Publications

Articles on Real Estate Law

How to Be a Good Closer

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2011
Article
Page 290
In baseball and residential real estate practice alike, it often comes down to the last inning when a lights-out closer can make the difference. Here are tips from veteran lawyers about what you might encounter at a real estate closing and how to handle it.

K. Miller: The Supreme Court and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act

By Barbara A. Farrell
June
2011
Article
Page 302
The Illinois Supreme Court interpreted the old Home Repair and Remodeling Act in light of the newly amended version and rendered a contractor-friendly decision.

New regulations for real estate licensing

June
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 286
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation recently repealed and replaced the majority of the Real Estate License Act of 2000 with an updated and reorganized version. 68 Ill Adm Code 1450.

Unpaid Condominium Assessments - Who’s on the Hook?

By Joseph R. Fortunato
April
2011
Column
Page 208
To what extent are purchasers of a condominium unit at a foreclosure sale liable to an association for unpaid assessments?

Can civil partners hold property as tenants by the entirety?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2011
LawPulse
Page 118

Why Commercial Landlords Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Arbitration

By Shorge Sato
March
2011
Article
Page 144
The Illinois Supreme Court's Carter decision holds that arbitration provisions can trump the statutory right to a jury trial contained in the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, this author argues.

Are Nonprofit Hospitals Charitable Institutions?

By Antonio Senagore
February
2011
Article
Page 96
Is a nonprofit hospital a "charitable use" that qualifies for a property tax exemption? The author reviews the Illinois Supreme Court's Provena decision and predicts its likely effects, one of which is legislation to protect hospitals.

Counties with more than three million residents required to accept credit card property tax payments. PA 096-1248

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Beginning on January 1, 2012, a county with a population of more than three million is obligated to accept credit card payments for each installment of property taxes. (35 ILCS 200/20-25).

Distressed Homeowners Need Lawyers, Not Legislation

By Steven B. Bashaw and Joseph R. Fortunato
January
2011
Column
Page 44
Those faced with foreclosure need legal advice, not more legislation.

Property owners can seek tax reimbursement for annexed properties. PA 096-1351

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Under amendments to the Property Tax Code, property owners can seek reimbursement for taxes paid on annexed property beginning in the 2010 tax year. 35 ILCS 200/20-27.

Transfer fee covenants prohibited. PA 096-1345

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois General Assembly has prohibited transfer fee covenants, declaring them an impairment of the marketability and transferability of property.

Changes in forms of property tax payment. PA 096-1250

October
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 508
The Property Tax Code has been amended regarding the payment of taxes. (35 ILCS 200/20-25).

Foreclosure and Divorce - Borrower’s Rights in the Face of Two “Wrongs”

By Joseph R. Fortunato and Steven B. Bashaw
October
2010
Column
Page 544
Should your divorcing, foreclosedupon client consolidate the foreclosure with the divorce?

The Impact of ABN AMRO v McGahan on Already-Issued Foreclosures

By Kevin M. Hudspeth
October
2010
Article
Page 520
Does a recent Illinois Supreme Court opinion render some alreadyissued foreclosure orders voidable? If so, what might that mean for the property and subsequent buyers?

The New, Improved Home Repair and Remodeling Act

By Adam B. Whiteman
September
2010
Article
Page 462
ISBA-inspired changes specify that a homeowner's remedy for an HRRA violation is to sue under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Reinstatement of real estate license. PA 096-0989

September
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 452
The Real Estate License Act has been amended to enable managing broker licensees, brokers, and leasing agents more flexibility in renewing their license. (225 ILCS 454/5-50) 

Tenancy by the entirety gets a boost

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2010
LawPulse
Page 446
Spouses no longer must choose between the protection against creditors provided by tenancy by the entirety and the estate-planning advantages of a revocable inter vivos trust.

2010 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2010
Column
Page 404
A summary of key Illinois legislation passed this spring.

ABN AMRO: A victory for the foreclosed-upon

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2010
LawPulse
Page 394
The Illinois Supreme Court holds that in a foreclosure suit, the mortgage lender must name (and thus notify) the personal representative of a deceased borrower before the trial court can hear the case.

Real estate lawyers: beware short-sale fee agreements

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2010
LawPulse
Page 394
A proposed fee arrangement presented to a lawyer by a short sale negotiator raises red flags for a veteran real estate practitioner.

The Foreclosure Explosion: How Illinois Courts Are Responding

By Joseph R. Fortunato and Steven B. Bashaw
July
2010
Column
Page 380
How judges, lawyers, and litigants in Chicagoland are responding to the foreclosure crisis.

ISBA Opinion 10-02 Reins in Real Estate Brokers

By Peter J. Birnbaum
April
2010
Column
Page 212
This new ethics opinion is good news for real estate lawyers, the author contends.

See comments from our readers

April
2010
Column
Page 170
Habitability warranty disclaimers; FOIA attorney fees; family law attorney fees

The Implied Warranty of Habitability in Illinois: A Critical Review

By Roger L. Price and M. Ryan Pinkston
February
2010
Article
Page 92
A look at the implied warranty of habitability for Illinois homebuyers from the perspective of counsel for builders and sellers.

Is Selling Title Insurance a “Business Transaction”?

By Joseph R. Fortunato and Steven B. Bashaw
January
2010
Column
Page 50
A reference to the sale of title insurance in the new rules has some lawyers concerned.

Purchasers of mortgaged real estate must give detailed notice to tenants. PA 096-0111

December
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 604
Tenants must be given detailed notice of mortgage foreclosures, under new regulations passed by Illinois lawmakers. 

New law brings transparency to homestead assessments. PA 096-0122

November
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 552
State lawmakers recently added new language to the state Property Tax Code to help homeowners understand and challenge changes in their property assessments. 

Could a “Clunker” Program Solve the Real Estate Lending Problem?

By James K. Weston
October
2009
Column
Page 530
How about letting homeowners trade in their high-interest mortgages for fixed-term models?

Presenting property tax appeals

October
2009
Column
Page 532
Q: The fair market value of my house has decreased since the recession, but my property taxes haven’t. I’ve filed an appeal of my assessment with the Board of Review, and I’m waiting for the hearing. What is my best argument at the hearing? What should I take with me in the way of evidence? What are my chances in getting the taxes reduced?

The right to a jury trial is not guaranteed in an action nonexistent at common law.

October
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
On July 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jackson County and remanded the case for a bench trial.

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