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Showing posts from January, 2015


by Michael H. Wasserman 
We live in a terribly unsafe world transacting real estate purchases and sales. There is a lot of money passing between Buyers and Sellers and Lenders and Title Insurance Companies. Unfortunately, there are a great many scammers out there trying to divert those funds away from the deal and into their pockets.
In the coming weeks, I intend to write about several new rules and protocols being implemented to try to avoid calamities of this sort. For now, I wish to alert Realtors and other lawyers about an increasingly common email fraud. 
I am seeing multiple emails every day from lenders and title companies with the seemingly innocuous email caption: HUD-1 Approval***.
Hud-1, of course, the form number for the federally mandated settlement statement used in most every residential purchase/sale and mortgage re-finance transaction. We need these forms in order to advise our clients of their closing costs and the amounts of money they need to deliver (or expect to…


by Michael H. Wasserman
Cook County property owners can now see their 2014 1st Installment property tax bills online at the County Treasurer's web site. Tax bills are due on or before March 3, 2015.  The first installment bill is not a predictor of what the final annual tax bill will look like. This is merely 55% of last years bill and is simply an estimate of what the final levy may look like.

IF YOU ESCROW FOR TAXES WITH YOUR LENDER: Property tax payers who escrow for taxes with their lender need not take any action - the lender is supposed to pay for you. (OK, maybe you should check to make sure that your lender actually does pays the bill.).

IF YOU PAY YOUR OWN TAXES: Make sure that you pay on time! The County charges 18% per anum interest on delinquent taxes (1.5% per month). You can pay any number of ways, including -

Payment the County directly, in person at the Treasurer's Offices or by mailat any local (Illinois) Chase Bank branch locationat other select Community Ban…