Publications

Articles on Real Estate Law

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.

Merger doctrine does not apply where parties operated under mutual mistake of fact

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, recently reversed the Circuit Court of Cook County's finding that the merger doctrine required a dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims because the evaluation of the tax credit at the time of closing was a matter of public record. 

Purchasers of condominiums at foreclosure sale to pay association fee - PA 094-1049

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
Section 9 of the Condominium Property Act (Act) has been amended by adding paragraphs 4 and 5 to subsection (g). 765 ILCS 605/9(g). 

Impairment of servient estate does not necessitate denial of an implied easement

February
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On December 7, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed in part the holding of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which denied plaintiff Gacki's motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to defendants Raymond and Lori Bartels, because the plaintiff's claimed easement would impair or reduce the value of the servient estate.

Getting back in the closings game

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2007
LawPulse
Page 8
Lawyers should try to reclaim their place at the residential real-estate table, a leading practitioner writes. And that requires more than going along for the ride.

The Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act

By James K. Weston
January
2007
Column
Page 52
This law, effective January 1, is designed to protect soon-tobe-forclosed landowners from a "rescue" scam.

Surpluses from foreclosure sales do not go to the purchaser

January
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On November 13, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of McHenry County, holding the circuit court abused its discretion by distributing a portion of the surplus funds from a sheriff's auction to the winner of that auction.

Asked and Answered

December
2006
Column
Page 682
Must Homebuilders Give Buyers an Express Warranty?

Discovery rules changed for appeals of property assessments of over $1 million

December
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 650
The Property Tax Appeal Board (Board) has added section 1910.79 and amended section 1910.95 of 86 Ill Adm Code 1910, effective September 29, 2006, in order to "streamline and expedite the appeal process" for appeals on property assessments of $1 million or more.

Confidentiality rules created for predatory lending database

November
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (Act) required that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) establish a database for its Predatory Lending Database Pilot Program (Database Program). 

Correspondence from Our Readers

November
2006
Column
Page 574
Beyond "deed and green";CDL/DUI update.

The New Eminent Domain Law: Protections for Landowners, Hurdles for Governments

By Joseph V. Healy
November
2006
Article
Page 596
A review of the legislature's response to Kelo, which takes effect January 1.

New rules on openness and evidence adoption in property tax hearings

November
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
The Property Tax Appeals Board (Board) has amended sections 1910.67 and 1910.90 to 86 Ill Adm Code 1910 to reflect that although property tax appeal hearings are generally open to the public, the board or its officers can now close all or parts of hearings in order to protect private information from being disclosed.

Another look at attorney approval clauses

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2006
LawPulse
Page 518
Attorney-proposed changes to real estate contracts containing attorney-approval clauses should not be viewed as counteroffers that terminate the agreement, a law prof opines. 

Asked and Answered

October
2006
Column
Page 559
A guide for representing condo buyers. 

New Federal Rules Change Illinois Law on Environmental Due Diligence

By Charles J. Northrup
October
2006
Article
Page 550
Learn about federal rules, effective next month, governing the "all appropriate inquiry" necessary to establish the innocent landowner defense under CERCLA.

The Predatory Lending Database Has Arrived

By James K. Weston
October
2006
Column
Page 560
Illinois' anti-mortgage-fraud program debuted September 1. Will it fulfill its intended purpose?

Beyond deed and green

September
2006
Column
Page 454
Getting beyond deed and green?

Lender Leap-Frog: Conventional Subrogation in Lien Priority Disputes

By Barbara A. Gimbel and Edward J. Andersen
September
2006
Article
Page 494
A lender can take priority as lienholder even over a third party who recorded first. Find out how.

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