possession.
Beneficial interest in land trusts and controlling interests in real estate entities are now taxable under the Real Estate Transfer Tax January 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 The Department of Revenue recently adopted amendments to the Real Estate Transfer Tax, 86 Ill Adm Code 120. Effective October 13, 2004, the changes affect sections 120.5, 120.10, and 120.20 of the code. 
(Not so) dastardly deeds By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2005 LawPulse, Page 8 If you spot a mistake in a deed, don't panic. There might just be an easy fix.
Update on Real Estate Tax Law Changes By James K. Weston January 2005 Column, Page 44 Here's a summary of some of the many recent changes in real estate taxation.
A better way to fight fraud is under your thumb By James K. Weston October 2004 Column, Page 542 Let's amend the notary law to require a thumbprint with the signature.
You, too, can be title insurance agent By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2004 LawPulse, Page 390 Have – or hope to have – an active residential real estate practice? If you're not a title agent already, becoming one might well boost your bottom line.
The Open and Obvious Doctrine and Landowner Liability: The Rule and the Exceptions By Jennifer E. Simms July 2004 Article, Page 352 A discussion of the doctrine, its exception, and its applicability to children.