• Sat, April 11, 2020 10:31 AM | Anne Hengehold (Administrator)

    Executive Orders:

    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 18 (2020-20) – Suspension of Recording of Verbal Attestation for Public Benefits, April 6, 2020 

    • During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the requirement that telephone applicants for public assistance provide an audio recording of their verbal attestation is suspended. A simple verbal attestation properly documented by the State is sufficient.
    • Additionally, unsigned mailed applications for public benefits may be signed by verbal attestation by phone, properly documented by the State.


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 17 (2020-19) – Increasing Healthcare Capacity, April 1, 2020

    • During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, “healthcare facilities” includes “any government-operated site providing health care services established for the purpose of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
    • “Healthcare Professional” means all those licensed or certified as such OR those who are “working under the direction of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) or DPH in response to the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations.”
    • “Healthcare Volunteer” means all volunteers or medical or nursing students who do not have licensure who (i) are providing services, assistance, or support at a Health Care Facility in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and are authorized to do so; or (ii) are working under the direction of IEMA or DPH in response to the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations.”
    • All Health Care Facilities, Professionals and Volunteers are directed to “render assistance” to the State in support of its efforts to fight COVID-19.
      • For Facilities, this must include increasing the number of beds, preserving personal protective equipment or taking necessary steps to treat COVID-19 patients.
      • For Professionals, this means providing healthcare services or working under the direction of IEMA or IDPH.
      • For Volunteers, this means providing services, assistance, or support at a Facility or working under the direction of IEMA and IDPH.
    • Facilities, Professionals, and Volunteers are immune from civil liability in the event of a death or injury when providing assistance or services in response to COVID-19 except in the case of gross negligence or willful misconduct.


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 16 (2020-18) – Extension of Prior COVID-19 EOs, April 1, 2020

    • All COVID-19 EOs (EOs 2020-03 through 2020-17) are extended through the duration of the Second Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, which currently extends through April 30th.


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 15 (2020-17) – Extension of Cannabis License Application Deadlines, March 28, 2020

    • Applications for the following cannabis licenses are extended through April 30th: craft grower, infuser, and transporter. This supersedes a previous executive order which had extended the deadline to March 30th


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 14 (2020-16) – Suspension of Vehicle Repossessions, March 28, 2020

    • Beginning March 27th and through the duration of the Disaster Proclamation, provisions in the Vehicle Code related to vehicle usability and allowing for repossessions are suspended. This does not suspend the requirement to make payments or fulfill other obligations pursuant to the terms of the loan.
    • In-classroom training requirements for private security and fingerprint vendors. Testing can be done online.


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 13 (2020-15) – Suspension of School Testing and Attendance Requirements; Daycare, March 27, 2020

    The following are in effect for the duration of the Disaster Proclamation unless otherwise noted.

    • Provisions in the School Code specifying the school term and requiring approvals for changes are suspended. This EO does not relieve school districts of the requirement to provide at least 185 days to insure 176 of actual pupil attendance. Nothing in the EO shall prohibit school employees, pursuant to their contracts, from receiving additional compensation for additional time worked as a result of the extension of the school term.
    • Provisions providing for the calculation of daily pupil attendance are suspended.
    • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may implement rules allowing the State Superintendent of Education to address the following:
      • Minimum requirements of the school calendar and school day
      • Create, define, and determine the use of “Remote Learning Planning Days”
      • Create, define, and determine the use of “Remote Learning Days”
      • Provide additional guidance pursuant to the terms of this order.
    • Beginning March 27th, all public school districts and eligible entities that receive funding from ISBE to administer and implement a grant program for preschool education or an early childhood block grant may provide childcare services for children (age 0-12) of employees exempted from the Stay-at-Home order (EO-2020-10). This does not affect these entities’ ability to continue to serve those already identified and enrolled in these programs. 


    • The following provisions of the Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/2-3.71 (Pre-School/ Early Childhood), are suspended:
      • Requirements regarding the age of children to be served
      • Selection process, first prioritizing at-risk children and then children with a family income less than four times the poverty guidelines in the Federal Register
      • The licensure requirements for providing childcare services to children of employees exempt from EO 2020-10.
    • Program age requirements are suspended in regards to children of employees exempt from EO-2020-10.
    • Prohibition on communicating, opening, considering, and accepting school construction bids electronically is suspended.


    COVID-19 Executive Order Number 12 (2020-14) – Remote Witnessing and Counterparty Signing, March 26, 2020

    ·       During the duration of the Disaster Proclamation, electronic remote witnessing through two-way A/V by Notary Publics is allowed.

    ·       This also applies to any required act of witnessing under state law.

    ·       Notwithstanding Illinois law and regulations, absent an express prohibition in a document against signing in counterparts, all legal documents may be signed in counterparts. This includes deeds, last wills, and powers of attorney for healthcare. Notaries should be sent via email or fax copies of the signature pages.   

  • Sat, April 11, 2020 10:26 AM | Anne Hengehold (Administrator)

    COVID-19 Timeline:

    • April 6th – EO issued allowing simple verbal attestations for public benefits applications.
    • April 1st  Second Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation issued through April 30th. All COVID-19 EOs extended through this date. EO issued allowing unlicensed medical and nursing students to provide healthcare assistance related to the pandemic response. 
    • April 1st  Arts for Illinois Relief Fund launched to support Illinois artists and non-profits
    • March 28th – EO suspending vehicle repossessions; EO extending cannabis application deadlines.
    • March 27th – EO suspending school testing, attendance requirements, expanding daycare access for essential employees. 
    • March 26th  EO suspending IDOC transfers; EO allowing remote witnessing and counterparty signatures
    • March 26th – Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund announced to assist non-profits, with $23M in initial commitments from individuals, corporations, and philanthropies.
    • March 26th – Federal government approves state major disaster declaration.
    • March 25th – Three programs totaling $94M to support small businesses announced
    • March 24th – Governor issues EO streamlining healthcare worker background checks 
    • March 23rd  Essential Equipment Task Force announced, which is a P3 (State, IMA, iBIO) to manufacture PPE and medical supplies.
    • March 23rd – State executes contracts to obtain 3.5 million masks and other PPE
    • March 21st  Stay-At-Home order takes effect at 5 P.M.
    • March 20th  Stay-At-Home order issued with exceptions. See details below.
    • March 19th – EO expanding telehealth access issued
    • March 18th – Governor Pritzker announces coronavirus.illinois.gov, a website to update the public about COVID-19, which will be updated daily. Local health department websites are likely to have more up to date information about number of cases.
    • March 17th – Governor Pritzker working with Illinois Sheriffs to prevent evictions. 
    • March 17th – Illinois utility companies have agreed not to shut off services at least in the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. Many have agreed not to shut off service for even longer periods.
    • March 16th – Illinois Gaming Board announces suspension of all licensed video gaming operations, effective at 9 pm on March 16th through March 30th.
    • March 16th – Executive Order 2020 – 07 signed, suspending all on-premises consumption of food and beverages in businesses, prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people, and allowing for public bodies to meet remotely.
    • March 15th – Executive Order 2020 – 06 signed, amending 2020 – 05 by exempting certain schools from closing educational services. 
    • March 13th – Executive Order 2020 – 05 signed, closing schools from March 17th through March 30th.
    • March 13th – Executive Order 2020 – 04 signed, to limit gatherings of 1,000 people or more.
    • March 12th – Executive Order 2020 – 03 signed, to extend the deadline for Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act applications from March 16th to March 30. 
    • March 11th – WHO characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.
    • Late 2019 – COVID-19 outbreak emerges.
  • Fri, March 15, 2019 1:28 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Good news!

    As you know, the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association has been monitoring the case in Cook County between the Illinois Land Title Association (ILTA) and the Recorder of Deeds. (The original complaint can be read here.)

    The litigation ensued because of the Recorder's refusal to accept any documents titled "Affidavit of Heirship" or "Affidavit of Survivorship", unless also accompanied by a court order. It is worth noting that this policy was instituted by Karen A. Yarborough, though it was continued by Edward M. Moody when Ms. Yarborough became the County Clerk.

    It is our firm belief that the Recorder has an obligation to record presented documents and that the role of the recorder is not to analyze a document's content.

    I am happy to report that the judge in the matter, Hon. Michael T. Mullen, granted ILTA's motion for summary judgment earlier today. (You can click here to read the order.)

    A big thank you to ILTA for filing this suit and pursuing it to a successful resolution.

    John G. O'Brien
    Chairman & President

  • Thu, January 03, 2019 11:45 AM | Anonymous

    The Cook County Treasurer’s Office is sending nearly 30,000 homeowners refunds totaling $8.3 million without requiring an application, another example of using technology to make things easier for taxpayers, Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.

    “We’ve taken steps in the past to make the refund application process easier,” Pappas said. “Now we’re trying to eliminate the application altogether.”

    Overpayments occur for a variety of reasons, including the simple mistake of paying more than is owed on the tax bill. More often, overpayments result from a reduction in property taxes after the bill was paid. Here are details about the 29,752 refunds:

    • The 8,947 homeowners who paid their taxes through a bank/mortgage escrow account are receiving refund checks
    • The 20,805 homeowners who paid by check or online are automatically receiving refunds to their bank or credit card accounts

    To see if you are entitled to a refund, visit cookcountytreasurer.com and take these steps:

    • Select the purple box “Your Property Overview”
    • Enter your address or Property Index Number (PIN)

    The refunds are due to tax overpayments made since 2013. Using bank, credit card and property records, the Office has electronically determined who made the overpayment in these cases, making refund applications unnecessary.

  • Tue, January 01, 2019 9:23 PM | Anonymous

    It’s finally here! Fourteen months after the drafting process began, the Multi-Board 7.0 has been released. Get access to the Contract, as well as its accompanying forms in the members only section of our website.

    Please also join us at one of our upcoming meetings in January, where members of the 7.0 drafting committee will be on hand to discuss the form.

    • January 9, 8:00am (Elk Grove)
    • January 15, 9:30am (Oak Lawn)
    • January 15, 1:00pm (Libertyville)

  • Sun, November 18, 2018 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Next week, the Illinois House will vote to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 65, which amends the Title Insurance Act. The legislation provides that all title insurance policies issued in conjunction with a residential real estate closing be issued by the same policy-issuing entity, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

    Championed largely by PNTN, this is an effort to dissuade the usage of two title companies in a single transaction, which can lead to additional costs for a Buyer (who may not receive a discount from a simultaneously-issued policy) and ambiguities on coverage when claims arise.

    The list of Illinois legislators to contact to vote in favor of SB 65 is available here. Find your House Representative by address location here.

  • Tue, November 13, 2018 4:59 PM | Anonymous

    As many of you know from our recent meetings and newsletters, the Illinois Land Title Association (ILTA) has been working to reverse the Cook County Recorder of Deeds refusal to record deeds from the heirs of deceased title holders, and the Recorder’s unauthorized and untenable requirement that a probate court order is required to transfer property of a deceased title holder in Cook County.

    Unfortunately, on November 5, 2018, the Recorder’s Office made a final decision not to accept Heirship Deeds or Affidavits of Heirship unless they are accompanied by a Certified Order Declaring Heirship:

    Greatest of mornings to you, I do hope you’re enjoying your Monday thus far. Many apologies for any confusion which may be swirling around out there, as this most recent time, some of the confusion came from our office–so I apologize for that information. Nonetheless, I am very pleased and excited to report that the Honorable Karen A. Yarbrough herself has reaffirmed the office’s previous position of NOT ACCEPTING Heirship Deeds or Affidavits of Heirship UNLESS they are accompanied by a Certified Order Declaring Heirship. Accordingly, the same legal requirements as previously discussed and established are “still in play” and are office will continue. to assist with educating any and all on that expedited and inexpensive process whenever sought. Thanks for the correspondence, and please enjoy the rest of your day and week!


    Mario A. Reed, Esq.
    Director of Public Information I Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office
    118 N. Clark Street, Room 120, Chicago, Illinois 60602

    As a result of this decision, ILTA filed suit today in the Circuit Court of Cook County to compel the Recorder of Deeds  to record these heirship documents as required by Illinois law (Case No. 2018-CH-14151).

    The Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association will keep you updated as the case progresses.

  • Fri, November 02, 2018 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier today, the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued a “cease and desist” order to both Professional National Title Network (PNTN) and WFG. As part of the order, IDFPR has levied a fine of $14,056,000 upon each.

    The order arises from PNTN’s “Examining Attorney Program,” which the Department alleges was “created and maintained . . . for individuals and small firms to do the ‘usual duties of registered title agents,’ as independent contractors with PNTN.”

    According to the order, the participants in the PNTN program conducted closings for 14,056 real estate closings under the program. PNTN and WFG were each fine $1,000 per transaction.

    Rather than registering attorney title agents, PNTN acted as the agent and then paid attorneys to examine title on those transactions, paying the lawyers amounts commensurate with what they would have been paid if they had been properly-registered agents.

    The Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association will keep you updated as the story develops. In the interim, attorney-title agents are reminded that it is incumbent upon them to understand the programs in which they participate.

  • Mon, October 29, 2018 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) Division of Real Estate (“DRE”) recently published an Association Complaint Procedure and an Association Complaint Form.

    The Form serves as examples of how a condominium or common interest community association may choose to comply with the soon-to-be effective requirement that they have such a policy for resolving disputes. The documents are a time-saving resource for condominium and common interest community boards which will assist them in providing unit owners with a clear and understandable process for bringing disputes to the attention of their boards.

    The sample Association Complaint Procedure and sample Complaint Form may be found on and downloaded from the Ombudsperson’s website at www.IDFPR.com/CCICO under the “Publications” tab.

    “The sample complaint resolution policy and complaint forms are intended to assist associations in complying with the Act’s requirements,” said IDFPR Secretary Bryan A. Schneider. “The Department wants to empower associations so they can function responsively and serve the interests of their owners, who now will have a clear roadmap for seeking to resolve disputes with their associations.

    The Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson is not responsible for enforcing any laws or regulations, including the regulation or registration of condominium and common interest community associations. The sample Procedure and Complaint Form represent one approach an association may take. Neither IDFPR nor the Ombudsperson will review Complaint Policies or Complaint Forms adopted by associations and neither IDFPR nor the Ombudsperson has the authority to compel associations to adopt a written policy for resolving complaints required by the Act.

    Illinois’ Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act (765 ILCS 615/1) requires that the majority of Illinois condominium and common interest community associations adopt a written policy for resolving complaints made by unit owners no later than January 1, 2019.

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