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Managing Risk In Real Property Transactions

Almost everyone knows that buying property involves risk. Many times, this risk is beyond either the seller’s or buyer’s control. A fire can turn a mansion into a veritable heap of ashes in only minutes, and a proposed highway extension can transform a near-worthless piece of pastureland or other real estate into a gold mine. Both these situations, and others like them, may cause either the buyer or seller to wonder “what if.” The wistful “what if” may turn into a sentiment that cannot be repeated on a family-friendly website if the... Read more

Property Division In The Prairie State

Illinois lawmakers drafted divorce laws with the objective of preventing the event of a divorce from being an undue financial burden on either party. So, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Act”) states that marital property must be divided “equitably,” which is not necessarily the same thing as “equally.” Before real property, stock certificates, tangible personal property, and other items can be divided, they must be categorized as either marital or non-marital property. By definitio... Read more

Feds Take Steps Against Underwater Mortgages

Over 30,000 distressed homeowners may be eligible for a Federal Housing Finance Agency-sponsored principal reduction to help prevent foreclosure. The plan is available to owner-occupants who are at least 90 days delinquent as of March 1, 2016, have an unpaid principal balance of under $250,000, and have a loan-to-value ratio above 115 percent. Additionally, their loans must be owned by, or guaranteed by, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. FHFA Director Mel Watt called the plan a “win-win” for both borrowers and lenders. “It is also consistent wit... Read more

The Need For A Family Lawyer

In the last several years, marriage and family issues have been among the top stories of evening newscasts, and a shift is really occurring. According to a recent survey, less than half of American children live in a “traditional” family that consists of a married father and mother, who have never been married to anyone else, and their pure biological children. Illinois law is struggling to keep pace with these changes. In the last two years, the legislature has radically re-worked both the spousal support and child custody provisions in th... Read more