Publications

Articles on Real Estate Law

Stifling ‘sovereign citizens’: tougher penalties for unlawful clouding of title

By Adam W. Lasker
November
2013
LawPulse
Page 554
In response to false liens against public officials' property filed by so-called "sovereign citizens," the Illinois legislature upgrades false title-clouding from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Challenging a Trustee Plaintiff’s Standing to Maintain a Foreclosure Action in Illinois

By Damon Ritenhouse and Prashant Vallury
October
2013
Article
Page 522
The authors describe a new strategy to help defend against trustee plaintiffs who may lack proper standing to bring a foreclosure suit.

Additional fees for recording a document affecting a real property interest. PA 098-0005

August
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
To record a document affecting a real property interest, not including documents solely related to easements for water, sewer, electricity, gas, telephone, or other public services, the filer of the document (excluding a state agency, local government, or school district) will be charged $1 per document by the recorder. 55 ILCS 5/3-5018.

Fracking Comes to Illinois

By Leonard S. Kurfirst and Colin P. O’Donovan
August
2013
Article
Page 404
What exactly is fracking? How big an impact might it have in Illinois? This article reviews the process and the new state law.

Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act regulations specify appeals process for developers

July
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
Newly enacted regulatory provisions, effective March 29, 2013, authorize the Illinois Housing Development Authority to adopt rules implementing the responsibilities of the State Housing Appeals Board (the "Board") under the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, 310 ILCS 67/60.

County recorders can investigate fraud, bill provides

By Adam W. Lasker
July
2013
LawPulse
Page 330
The controversial bill would empower recorders to red-flag deeds and other documents that appear fraudulent. Wary real estate practitioners have a wait-and-see attitude.

Forcing Lenders to Comply with the Home Affordable Modification Program

By Andrew J. Hawes
June
2013
Article
Page 308
The seventh circuit rules that borrowers can sue lenders for state law breach of contract and other claims related to a trial period plan payment agreement.

Home rule rules, says the Illinois Supreme Court

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2013
LawPulse
Page 278
Ordinances enacted by home rule municipalities trump state statutes unless the state expressly exercises exclusive control, the supreme court rules in a condo case.

Mortgage Fraud and E&O Insurance: Making Sure There’s Something to Sue For

By Kurt B. Drain
May
2013
Article
Page 250
Too often, lenders win mortgage-fraud judgments against defendants who turn out to be judgment proof. The solution? Ensure that mortgage brokers have adequate E&O coverage.

Court clarifies standards for confirmation of levy sales

April
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
On January 22, 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, held that a levy sale of an undivided half-interest in a single-family home for $120,000 less than its appraised value was not unconscionable or unjust.

A New Law Overturns Cypress Creek

By Joseph R. Fortunato
April
2013
Column
Page 204
A new law puts contractors with secured liens ahead of lenders.

New supreme court rules promote foreclosure mediation

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2013
LawPulse
Page 170
New consumer-friendly rules, effective May 1, are designed to make the foreclosure process more fair and reduce the backlog of cases.

Real Estate and Avoiding Probate: The Case for Land Trusts

By David J. Lanciotti
February
2013
Article
Page 86
While both land trusts and transfer on death instruments allow residential real estate to transfer outside probate, the land trust has important advantages for some clients, this author argues.

Real Estate and Malpractice

By Karen Erger
December
2012
Column
Page 662
Real estate law now generates more claims than any other practice area.

High court: unpaid property tax not a bar to running for municipal office

By Adam W. Lasker
October
2012
LawPulse
Page 514
The Illinois Supreme Court limited the reach of the candidate-qualifications statute to make it harder to remove candidates from the ballot for "indebtedness to the municipality."

Is the Real Estate Lawyer an Endangered Species?

By Joseph R. Fortunato
October
2012
Column
Page 556
A recent title insurance case illustrates how much things have changed.

Eminent Domain: A New Valuation Timetable

By James M. Wagner and Patrick J. Kelly
September
2012
Article
Page 486
A recent case holds that compensation must reflect the value of the property when the payment is made, not earlier when the condemnation complaint was filed.

Law provides a property tax exemption for homes rebuilt after a natural disaster. PA 097-0716

September
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 464
Illinois lawmakers have amended the Property Tax Code by adding section 15-173.

New cases every real-estate lawyer should read

By Adam W. Lasker
September
2012
LawPulse
Page 458
Real-estate practitioners should be sure to read recent decisions on the duty of title insurers, the content of mortgage documents, and recording of deeds and mortgages.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies in Property Tax Assessment Appeals after Millennium Park

By Antonio Senagore
August
2012
Article
Page 434
The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that a taxpayer could skip the administrative appeal process and challenge a property tax assessment directly in circuit court.

A Modest Proposal - Liability for Negligence in Property Inspections

By Joseph R. Fortunato Jr.
April
2012
Column
Page 220
Is it time for legislation that voids liability limitations in property inspectors' contracts?

Practitioners and title industry unite to iron out new TODI law

By Adam W. Lasker
April
2012
LawPulse
Page 178
Title companies are working with drafters of the new transfer-on-death-instrument law to clear up questions and help prevent uncertainty.

Three Title Insurance Traps for Real Estate Lawyers

By Michael J. Rooney
March
2012
Article
Page 146
Closing protection letters, the Form DS-1 disclosure, and key 2010 revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct are potential pitfalls for real estate lawyers.

Homestead and the “Purchase Money Mortgage” Exception

By Joseph R. Fortunato Jr.
January
2012
Column
Page 52
When only one spouse takes title to the house, must the other sign the mortgage?

The Transfer on Death Instrument Comes to Illinois

By Charles G. Brown
December
2011
Article
Page 618
Effective January 1, Illinois law gives your clients a convenient way to transfer residential real estate outside of probate. Here's a review of the new law by one of its drafters.

New scams target real estate lawyers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2011
LawPulse
Page 550
Scammers are using smartphones and apps to steal home-sale proceeds.

Active Duty Military: A Special Class of Distressed Homeowners

By Steven B. Bashaw
October
2011
Column
Page 532
Being forced to sell a home in this economy is a recipe for financial misery.

2011 Spring Session Legislative Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2011
Column
Page 392
A summary of key legislation from this year's session.

Statute of repose bars legal malpractice claim

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2011
LawPulse
Page 382
A plaintiff who sued a lawyer for malpractice in the preparation of a quitclaim deed was too late because any injury occurred when the deed was prepared, not later when her husband died.

The New Chicago Condominium Conversion Ordinance

By Joseph Fortunato
July
2011
Column
Page 366
It protects renters whose apartments are being converted and buyers of the new condos.

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