Real Estate

Condominium Association Liability for Failing to Maintain Common Elements

Condominium Associations can be liable for claims by unit owners for the association’s failure to maintain the building’s common elements. Last week an Illinois Appellate court ruled that a unit owner whom the condominium association sued for failing to pay assessments could offset the amount she owed by the condominium association’s failure to maintain the common elements. In the case…read more →

Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation

The mortgage foreclosure mediation program in Cook County has resulted in some success for homeowners. A recent article in the Illinois Bar Journal  describes the program, the process and the results. While participation in the mediation process certainly does not guarantee that you will be able to keep your home through a loan modification it does provide a way to…read more →

A Will with Unintended Consequences

A recent Florida court case illustrates what can result from a poorly drafted Will.   The case describes how a woman wrote a Will using an “EZ-Legal Form.” Her Will contained a very specific list of her real estate and bank accounts and left that property to her sister and brother.  The Will did not contain what is known as…read more →

New Requirement for Illinois Landlords

Landlords in Illinois will be required next year to change or “rekey” the locks before a new tenant moves in. Here is link to the new lock changing law.  There are only limited exceptions to this law including rooming houses and buildings with four or fewer units where the owner lives in one of the units.  If the landlord…read more →

Will Your Trust Work

Will your Trust work the way you intend it.  Many people have created Revocable Trusts, which are also known as Living Trusts. They have done so for a number of reasons (avoiding probate, avoiding court guardianship, tax planning).  But if your Trust is not funded it may not work the way you want.A recent post on an trust and estate…read more →

Another Challenge for the Chicago Condo Market

There is another challenge for buyers and sellers of condominiums in Chicago.  According to a Chicago Tribune article titled Condo deals die in shadows of financially distressed buildings lenders are refusing to make loans in buildings that have a high number of renters, a large percentage of past due assessments or foreclosures.  This another reason to carefully research a condominium association…read more →

Good Estate Planning Goes Beyond The Will

While a Will is an important part of any estate plan, there are other things that should be considered too.Beneficiary designations and joint tenancy property should be considered when reviewing your estate plan.  Your bank accounts, stock brokerage accounts, retirement accounts may have beneficiaries that you named to receive the assets in those accounts.  These accounts might also be held…read more →

Another Cost a Will Can Avoid

A properly drafted Will can save your beneficiaries costs in many different ways. One of those ways that people don’t ordinarily think about is the cost of a bond.A Will can contain a provision that waives the requirement that the executor post a bond. If your Will does not have this provision or if you don’t have a Will then…read more →

Now Paid On Time Isn’t Good Enough

Paying your mortgage on time apparently now isn’t good enough for one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders-GMAC. Surprisingly, with all the problems mortgage lenders have with loans that are not being paid GMAC has time to make threatening collection calls to its borrowers who are paying on time.The standard residential loan and mortgage state that payments are due on…read more →