Monday, September 29, 2008

36 Days and Counting!

Until your second installment of property taxes is due in Cook County. Hey, they beat last years December due date.

2nd Installment Due Date - The due date for the Tax Year 2007 Second Installment is Monday, November 3, 2008.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How Smart of a Home Seller are You??

10 question quiz from Kiplingers...I missed one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vacation Homes and 1031

Saw a little nugget in the ISBA Real Estate Section Councils newsletter regarding whether you can do a 1031 exchange using a typical vacation home. I.e. would that sort of property be "held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment."

Well, the tax court said no and here's the decision.

Be Careful when drafting Orders of Possession

Since one of my personal pet peeves is people who don't take responsibility for mistakes and blame others instead, let me say up front that I made a mistake! On Cook County's Orders for Possession there are 4 places where you write the Defendant's name and in a recent case I accidentally wrote the Plaintiff's name in one of those 4 places. And because of that, the Cook Sheriff would not evict and I had to go back to court and correct that error.

On the lawyer end, I think the teaching point is draft Orders (or have a secretary draft) at your office before court. In many areas of practice where there's uncertainty about what a court will do this isn't possible, but in eviction land with Orders of Possession I think it is. On the Sheriff side, do you really not know the correct defendant in my scenario?? Hmmm.....

Chicago Transfer Tax and Divorce

Okay so we all know that it costs $7.50 per $1,000 of purchase price for the privilege of purchasing property in the City of Chicago. However, there are several types of transactions that are exempt from the transfer tax. Some of the obvious ones being transactions where consideration is under $500 and to correct former deed errors. One area that in my experience used to be exempt at least in practice used to be situations where people got a divorce and one former spouse quit claimed a residence to the other former spouse.

However, in speaking with attorneys of late and the folks over at the Cook Recorder, they're now actively enforcing the transfer tax ordinance in these divorce/quit claim deed situations. The City of Chicago transfer tax form has some specific language noting that divorce scenarios are NOT exempt. So in the near term make sure you're dealing with this in marital settlement agreements, ect. As high as the tax is, it can start to be real money. Saw this in the Sun-Times regarding Alderman Burke's attempts to make divorce transfers exempt.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Property's Walkability Score

I'm not sure walkability's a word but you get the gist. Here's the Website: Some more data for you when considering a home purchase.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New Cook County Circuit Court Judges: Cook County Sheriffs Deputies

I saw this mildly concerning piece in today's Sun-Times regarding new procedures in the Sheriff's office regarding renter evictions where the eviction is resulting from a property owner's foreclosure. For those of you not familiar with eviction procedure in Cook County, a court gives you what's called an Order for Possession for a property. You give this Order to the Cook Sheriff's eviction department who eventually will be the person(s) actually doing the evicting. It's my understanding that 1 day prior to the Sheriff showing up, a notice of the eviction gets placed at a unit giving some warning of the removal.

Now the new policy:

Starting today, deputies who enter homes where no one is present will hold off for seven days, leaving a brightly colored sign on the door to let renters know they have a week to provide proof of occupancy.

If the tenants prove they are living there as renters, the eviction will be called off, Connelly said. In the past, if no one was home, the eviction would take place.

How and to whom are tenants going to "prove they are living there as renters"? Let me start by saying I certainly would feel for a renter in this situation. However, doesn't the above strike you as in essence the Sheriff acting as Judge? There are many ways to stop an eviction properly but they should involve a judgment made by the person whom our system gives the ability to make said judgment, i.e. Circuit/Associate Judges. Now the Sheriff's getting in on the action and of course not in a way favorable to Plaintiffs.