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Should lawyers protect clients from wire transfer fraud? I say YES!

By Michael Wasserman

In 2017, the FBI reported that wire transfer fraud was up 480% in real estate transactions. It’s a frightening number.

Yet more and more, I’ve heard that real estate lawyers won’t discuss transfer instructions with clients—that they leave it to the title company to avoid the responsibility and liability. What?!

Recent posts

Hey Chicago, how about that CityKey?

By Michael H. Wasserman You may have heard that Chicago just made the CityKey ID available to its residents. If you haven’t, CityKey is the city’s first municipal ID card that makes city life more convenient, less expensive and, in some cases, more secure. But is it good for Chicago?

HRRA: Illinois' remedy against reckless contractors

By Michael H. Wasserman

Before you queue the scary music (or sign on the dotted line), know your rights—and the limitations—provided under the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act (HRRA).

Looking to save $$ on property tax? Start here

The who, what and how of Chicago blue cart recycling in 2018

By Michael Wasserman

As many of my clients are new to Chicago, I’m often asked about recycling, typically as we sit around the closing table finalizing purchases. And, since there are updated rules and schedules, I thought I’d jot down a quick overview and links to Chicago’s nifty recycling guide. Plus a cool quiz.

Do I HAVE to shovel? Chicago snow shoveling law and etiquette

Set aside any discussion of climate change for a moment. It’s winter. It’s Chicago. It snows. As a homeowner, you owe it to your friends, family, neighbors and delivery people to keep the sidewalks free of snow and ice.

With federal tax reform looming, should I prepay 2017 Cook County property taxes?

By Michael H. Wasserman

Paying property tax bills before the end of the 2017 may help some owners save on their federal income tax liabilities.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been called the most sweeping tax reform bill in decades. Like it or
not, tax reform is coming. Others might wring their hands with glee or with worry. We are already working on ways to minimize the pain this reform might cause. 
One aspect of the pending tax reform plan presents a clear challenge for most Chicagoland home owners, the elimination of deductions for State and Local Taxes (SALT). The house and senate plans both limit deductibility to $10,000. Once the tax reform is signed into law, we will pay federal income taxes on the money we use to pay our local taxes exceeding that $10,000 threshold. Some homeowners who have the foresight (and lets face it, the savings) to act swiftly may want to pre-pay their first installment 2017 property tax bills this year before the tax laws kick in, so that those payments …