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This office serves clients in real estate transactions of all types. I also assist clients with estate planning for everyone, including the GLBT community, and represent Illinois condominium associations as needed. I help real estate investors who are renting their properties deal with difficult renter issues, and I advocate for renters dealing with difficult landlords.

 
I work with clients in Chicago and all over the Chicagoland area, including Wilmette, Skokie, Morton Grove, Plainfield, Wheaton, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Naperville, Oak Park, Winnetka, Des Plaines, Orland Park, Berwyn, Carol Stream, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Barrington, Palatine, Park Ridge, Gurnee, South Holland, Park Forest and more.

My goal is to give each and every client personal, friendly and competent service at a reasonable price. I also strive to use technology in the best way possible to keep my clients informed.
 
My legal background includes working for a major Chicago developer and working for a boutique firm in their real estate division. I am also a landlord of a three flat building in Rogers Park and I am managing broker of a small real estate brokerage.
 

I work with all different types of clients, including developers, first-time buyers, buyers of second (or third!) homes, all sellers and the LGBTQ community.

My real estate blog is below. Please make sure to check back on a regular basis to check out what's new. I update my blog about once a week and welcome any questions that you may have.
 
Ask me too about help with personal injury, divorce, and any other legal issues! 

301 Greenview Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

www.chicagolandrealestatelaw.com
lawgoddess1@gmail.com
773.818.9054 office/cell
866.381.4238 efax

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Check out my interview, Expert Advice on Buying a Foreclosed Home on Illinois Homes, one of the top sites for Illinois homes for sale, including Wheaton, IL real estate. Illinois Homes also services Michigan homes for sale and Pennsylvania homes for sale.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Guidelines for FHA Short Sales

Effective October 1, 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the following changes to their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Sale requirements: 

  • Eligibility Requirements: To successfully complete a short sale under the FHA short sale program, the borrowers must meet the following requirements:
    • They cannot list the property with or sell it to anyone with whom they are related or have a close personal or business relationship.  In legal terms, it must be an "arm's-length" transaction.  Any knowing violation of the arm's-length requirement may be a violation of federal law.
    • Your mortgage must be in default, on the date the short sale transaction closes.
    • Before closing, any additional liens against the property must be released. A lien holder who demands a payment to release its lien must submit a written statement, and an agreement to release the lien if that amount is paid.
  • Financial Hardship Validation Requirement: For a standard preforeclosure sale, servicers must use a Deficit Income Test (DIT) to determine a homeowner's financial hardship.  The IRS Collection Financial Standards will be used to verify homeowners expenses not reflected in their credit report.  Only owner-occupied properties are eligible for the standard preforeclosure sale.
  • New Streamlined Short Sale Option: Homeowners eligible for a streamlined short sale may not be required to submit financial information or have a financial hardship.  Principal residences, second homes, investment properties and service members who have received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders are potentially eligible.
  • Property Appraisal: The appraisal of your property should be completed within approximately ten business days.  After the appraisal, the short sale file will be updated and prepared for review.  In some cases, approval may be required by the investor and/or FHA, which may take more time.
  • Cash Contribution: As a new condition, you might be required to make a final payment (sometimes called a cash contribution) before or at closing.  This payment will reduce the deficiency balance.
  • Borrower's Incentive Compensation: If you are an owner occupant, acting in good faith, and successfully selling your property, you may be eligible for an incentive of up to $3,000.  If you are required to make cash contribution, you are not eligible for this incentive.
  • Short Sale Contract Addendum:
    • The revised FHA short sale addendum must be signed and dated by all parties.  Under this addendum, all parties agree that the subject property must be sold through an arm's-length transaction.  An arm's-length transaction is defined as a short sale between two unrelated parties that is characterized by a selling price and other conditions that would prevail in an open market environment.  Also, no hidden terms or special understandings can exist between any of the parties (e.g., buyer, seller, appraiser, sales agent, closing agent, and mortgagee) involved in the transaction.
  • Action Required: Review the Short Sale FHA Program guides located on the Agent Resource Center:
To review additional information about FHA requirements, please log on to www.hud.gov. Questions can be directed to Short Sale Customer/Agent care at 1.866.880.1232.
 

2:11 pm cdt 

National Foreclosure Settlement Rules Tweaked Amid Complaints

From today's Chicago Tribune...

The $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement is getting tweaked, to address numerous complaints that mortgage servicers are falling short in their dealings with struggling borrowers.

When it was announced in February 2012, the settlement sought to compensate borrowers for wrongs they experienced in the foreclosure process. Equally important was the development of new mortgage servicing standards that applied to the nation’s five largest servicers, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally/GMAC.

But homeowners, housing counselors and state attorneys general have complained that the banks are not complying with many of the 304 standards they agreed to as part of the pact with the Justice Department, state attorneys general and the five companies.

Those standards "were supposed to eliminate headaches for borrowers, but homeowners continue to report problems," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office is a member of the settlement's monitoring committee.

The changes announced Tuesday night by the committee, many of which were agreed to only by Bank of America and Wells Fargo, seek to correct those issues.

Under the new procedures announced Tuesday night, all five banks will give homeowners 60 days, instead of 30, to submit additional documents that might help them secure a loan modification before the home goes into foreclosure or moves toward a foreclosure-related sale. The banks also have promised to do a better job of overseeing employees who work with borrowers.

Two servicers, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, also agreed to adopt other policies, such as being more specific about what missing information they need from homeowners. Currently, if a borrower sends in a document but forgets to sign it, the servicer may send a letter saying the document is missing, rather than just telling the homeowner that they forgot to sign it.

Those two companies also agreed to escalate loan modification applications when a customer is being asked repeatedly for more documents. And they will use an online portal to submit documents and create a direct contact for the housing counseling agencies working with struggling homeowners.

The committee continues to discuss additional service improvements with the three other banks, according to Natalie Bauer, a Madigan spokeswoman.

In May, Madigan said she saw an "alarming" pattern of potential violations of loan modification servicing standards. Among them: In 60 percent of files reviewed by her office, servicers did not notify borrowers within the required five days that their applications for a loan modification were missing documents.  And in 45 percent of the files reviewed, servicers asked homeowners for documents multiple times.

In his June report on the settlement's progress, independent monitor Joseph A. Smith Jr., said four of the five banks were failing to comply with the servicing aspects of the settlement. At the time, Shaun Donovan, secretary of the  Department of Housing and Urban Development said the "deep and pervasive problems" in mortgage servicing were unacceptable. 

11:05 am cdt 


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