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Real Estate LawThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Real Estate Law

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Newsletter articles from 2012

Assessing property tax for an individual condominium unit By Kelly M. Greco September 2012 Due to the nature of condominium ownership, the method by which condominiums are assessed and taxed as real property can be unclear. This article unravels this question and addresses how property tax is assessed for an individual condominium unit.
Deconstructing condominiums and reinventing communities By Nancy Hyzer May 2012 Post-2008, condominium ownership was especially hard hit by the housing market decline due to a number of factors the result of which led to abandoned foreclosed units, associations facing bankruptcy, and sellers searching for buyers and buyers looking for loans.
A guide to repairing broken condominiums By Richard F. Bales July 2012 An overview of Sections 16, 15, and 14.5 of the Condominium Property Act, which can be very effective in rescuing troubled condominium projects.
The ISBA needs you to help fight hunger By Angelica W. Wawrzynek December 2012 Learn more about Feeding Illinois, the ISBA's important hunger-fighting initiative.
ISBA President challenges Illinois lawyers to fight hunger September 2012 ISBA President John Thies invites all law firms and legal organizations statewide to participate in a food and fundraising drive during the final two weeks in February 2013.
Nightmare on _______ Street: The hidden costs of private streets and reciprocal easements By Adam B. Whiteman August 2012 Whenever you detect that a client is purchasing property on a private street, you should immediately determine who is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.
The nightmare scenario By Michael G. Cortina August 2012 Rather than trying to “get one by” the judge and hope that s/he does not notice that we forgot something, we should strive to prove that we have done all that could possibly be required of us and that when we ask for relief from the court the judge will know that we are entitled to such relief.
Options for the client in trouble with real estate: Forbearance to bankruptcy and everything in between By Erica Crohn Minchella February 2012 A competent real estate attorney evaluates each client’s circumstances in light of various interests and perspectives and offers sound advice. But with so many factors and circumstances, how do we ensure we firmly grasp the specific needs of each client?  
Putting the short into short sales By Philip J. Vacco October 2012 Effective November 1, 2012, Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new and improved preforeclosure sales program will officially be known as “Standard Short Sale/HAFA II.
Radon as an issue for real estate closings By Myles Jacobs March 2012 While there presently is no law which requires a purchaser of a home to do a radon test, many purchasers have now become concerned and will conduct a radon test at the same time they do their home inspection.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney December 2012 In re David Andre Bertha involves a complaint filed against an attorney for holding an earnest money escrow in connection with a real estate transaction.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney October 2012 In re: Marc Robert Engelmann resulted in disbarment by consent of a lawyer convicted by the federal court in the Southern District of Iowa of conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud. 
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney September 2012 Two recent disciplinary cases are instructive beyond the general admonition not to “do bad things” because violations of provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct other than those prohibiting dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice were cited. 
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney August 2012 An examination of In re: John Walsh, in which a Complaint was filed against Mr. Walsh by the ARDC because he improperly paid two obligations of a title insurance agent LLC with funds from an escrow account of the title insurance agent.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney June 2012 In the current real estate market, foreclosure rescue schemes and scams and short-sales abound. Real estate lawyers do well to recognize when they are involved in a transaction that may take one or more “funny” turns that end up not being very humorous for the lawyer.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney May 2012 A simple residential leasehold transaction proved troublesome for one Illinois attorney and the Illinois Supreme Court suspended the attorney from the practice of law for 90 days.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney April 2012 Do the Rules of Professional Conduct still govern the conduct of the attorney when he or she owns the owns the entity registered as a title insurance agent?
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney March 2012 A discussion of the recent disciplinary matter of In re: David Milton Svec.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney February 2012 Two recent disciplinary cases share a number of interesting features, though one arose in the Chicago area and one downstate in Lincoln.
Real estate ethics corner By Michael J. Rooney January 2012 In both disciplinary matters discussed here, the attorney sent postcards to prospective clients indicating he would handle real estate transactions for a set fee without disclosing that he would also receive title insurance premiums and, in the earlier case, fees for surveys, both from companies in which he had an ownership interest. Moreover, his ownership interest in those entities was not disclosed. 
The Transfer on Death Instrument: A new estate planning tool for Illinois attorneys By George L. Schoenbeck April 2012 This article provides an overview of the Act and discusses some of the issues a lawyer may encounter in drafting or attempting to implement a TODI.
Transfer on Death Instruments and title insurance: Two significant problems By Douglas M. Karlen January 2012 The Transfer on Death Instrument Act is new, complex, and untested. It presents to title insurers numerous issues that may be difficult to resolve. The discussion that follows highlights two of these issues: (1) insuring subsequent purchasers when title is derived through a TODI and (2) insuring title when a recorded TODI is not timely or properly accepted by its beneficiaries.