Attorneys At Law

Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Attorneys At Law - Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Zestimate Lawsuit Dismissed

Zillow Zestimate

The widely watched lawsuit against Zillow for their “Zestimate” home estimate tool has been dismissed.

The outcome of this case was being watched by many in the real estate industry as well as homeowners themselves.

In the lawsuit against Zillow, Glenview homeowner and attorney Barbara Andersen alleged that the “Zestimates” Zillow posts act like an appraisal of home market value. This was alleged to be illegal because, under Illinois law, only licensed appraisers can issue home appraisals.

 

Case dismissed by judge

How accurate is your zestimate?The case went before a federal judge in Chicago and was dismissed on August 23rd on the grounds that Zestimates are a mere “starting point” that are unlikely to confuse homebuyers.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve stated: “Zestimates are not false, misleading, or likely to confuse. The word ‘Zestimate’ – an obvious portmanteau of ‘Zillow’ and ‘estimate’ – itself indicates that Zestimates are merely an estimate of the market value of a property.”

She further noted that Zillow has labeled the estimates clearly as estimates and includes information on its site detailing the ways in which the estimates can be inaccurate.

Judge Amy St. Eve also dismissed with prejudice the notion that Seattle-based Zillow violated the Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act. This means the claim may not be brought before the court again.

The judge indicated that the plaintiffs could attempt to replead three other claims, including one for Zillow’s purported invasion of privacy for posting home values without permission.

Related: Cook County Assessor Faces Controversy Over Widespread Inequities

 

mortgage rates going up after presidential electionThe plaintiffs

The lawyer for the plaintiffs Barbara Andersen said her clients are looking into amending the complaint. “Zillow has unilaterally imposed its opinions on the value of homes without the consent of homeowners,” she stated. “It impairs people’s ability to sell their homes because the estimates do not comply with recognized appraisal standards, and some are way too low.”

Zillow

A Zillow spokeswoman said the company was pleased with the judge’s ruling. “The Zestimate has proven itself to be a sought-after and valuable free tool for consumers.”

Zillow stock moved up slightly the next day and its value has been increasing slowly since.

Related: Real Estate Tax Exemptions Cook County

 

End of the case against Zillow?

This may be the end of the case for now. We will have to wait and see if the plaintiffs decide to move forward with amending the complaint and bringing it before the court once again.


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and others.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Sources:

Zillow wins dismissal of ‘Zestimate’ lawsuit in U.S. – Reuters
Zillow ‘Zestimates’ lawsuit dismissed – Crain’s Chicago Business
Zillow’s home-price ‘Zestimates’ survive legal challenge – MarketWatch
Illinois homeowners lose bid to sue Zillow over ‘Zestimates’ – BizJournals.com
‘Zillow Zestimates’ Class-Action Lawsuit Dismissed – InvestorPlace


 

H.O.M.E. DuPage Road Rally Fundraiser 2017

SAVE the DATE for H.O.M.E. DuPage, Inc‘s 3rd Annual Road Rally taking place Saturday, September 30th!

What is a Road Rally?

All Road Rally participants meet at one gathering place for the kickoff. All teams are then given a clue to solve, (based on the movie THE BUCKET LIST ) which then reveals the next destination. Once you reach the destination, you search for a nameplate which contains the next clue envelope to open. Once that clue is solved, it will get you to another destination. In addition to clues,

Once you reach the destination, you search for a nameplate which contains the next clue envelope to open. Once that clue is solved, it will get you to another destination. In addition to clues,

Once that clue is solved, it will get you to another destination. In addition to clues, along the way, there are photo ops to take, and additional activities to complete (much like the Amazing Race). Points are accumulated for solved clues, as well as completed

Points are accumulated for solved clues, as well as completed photos and extra activities. The team that accumulates the most points in the allotted time wins.

This is NOT a race, it is a great team-building and bonding experience, where you awarded points on problem-solving skills and fun photos, all while having fun along the way.

Remember, it is very helpful to watch the movie THE BUCKET LIST.

LOCATION:
Northside Park
1229 N. West Street
Wheaton, IL

DATE: Saturday, September 30th

TIME: Pre-Rally Check-in and Information 1:30 pm

ENGINES START: 2:00 pm SHARP!!

POST RALLY PARTY: 7:00 pm

Participant Fee: $35.00 per person up until September 15th, after September 15th, $50.00 per person. Each team may have as many participants as you have seat belts for in your car. Participant Fee includes all the Rally fun, a special Rally dinner, and prizes.

Watch for Registration Details Coming Soon!

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT H.O.M.E. DuPage, Inc.


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. are experienced in the practice of real estate law, mortgage foreclosure defense litigation, social security disability, business law, and estate law.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


 

Beware Online Wire Transfer Fraud

Online Banking Fraud

Be aware! Online banking fraud is on the rise.

If you receive an email containing WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS, call the title company directly to verify the information prior to sending funds.

Scam artists in the United States and around the world defraud millions of people each year by using internet scams to deceive people into giving them personal information or sending money through wire transfers.

Just recently, a Washington D.C. couple was defrauded $1.5 million dollars in an online wire transfer title company scam.

They were waiting to go to closing on their new “dream home” when they got an email that they thought was from their title company.

When they replied to the email to double check and received a reply, they assumed it was legitimate and so they wired the remaining $1.5 million to the bank.

Only later when they went to sign the settlement papers on the house, they learned they had been victims of a scam.

Tips to Avoid Internet Fraud

According to USA.gov, you should take these measures before entering into transactions over the internet:

  • Know your seller – If you don’t know who you’re buying from online, do some research.
  • Protect your personal information – Don’t provide it in response to an email, a pop-up, or a website you’ve linked to from an email or web page.

Report Internet Fraud

If you believe you’ve been a victim of internet fraud or cyber crime, report it:


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Cook County Assessor Faces Controversy Over Widespread Inequities

property tax assessments

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios is facing continued pressure over widespread inequities in the Cook County property tax system.

Homeowners in Chicago have complained for years about the complicated and arcane tax assessments for homeowners in Cook County.

The controversy gained a huge amount of publicity from the Chicago Tribune investigative series The Tax Divide published this summer. Their investigation uncovered evidence that the Cook County property tax system helped wealthy homeowners at others’ expense.

The Tribune alleged that the Cook County Assessors Office routinely overvalued homes in poor neighborhoods while undervaluing homes in wealthier ones. This has led to inequities in property tax bills, giving wealthy homeowners lower tax assessments while unfairly placing a great burden on fixed and low-income residents.

Contesting your property tax assessment is not a simple process and can be even more difficult for homeowners with fixed incomes. For many of those most likely to receive overvalued assessment, hiring an attorney to help contest their property value is not an option.

Related: Battling the Cook County Assessor’s Office

Property tax bills Kane & DuPage CountyIt doesn’t help Berrios’ case that tax appeal lawyers are major contributors to his campaign. They have contributed over 2 million dollars to his campaign but he has declared there is no conflict of interest.

These stories have galvanized property owners in Chicago to place pressure on government agencies to investigate. The Cook County inspector general has opened an investigation.  State and local lawmakers have proposed new legislation to limit the assessor’s ability to raise campaign contributions from tax attorneys.  A new bill has been introduced in the General Assembly that would require greater transparency in the assessment process.

Joseph Berrios has recently been called before the Cook County Board for questioning and his office was accused by some of being guilty of institutional racism.

Formal mayor candidate Jesus Chuy Garcia stated: “My concern is whether the poor people in Cook County are getting the shaft.” “That is what I want to avoid, and I want to know when it will cease because it shouldn’t be tolerated.”

Berrios repeated his previous assertions that the assessments are fair and accurate. He did not, however, offer any detailed evidence.

Cook County SealAfter the meeting, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that a group called Civic Consulting Alliance would perform a review of the property tax assessment system.

The controversy has reached a point where it seems there will be either change to the system or political repercussions.

Even though Joseph Berrios faced tough questioning from the Cook County board, he remains highly influential as the Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Many of the people he faced in the meeting rely on him and the party for political support.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what happens next.


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Related Stories:

The Tax Divide – Chicago Tribune

Cook County Assessor Faces Questions About Property Tax Inequity – ProPublica

A Troubling Assessment of Joseph Berrios – Better Government Association

Cook County leaders pile on Assessor Joe Berrios – Daily Herald

Outsider to Review Cook County Assessment Process – Chicago Tonight

Joe Berrios Will Continue To Accept Campaign Cash From Tax Lawyers – CBS Chicago

Sen. Biss to introduce overhaul to property tax assessments – Chicago Tribune

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios Grilled on Property Tax System – Chicago Tonight


Taxes header image by DonkeyHotey -  Taxes ahead sign by 401(K) 2012

 

The Hottest Suburban Real Estate Markets in First Half of 2017

Homewood IL real estate

The Chicago suburban real estate market may still be slow overall but four suburban towns had the fastest-moving real estate markets in the first half of the year.

Using home sales data from the Chicago Association of Realtors through June of this year, Crain’s Chicago Business has just named the four hottest suburban markets in the first half of 2017.

Fastest-moving Chicago area suburban real estate markets – First half of 2017

  • Beach Park
  • Flossmoor
  • Homewood
  • Winthrop Harbor

Their survey covered all towns in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. Crain’s used three major indicators to determine these real estate leaders: the number of sales, the median home sale price and the time a listed home spends on the market.

Cities with less than 25 home sales in both the first half of 2017 and the first half of 2016 were not included.

Related: 3 Real Estate Myths – Prequalification, Down Payments & Closings

 

Beach Park ILSuburban Northeast Lake County

The median price of a home in Winthrop Harbor rose by more than 17 percent in the first half of the year, to $158,250. In Beach Park, it’s up 14.5 percent, to $170,000. In Lake County overall, prices were up by 9.1%, so these towns are ahead of increases from neighboring communities.

Sales volume in Winthrop Harbor and Beach Park are also outpacing the rest of the county. In Lake County overall, the sales volume increase n the first half of 2017 was up 4.2%, whereas in Winthrop Harbor sales were up 20%, and in Beach Park, they were up 32%.

In Beach Park, the average market time for sale on the market in the first half of the year was 70 days, down from 156 last year. In Winthrop Harbor, it was down to 120 from 166 last year.

 

Flossmoor IL train stationSouth Suburban Cook County

The median price of a home in Flossmoor is $205,000, up 18.3% from 2016. In Homewood, the median home price rose to $148,000, which was up more than 24%. In south Cook County overall, prices are up 11.2 percent for the year.

For south Cook County, the overall sales volume increase compared to 2016 is up is 3.2%. In Flossmore the number of sales is up 25% compared to the first six months of 2016, and in Homewood, sales are up 13%.

In south Cook County, the average home time on the market dropped from 112 days last year to 103 this year. The time a house spends on the market in Flossmoor dropped from 162 days to 133. In Homewood, it declined only from 107 to 103 days.

The southern Cook County towns are finally experiencing a delayed recovery from the post real estate crash in the housing market. This area had not recovered as quickly as other areas have.

Related: Real Estate Tax Exemptions Cook County Chicago

 

Home for saleChicago Suburban Area Overall

In the nine-county suburban area, growth in sales was slim and the growth in prices was the smallest seen since March 2016.

Some suburban Chicago towns saw their sales volume rise sharply in the first half of the year, but at the same time saw prices decline. These included Winnetka, Glencoe, Elmhurst, and Lisle.

“The inventory problem remains an important issue,” says Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Related: Low Inventory for Midpriced Suburban Chicago Homes Driving Up Prices

“Hopefully, now that the state has a budget, a recovering state economy will encourage more investment in housing – both new construction and investment by first-time buyers.”

Many homeowners, prospective buyers and people in the real estate and construction industries will be hoping for the same thing.

We hope to see a strong second half of 2016.


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


For Sale Sign image by Mark Moz – Flossmoor image by Zol87