• Wed, June 20, 2018 4:49 PM | Anonymous

    A Win for All Lawyers in Illinois

    The Judge in ISBA v. IDFPR Issues Order Against
    “Unlicensed Appraisal of Real Estate” Prosecutions

    As you know, the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association has been closely following the litigation that ensued after the Illinois Department Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) instituted disciplinary proceedings against two lawyers who filed property tax appeals on behalf of their client but who did not use appraisals (in filing appeals, IDFPR alleged that the lawyers engaged in the “unlicensed appraisal of real estate”).

    The prosecutions should have been concerning to all lawyers in our state, irrespective of whether they practice in the area of property tax — as it appeared to be an attempt to regulate lawyers who, in their ordinary course of representation, make arguments on behalf of clients.

    The Illinois State Bar Association filed suit against IDFPR on July 11, 2017. The suit was brought in Cook County (2017-CH-09418) and has been most recently before Hon. Raymond W. Mitchell.

    Earlier today, the judge in the case issued a very thoughtful order that includes:

    The Court issues a writ of prohibition against Defendants preventing them from initiating, maintaining, or threatening a prosecution of an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Illinois for engaging in the submission of a comparison of properties or income approach valuation by a property tax attorney in a real estate tax assessment proceeding. (Count III).

  • Mon, May 07, 2018 4:51 PM | Anonymous

    The Department of Financial Institutions Has Delayed Implementation of the Revised DS-1 Form (Disclosure of Financial Interest) . . . Again!

    The Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association remains extremely concerned about the Division of Financial Institution’s release of a revised DS-1 form (a document which, on its face, is disparaging to attorneys who function as title agents; it would also be impossible to implement).

    We received notice late today that the May 15 implementation date for the revised DS-1 form (released on April 3, 2018) has again been delayed — with a new date of June 1, 2018.

    IRELA continues to take the position that the form should be revised before formal adoption. We will keep you updated in the coming days and weeks as events unfold.

    In light of these developments, IRELA will hold three (3) special townhall meetings in May (throughout the Chicagoland area):

    May 9: 12:00 to 1:30pm
    Oak Lawn Public Library (9427 Raymond Ave., Oak Lawn)
    More info: http://www.irela.org/2018/05/town-hall-on-may-9-2018-in-oak-lawn/

    May 16: 12:00 to 1:30pm
    DuPage County Bar Association (126 S. County Farm Rd., Wheaton)
    More info: http://www.irela.org/2018/05/town-hall-on-may-16-2018-at-dcba/

    May 23: 8:00 to 9:30am
    Max & Benny’s (461 Waukegan Rd., Northbrook)
    More info: http://www.irela.org/2018/05/town-hall-on-may-23-2018-in-northbrook/

    All Illinois attorneys are encouraged to attend, irrespective of their IRELA membership status. Lunch will be provided to anyone who RSVPs in advance (send to: info@irela.org). MCLE Credit: 1.0 hours of credit will be provided.

    IRELA will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of information as it develops.

  • Wed, April 11, 2018 4:55 PM | Anonymous

    4th Annual
    CLINK Spring Toast

    Celebrating Women Closing Deals in Heels
    Commercial Real Estate | Real Estate Law

    Thursday, May 17, 2018

    The Ivy Room
    12 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611

    Click here to register online. IRELA member
    will save $10 by entering the code: IRELA

  • Fri, April 06, 2018 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    The Department of Financial Institutions Has Delayed Implementation of the Revised DS-1 Form (Disclosure of Financial Interest)

    The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Financial Institutions announced today that it has delayed implementation of the new DS-1 Form (Disclosure of Financial Interest).

    For now, the old DS-1 should be used, pending further direction from the Department.

    IRELA will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of information as it develops.

  • Tue, April 03, 2018 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    Revision of the Disclosure of Financial Interest

    The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Financial
    Institutions announced today that the Disclosure of Financial Interest form, also known as the DS-1 form, has been revised.

    This revised disclosure form is effective immediately.

    Disclosure of Financial Interest (Effective 04-04-2018) 

    (04-03-2018) Memo on the Revision of the Disclosure of Financial Interest Form (DS-1)

    Instructions on Completing the Disclosure of Financial Interest

  • Wed, February 07, 2018 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    National Association of Realtors (NAR)
    SUMMARY: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – What it Means for
    Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals

    To access and download the NAR Summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, click on:

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – What it Means for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals

    For more information, call 312.600.7720, or email to info@irela.org or vokada@irela.org.

  • Sun, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM | Anonymous

    IRELA Update:

    CFPB Director Richard Cordray Resigns
    Who Will Lead the CFPB? — Cordray Designates Deputy Director
    Leandra English As Successor

    Cordray’s November 24th resignation letter was cordial, but clear.

    Richard Cordray’s resignation letter to President Donald Trump touted the agency’s successes as a consumer watchdog and ended with a reference to his post-bureau path.

    “I am grateful to have been able to serve my country in this capacity, and in departing I now look forward to finding further ways to continue to advocate for those who are facing economic anxiety and uncertainty in their lives.” pic.twitter.com/x4YNqsgJLN

    — Rich Cordray (@RichCordrayOH) November 24, 2017

    On Friday, November 24th, Cordray (CFPB) officially appointed Leandra English, the bureau’s chief of staff, to the agency’s number-two position of deputy director to serve as interim director until Congress confirms an appointee. By installing an official deputy, Cordray was making a calculated move.  A provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, the same act that created the CFPB, stipulates that the deputy director shall “serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director.” Prior to Cordray’s move on Friday, the agency had only an acting deputy director.

    Shortly after Cordray’s announcement on Friday, the White House named Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the CFPB’s interim director, to serve in the post in addition to serving in his role as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

    “Director Mulvaney will serve as acting director until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed,” the White House said in a statement Friday.

    The two moves set up a clash over who will run the bureau pending Congressional confirmation of Cordray’s successor. The legal tension will likely be between the 1998 Federal Vacancies Act (a statute which generally empowers the president to fill vacancies on an interim basis unless some other mechanism is specifically authorized) and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act which created the CFPB. The case for Cordray being able to designate his own successor under Dodd-Frank may be strengthened by the fact that the version of Dodd-Frank passed by the House had explicitly applied the Vacancies Act to the CFPB, but the conference committee stripped out that language.

    Ultimately, the issue will likely have to be resolved in a court of law.

    UPDATE: November 26, 2017 10:00 pm: CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English has filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia claiming that the 2010 Dodd-Frank specific succession provision controls over the provisions of the 1998 Vacancies Act.  The suit seeks injunctive relief allowing her to act as interim director until the case can be heard by a federal judge.

  • Sun, June 11, 2017 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifies about Wells Fargo at a Senate Committee hearing in September, 2016.

    House Republicans issued an Interim Majority Staff Report June 6, 2017 alleging that Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB, failed to comply with a legal obligation to turn over all documents related to the Wells Fargo unauthorized accounts scandal.  The CFPB has responded that it has produced over 57,000 pages of materials already in response to the committee’s document requests, and stands ready to continue to cooperate with the committee staff to satisfy its oversight process.

    The House Republicans staff report, entitled Was The “Cop on the Beat”?, was issued shortly before the recent passage by the House of Representatives of Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act, which, if passed by the Senate, would make major changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    Currently, CFPB Director Cordray can only be terminated for “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office”.  In alleging that the CFPB has failed to cooperate and that its Director should be held in Contempt of Congress, is the House setting the stage following Senate approval for termination of Cordray by the president at will?

    To download and read the entire House Republican Staff Report, click on:

    Was The “Cop On The Beat”? Report_2017-6-6_interim_cfpb_wells_fargo_report_final

    The report concludes that, in light of the CFPB’s actions to date:

    “Director Cordray is in default of the Committee’s Subpoena.  Without receipt of all records requested by the Committee from the CFPB, the Committee cannot complete its investigation into the Wells Fargo matter.  Accordingly, Committee Majority Staff recommend that the Chairman: (1) issue deposition subpoenas to CFPB  employees to investigate Director Cordray’s default; and (2) prepare to, if necessary, initiate contempt proceedings against Director Cordray unless the CFPB produces all responsive records.”

  • Mon, May 15, 2017 7:59 PM | Anonymous

    By now, you have probably heard about the latest Ransomware attack that has affected over 200,000 devices in over 150 countries.

    If you have a Windows computer and are running Windows 10, there is no evidence that this operating system has been targeted.  If you are running an older operating system (e.g., Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, 2008, Windows Vista) and have not updated the system regularly, you may be at risk.  If you are still running Windows XP, you probably are at risk, as that operating system is no longer generally supported by Microsoft (although a special Custom security update was recently provided by Microsoft to inoculate the XP and Server 2003 operating systems against the WannaCry Ransomware). This, however, was a special case!  If you are still using XP or 2003 you are still at risk from other unpatched vulnerabilities.  You should seriously consider replacing all XP and Server 2003 systems as soon as possible.

    The Ransomware exploits a known vulnerability.  Microsoft issued a system update in March to block it, but not all users have taken advantage of the update.  Your Windows-based systems may be at risk.

    You may want to:

    • Update Windows systems with the Microsoft patch MS17-010
    • Notify your employees and staff to be extra cautious right now – even clicking on a suspicious attachment could allow a ransomware attack
    • Enable automatic updates from Microsoft
    • Implement “Defense in Depth” (multiple layers of security) and air-gap mission-critical devices
    • Review and evaluate your backup systems — remember that an attached external hard drive used for backup purposes can be compromised by a sophisticated Ransomware attack and encrypted
  • Fri, May 05, 2017 8:01 PM | Anonymous

    WARNING! Don’t click on the Google Docs e-mail you may have received this week!  Don’t go for the bait!! 
    And tell your colleagues and friends not to click on it!
    A very sophisticated and very convincing Google Docs phishing scheme is making its way around the internet.  You should avoid clicking on any weird Google Docs that have been emailed to you recently — even if it’s from someone you know!  The scam appears innocuous enough — it does not ask for your password. If you succumb to the temptation to click on the link, it asks for some access permissions to your Gmail account (which actual Google Docs links would not need), and then spams everyone in your contacts with a link to a Google Docs file. They, in turn, email everyone in their contacts, and so on. All of them seem to include the email address “hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com.”!  Be careful!

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