Recent Blog Posts

The Best and Worst Types of Illinois Property Deeds

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerWhen you are buying real estate, you must make sure that the type of deed you take adequately protects you. Not all deeds are created equal. Allowing a seller to transfer you a weak type of deed could mean that you find out years later that the seller never actually owned the property - and neither did you. Any deed offered by the seller should be reviewed by an experienced Cook County, IL real estate attorney. A lawyer can make sure that you are well-protected if any issues arise after the sale or draft the deed himself to make sure it contains language holding the seller accountable for certain problems you might encounter later.

Why You Should Avoid Quitclaim Deeds 

If you are ever offered a quitclaim deed, it is best to walk away from the sale, no matter how much you like the property or how reasonable the cost is. The problem with quitclaim deeds is that they may or may not actually convey anything. A quitclaim deed essentially says, “I may or may not have any ownership interest in this property, but if I do I am transferring it to you.” If it turns out that the seller did not have any ownership interest in the property, you have effectively paid for nothing. There is also the possibility that the seller is only a co-owner and someone else might still co-own the property you just bought.

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Risks and Benefits of Buying an Occupied Building

 Posted on April 04, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerIf you are thinking of buying a multi-unit building and becoming a landlord, you will likely need to work with tenants who are already living in the building. Unless you are buying a newly constructed apartment building or refurbishing an abandoned one, the property is probably occupied by existing tenants. In most cases, you will be bound by the terms of your new tenants’ leases. You probably cannot remove tenants until their leases expire. Buying an occupied apartment building comes with both risks and benefits. It is important to speak with your Cook County, IL real estate attorney about how ongoing leases may impact your transaction.

Risks of Buying a Building With Current Leaseholders 

You must honor existing leases when you buy an occupied residential building. Some of the risks involved may include:

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Should I Agree to a Leaseback in Illinois?

 Posted on March 27, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerA leaseback is when a homebuyer allows the seller to remain in the home for a certain period of time after closing. The seller generally pays rent to the buyer during this period. Agreeing to a leaseback creates a new landlord-tenant relationship between the buyer and the seller, with the seller becoming the buyer’s legal tenant. Sellers often request this arrangement when they are ready to sell but, for some reason, cannot completely vacate the residence before closing. There are some risks involved for both the buyer and the seller in a leaseback. If you are considering agreeing to a leaseback, it is important to consult an experienced Cook County real estate lawyer first.

What is the Risk to a Homebuyer in a Leaseback? 

There are a few risks to a homebuyer in a leaseback, including:

  • Seller does not vacate- If the date the leaseback period was supposed to end comes around and the seller is still living in the residence, you may be forced to formally and legally evict them. The eviction process can take several months. If you are currently renting or have a buyer lined up for the home you are in now, this can create problems if you are then unable to move into your new home on time.

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Why Illinois Residents Need More Than One Power of Attorney

 Posted on March 14, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerPowers of attorney are absolutely essential for protecting yourself should you become incapacitated. If you do not have powers of attorney in place and begin to suffer from an age-related disease like dementia, or you have a serious accident and suffer brain damage, the court will likely need to step in and choose someone to manage your affairs and make medical decisions for you. While incapacitated, you will have no say in who the court chooses. If you do have powers of attorney, there is no need for the court to get involved. The people you chose can simply step in and begin performing the roles you appointed them to. It is best to have the help of a Cook County, IL estate planning lawyer when you create your powers of attorney.

Types of Powers of Attorney You Need 

There are several different types of powers of attorney. You may want separate powers of attorney for healthcare, for personal decision-making, and for financial management. The person you would want to manage your finances and access your bank account to pay your living expenses might not be the same person you would want to decide where you should live.

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Signs of a Bad Home Deal in Illinois

 Posted on February 27, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerBuying a house can be a challenging process filled with potential pitfalls. While the perfect home and the perfect real estate deal may not exist, there are some warning signs of a bad deal that you and your Chicago, IL, real estate attorney can look out for. From questionable sellers to outright scams and mortgage companies committing fraud, the residential real estate market can be a minefield. This is why it is so important to have legal representation. An experienced attorney will know what to look for to make sure that you are getting a fair deal when you set out to buy a home. If something about your real estate transaction feels wrong or “too good to be true,” it probably is. Always seek the advice of an attorney before committing to buying a house.

Warning Signs of a Real Estate Deal You Do Not Want to Take 

Taking a bad deal can leave you at best, with costly repairs to cover, and at worst, out of money and with no home to show for it. Warning signs that usually mean you should walk away from a sale include: 

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What to Look for in a Home Inspection

 Posted on February 07, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerThe home inspection conducted by a licensed professional is a critical part of the home-buying process. Whether you are buying your first-ever family home or have been through the process several times already, it is important to know what types of issues to look out for in the inspection report. Unless you are purchasing a brand-new home and will be the first person living there, the house you are interested in likely has some level of damage from years of wear and tear. The question is, what types of damage or issues should you be concerned about, and which are entirely normal? Few lived-in homes are in perfect condition, so there is no reason to be alarmed just because the inspector has identified a problem or concern. However, some types of damage or issues could be unsafe for your family or lead to costly repairs soon. An Oak Brook, IL, real estate lawyer can help you decide whether a property is right for your family. 

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How Can a Lawyer Help You with Foreclosure Defense?

 Posted on January 29, 2024 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerFacing foreclosure can be an incredibly stressful experience. You may feel intimidated by the process. Having an Illinois foreclosure defense attorney on your side can strengthen your side of your case.

Understanding Your Options

The foreclosure process can be confusing, with endless letters and notices from lenders. An attorney experienced in this area can help explain the meaning of each notice and your options at each stage. That includes tools like forbearance agreements, loan modifications, short sales, and deeds instead of foreclosure. An attorney can also advise if bankruptcy may help and what type - Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 - may be best suited to stop the foreclosure sale.

Negotiating on Your Behalf

Lenders and servicers often reject initial requests to adjust mortgage terms. A lawyer knows what loss mitigation programs the lender offers, what you likely qualify for, and how to negotiate effectively on your behalf. This can include highlighting extenuating circumstances, pointing out errors in their process, and exhausting every option before the foreclosure moves forward.

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What Should You Know About the Foreclosure Process?

 Posted on January 19, 2024 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerIf you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, you may be at risk of foreclosure. This legal process allows lenders to seize and sell your property to recoup their losses from your defaulted loan. Foreclosures can be complicated, stressful experiences, so it is essential to understand the critical steps in the process. An Illinois real estate lawyer can help protect you and guide you through the following steps.

When Does the Foreclosure Process Start?

If you miss a payment, the foreclosure process cannot just begin. There has to be a process that your lender follows, such as the following:

  • Delinquency Letter- The first sign of foreclosure trouble usually comes in the form of a delinquency letter from your mortgage lender. If you miss a mortgage payment, expect to receive written notice within 30 days informing you that you are behind. At this early stage, keeping your mortgage current can stop foreclosure.

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What Happens During the Probate Process?

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerWhen a loved one passes away, you are grieving and likely overwhelmed. Knowing what to expect can ease some stress if they leave behind property requiring probate. An Illinois estate planning lawyer can provide insight into what happens at each step so you feel informed and empowered.

Filing the Initial Petition

Formal probate begins when an appointed executor or estate representative files paperwork with the county probate court. This includes a certified copy of the will (if one exists), the death certificate, and a petition to open probate and appoint the representative. Filing fees must also be paid.

The court reviews the petition and supporting documents. As long as everything looks valid, they officially open the estate and issue a document called “Letters of Office” naming the estate representative and authorizing them to conduct transactions on behalf of the estate.

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When Do You Need Deed Drafting?

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerTransferring real estate requires properly documenting the exchange through quality deed drafting. However, with multiple deed types and complex transfer issues, confusion abounds around necessary occasions for professional legal help. An Illinois real estate lawyer can help you make the deed drafting process less complex.

Purchasing Property

Perhaps the most obvious need for legal deed drafting arises when purchasing a property. Sales contracts contain promises to convey land title from seller to buyer. Trained lawyers utilize precise legal terminology and required elements to transform sales contracts into enforceable warranty deeds. This legally conveys ownership rights to obtain clean title insurance policies. Any ambiguities or missing details during deed drafting could nullify the transfer or spark future claims against ownership. Simply using template deeds or listing services forms fails to adequately protect buyers’ interests in the land purchase.

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