Illinois Courts Official Web Site
The official Illinois Courts web site includes a wealth of information on the Illinois judiciary, the latest docket information, and opinions of the Illinois Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court. It presents general information about the entire court system in Illinois and includes Supreme Court and Appellate Court opinions from 1996 to the present. The site also includes a complete listing of Supreme Court Rules and portions of the Supreme Court Annual Report, Administrative Summary and Statistical Reports. Press and media announcements are also available. Supreme Court docket information includes a listing of cases which the Court has taken under advisement and are pending decision; a list of pending petitions for rehearing; and a list of the petitions for leave to appeal pending before the Court. It also contains the Illinois Supreme Courts schedule of oral arguments and oral argument calendars for each of the six Appellate Court districts. This comprehensive web site also includes numerous links under the “Judicial Links and Research” heading to bar associations (including IRELA), legal research sites, State of Illinois sites, State University sites, U. S. Government sites, and Illinois Circuit Courts Online.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
The Department’s mission is to protect and promote the lives of Illinois consumers, and it oversees over one million professionals in nearly 100 industries. The IDFPR licenses everything from barbers to banks and architects to real estate brokers, title insurance agents and veterinarians, and monitors most of the state’s financial institutions.
The Title Insurance Section of IDFPR’s Division of Financial Institutions oversees and regulates the activities of title insurance agents and companies. In addition to regulating those entities licensed to conduct real estate transactions throughout the State of Illinois, the section, pursuant to the Title Insurance Act, certifies Independent Escrowees which receive deposits, in trust, of funds or documents for the purpose of effecting the sale, transfer, encumbrance or lease of property held until the title to a given property is in prescribed condition.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Banking law, federal regulations; FDIC publications, statistics on banks and banking, regulations and the quarterly Survey of Real Estate Trends.
Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
Information about buying and financing residential real estate using Federal Housing Administration insured mortgages, and about servicing these loans; includes RESPA statute and regulations, escrow accounting procedures, proposed and final HUD rules and regulations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Information on the national flood insurance program, disaster management and recovery and geographical mapping of flood/disaster zones. Includes forms library and information for filing flood/disaster claims.
A FNMA site with information on buying and refinancing homes. Includes calculation directions for consumers to determine what home price they can afford and a glossary of mortgage and financing terms.
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Information about FHA insured mortgages, lending and servicing. Includes proposed and final HUD regulations and all mortgagee letters from 1976.
Veteran’s Administration (VA)
Veteran’s Administration guaranteed mortgages and programs; includes frequently asked questions about qualifying for VA guaranteed loans.
Cook County Assessor’s Office
One stop portal for both Cook County Assessor information and Cook County Treasurer information. Cook County Assessor’s section contains information regarding assessments, locations, office hours and telephone numbers of assessors offices in Cook County. Taxpayers who have recently received notices of increased assessments due to triennial reassessment can check assessments of neighboring properties at this web site to check whether proposed assessment is in line with similar properties.
Cook County Treasurer’s Office
One stop portal for both Cook County Treasurer information and Cook County Assessor information. Pay current Cook County taxes online (through system established through financial institution selected by the Cook County Treasurer). Check Cook County tax payment status online by entering the Permanent Index Number for a parcel. The site also contains a database of probate estates searchable by year, by names of probate cases, and, where available, by names of listed heirs setting forth amounts deposited with the Treasurer’s Office pursuant to probate court order, as well as instructions to potential heirs regarding how to file a claim. Forms such as Change of Address and Application for a Duplicate or Overpayment Refund are available for downloading. Also has general information regarding taxes in various languages.
Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety
Information regarding radon testing and remediation requirements in Illinois, text of new radon rule promulgated by the state, as well as lists of current measurement and mitigation licensees authorized under recent regulations to perform radon services. Call IDNS at 1 (800) 325-1245 to verify licensure and individuals offering measurement services.
Information from FNMA, a private corporation with the National Housing Act as its “mission” and the largest source of home mortgage funds and secondary mortgage market to increase the availability and affordability of homes; Includes information for home buyers and lenders, and monthly newsletter discussing federal regulations relating to mortgages, and the text of guidelines and lender letters relating to servicing of mortgages.
Information about purchasing and repackaging mortgages as securities for sale and investment; includes current and historical prime mortgage rate information, public relations materials about the secondary mortgage market, and a listing of Freddiemac owned real estate for sale.
Transfer Tax information
Helpful database maintained by Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund (and provided as a service by ATG to the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association) on Transfer Taxes imposed by the State of Illinois, by Illinois counties, and by various Illinois municipalities which have passed transfer tax ordinances. Unless exempt, transfer tax stamps must first be purchased and affixed to a deed (or an Assignment of Beneficial Interest in a land trust) before the document can be recorded.
Home Buyers Guide
Helpful brochure produced by Illinois State Bar Association detailing steps in a real estate transaction, the importance of having an attorney in the transaction, the Real Estate Agent, Title Insurance, Pre-Closing Considerations, the Closing process, and special concerns relating to condominium, new construction, seller financing, and land trusts.
National Law Journal
Current news and in-depth articles for legal practitioners. Includes analysis of current events and developments affecting the practice of law.
Published and maintained by Municode and designed to link users to Municipal Codes for U.S. cities broken down by state; includes links to all legislation received by Municipal Code since the last update to the Code of Ordinances.
Database of current residential mortgage lending regulations and guidelines; includes a daily industry update and announcements from FNMA, FHLMC, GNMA, HUD and VA. Both free and fee-based services.
Fair Lending Guide Page
Maintained by the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris Shriver & Jacobson to market their book “The Fair Lending Guide,” covering the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Community Reinvestment Act; full text and archives of the Fair Lending Alert Newsletter and articles by FFJSK attorneys. At the FFJSK home page, click on “specialized pages”.
Current Mortgage Loan Modification Information
Comprehensive website providing information regarding Home Afordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), and other government loan modification programs.
Owners.com, formerly Abele Owners Network, is one of the largest national listing and information service of homes for sale by-owner (FSBO). It has recently launched completely re-designed and expanded version of its online real estate service. The re-launch incorporates an entirely new interactive flowchart of the real estate transaction, new mortgage/buyer tools, and personalization designed for consumers working alone or with a Realtor. New online tools include a Loan Center, Closing Services Center, and a Personal Finance Center. The site has received numerous awards, including being named “the best for-sale-by-owner network” by The Wall Street Journal, and being featured as one of PC Magazines “Top 100 Web Sites” 8/97, 11/97, 3/98. For those selling their homes by owner, Owners.com is a powerful marketing and information resource.
For Sale By Owner Connection
For Sale By Owner Connection provides helpful information to buyers and sellers. There are extensive property listings to browse through, complete with photographs and contact information. There is also a glossary of real-estate terms and a helpful series of articles about selling property, covering topics like hiring a lawyer, having an open house, and advertising the property. (Cost: Free to browse; sellers can advertise a home for $79 until it sells (up to one year).)
Real Estate Internet Talk Soup
Newsletter and discussion forum relating to real estate tax issues and development maintained by Tax Analysts, a non-profit organization; includes archived newsletters and directions for subscribing. At the home page, click on the “discussion groups” entry and scroll for the real estate group sign-up.
Largest real-estate-law discussion group on the Internet, maintained by Prof. Patrick Randolph of the University of Missouri Law School; includes a daily case note offered for discussion by e-mail. To subscribe send message “subscribe” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspection and Environmental Issues
American Society of Home Inspectors
Web site maintained by national organization providing information on home inspectors. Includes a searchable database to find a local ASHI inspector.
Global Development Resources
Helpful web site maintained by GDR, a global environment and development firm delivering comprehensive solutions to challenging problems for government, industry, and owners of real property. GDR focuses specifically on environmentally impacted areas, commonly known as “brownfields,” and offers an integrated operation for advanced remediation and property redevelopment.
Illinois State Bar Association
Comprehensive site including access to Illinois statutes, public acts, and bills made available on the Net by the Illinois General Assembly. Also, information regarding developments of interest to Illinois lawyers, including updates regarding individual ISBA sections and newsletters. Includes a Legislative Alert E-mail list and a special Illinois Case Update service to allow attorneys to keep abreast of cases pending before Illinois courts and to keep track of legislative developments. The Real Estate Section portion of the web site includes many links to real-estate related web sites.
DuPage County Bar Association
The legal link to DuPage County and the 18th Judicial circuit. Includes many helpful links to valuable legal resources. The Real Estate Law Committee of this association is particularly active.
Illinois Institute of Continuing Education (IICLE)
Topics regarding continuing legal education opportunities; includes monthly “bullet point” updates (“Flashpoints”) in real estate and other specific areas of law contributed by recognized practitioners.
Illinois Association of Realtors
State Board of Realtors web site with property search information, real estate-related links, including state and federal government links, industry and financial links, and links to local realtors associations throughout Illinois.
Main Street Association of Realtors (MORe)
Board of Realtors web site for the Main Street Association of Realtors (MORe). MORe’s jurisdiction includes Lake County to the Wisconsin border, all of DuPage County along with Northwest, Southern, and Western Cook County to the Indiana border. MORe is the largest local REALTOR® member organization in Illinois and has been serving for over 90 years. The site provides information for sellers, buyers, and agents, including realty news, blogs, and additional resources for members.
Realtor Association of Northwest Illinois
Board of Realtors web site for the Realtor Association of Northwest Illinois which services the entire Northwest Illinois area of Stephenson, Jo-Daviess, Ogle and Carroll counties with over 350 independent Realtor® members and affiliates. The site provides comprehensive information for sellers, buyers, and agents.
North Shore – Barrington Association of REALTORS
Board of Realtors web site with lots of general information for sellers, buyers, and agents. Includes forms, information and data regarding continuing education opportunities.
Office of Banks and Real Estate
Web site of the Illinois state agency charged with the responsibility of overseeing the operation of banks in Illinois and the administration and enforcement of the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 1983, the Time Share Act and the Land Sales Registration Act of 1989. A sub-agency, the Bureau of Real Estate Professions, seeks to protect the interests of the public while providing service to the real estate and real estate appraisal industries. The site includes the texts of applicable laws and other helpful regulatory information of interest to those involved in real estate, as well as mortgage banking and real estate professions complaint forms. (For a complaint form developed by IRELA for use in connection with the failure of a lender to have funds timely wired to a closing, click on the “Members” link on the top navigation bar.)