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.

How the Government Shutdown Affects Real Estate and Mortgages

Photo by Max Pixel

In this post, we discuss how the government shutdown is affecting real estate transactions and mortgages.

The U.S. government shutdown is affecting more than just federal employees.

The shutdown is also affecting some homebuyers, lenders and real estate agents, who are seeing their closings delayed.

If the government shutdown turns out to be a long one, it could damage the housing market, which in some parts of Illinois is still struggling to gain momentum.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, the shutdown is already causing uncertainty and hurting consumer confidence.

“For ordinary Americans, the shutdown adds to economic uncertainty about their future,” said Lawrence Yun. “Buying a home is a high-anxiety transaction, and by adding another complexity to it with possible delays in [the transaction], it hurts the economy and hurts consumers.”

Below is a list of how a continued government shutdown could impact your real estate transaction.

 

Real Estate Transactions Impacted by Shutdown:

  • FHA loans could be delayed
  • USDA loans will not be processed
  • Delays in IRS transcript and Social Security reporting

 

Real Estate Transactions Not Affected by Shutdown:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • VA Loans
  • Flood Insurance

 

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage WorkshopFHA Loans

Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are typically not impacted by government shutdowns.

However, with less staff working at the FHA, some borrowers may see a closing delay due to the increased backlog.

 

USDA Loans

The USDA will not issue new Direct Loans or Guaranteed Loans.

Scheduled closings of Direct Loans have been canceled and unless your guarantee was previously issued for a Guaranteed Loan, those may not be closed, depending on your lender.

Check with your lender if you are getting a USDA loan or planned to use the USDA program to buy your home.

You may have to delay your home purchase until the shutdown is resolved.

 

Veteran Homeowner ExemptionVA Loans

VA staffers who approve the VA loans are paid through borrowing fees and are not impacted by the shutdown.

 

Social Security Reporting

To process a mortgage application, lenders will verify that your Social Security number is valid with the Social Security Administration.

Because of the delays expected in processing these requests, government-sponsored agencies have relaxed their rules to allow lenders to submit these reports prior to loan delivery rather than earlier in the loan process.

If your Social Security number cannot be validated prior to this time, however, your loan may be denied.

 

mortgage applicationIRS Transcripts

Lenders usually have borrowers sign an IRS request for a transcript of tax return (Form 4506-T) at or before closing.

The IRS is not processing new requests for transcripts during the shutdown.

Lenders are not required to have the transcripts at closing and, in many cases, can add the transcripts to your loan file after closing.

 

Federal Flood Insurance

New legislation was passed in December 2018 in order to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through May 31.

FEMA, which oversees the NFIP, is still selling and approving new policies.

 

Property Tax Assessment - CalculatorFannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The shutdown does not impact loan processing at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they are not funded by the government.

However, the issue is that verification of employment is a key requirement to get a loan from these agencies.

If you are a federal worker or contractor, your lender may not be able to get a verbal verification of employment from your government employer prior to loan delivery.

This could cause your loan approval to be denied or delayed because your employment and ability to repay have not been fully vetted.

 

Article Source: How the government shutdown is disrupting mortgage, real estate transactions – BankRate.com


* 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 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


12 Facts You Need to Know About Social Security

Retired Couple on Social Security

In this post, we list 12 facts you need to know about Social Security. These will help you understand more about the program and its future.

12 Facts About Social Security

  1. Social Security is not bankrupt
  2. Congress will not reform Social Security anytime soon
  3. Some funding reforms are taking shape
  4. Politicians do not “raid the fund”
  5. Many believe it can work better
  6. You may be taxed on your benefits
  7. It is not intended to be your sole income
  8. Purchasing power is decreasing
  9. You can work and collect Social Security
  10. Social Security has gone digital
  11. It is not just a retirement program
  12. Most receive more back than they put in

 

Social Security is not bankrupt

Social Security AdministrationCurrently, the Social Security trust funds are near an all-time high. “The program really is in good shape right now,” says David Certner, AARP’s legislative policy director. “But we know it has a long-term financial challenge.”

For decades, Social Security collected more money than it paid out in benefits. The surplus funds were invested in Treasury securities. Now the trust fund reserves are worth about $2.89 trillion.

Ss the birth rate has fallen and a huge wave of baby boomers retire, the ratio of workers to Social Security recipients is changing. This year is a tipping point: The program will need to dip into its reserves to pay full benefits from this point forward, absent any change to the program.

It is now forecast that the trust fund reserves could be exhausted in 2034. Even if that happens, Social Security won’t be bankrupt. The program will continue to pay benefits but at a rate of 79 percent of what recipients expected to receive.

If the goal is to keep benefits at their current levels, the sooner funding issues are addressed, the better.

 

Congress will not reform Social Security anytime soon

There have been several members of Congress that have proposed addressing long-term funding issues. Given the current political divide, however, it is unlikely that Congress makes any effort to reform Social Security until there is more bipartisan support.

 

Some funding reforms are taking shape

Loan Modifications and WorkoutsOne funding proposal suggests to either raise or eliminate the wage cap on how much income is subject to the Social Security payroll tax.

In 2019, that cap will be $132,900, which means that income beyond that is not taxed. By removing the cap, higher-income earners would contribute far more to the system.

Other options include either raising the percentage rate of the payroll tax or raising the age for full retirement benefits.

 

Politicians do not “raid the fund”

A common myth about Social Security is that either Congress or the president can use Social Security funds to pay for programs such as education, defense or economic programs. That is not accurate.

Any money remaining after the Social Security Administration pays benefits and expenses is invested directly into U.S. Treasury securities. The government can use the money from those securities, but it must pay back the money with interest.

 

Many believe it can work better

Property Tax Assessment - CalculatorThe Social Security Administration has more than 60,000 employees and 1,200 field offices nationwide. The agency has struggled to keep up with the rapid increase in the number of retirees seeking benefits.

“There aren’t enough resources to take care of all the people now, and another 10,000 people turn 65 every day,” says Max Richtman, CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare says.

A recent audit showed that the average wait time at field offices increased 32 percent between 2010 and 2017, for example. During that same time, the number of visitors who must wait over an hour to be seen at as office nearly doubled.

 

You may be taxed on your benefits

If you have income in addition to your Social Security, you may have to pay federal taxes on your benefits. Single filers whose combined annual income exceeds $34,000 might pay income tax on up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits; couples filing jointly may pay tax on up to 85 percent if their combined income tops $44,000.

13 states tax Social Security benefits depending upon differing variables: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

 

It is not intended to be your sole income

End of Life PlanningThe Social Security Administration says if you have average earnings, the program’s retirement benefits will replace only about 40 percent of your preretirement wages.

Despite this, 26 percent of those 65 and over who receive a monthly Social Security benefits live with families that depend on it for almost all of their retirement income. 50 percent of them say their families depend on Social Security for at least half of their income.

 

Purchasing power is decreasing

Each year, the SSA issues a cost-of-living adjustment, which is an annual adjustment that beneficiaries receive to help their monthly checks keep up with inflation.

Unfortunately, the formula used to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment does not fully account for the medical costs of the average older American. These costs have been increasing much faster than other expenses.

The average American 55 and older spend about 27 percent more annually on health care than the overall population, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

You can work and collect Social Security

Beware online wire transfer fraudYou can have a job and collect Social Security, but the agency will withhold some of your benefits if you are younger than full retirement age and your earned wages exceed a certain limit.

In 2019, the threshold on your earnings will be $17,640. Make more than that, and the government will temporarily withhold $1 from your benefit for every $2 earned over the cap.

You will receive this money later on in the form of higher benefits when you hit your full retirement age. If you wait until full retirement age to start drawing Social Security, you can work as much as you like and your benefits will not be reduced.

 

Social Security has gone digital

The Treasury Department has moved away from mailing out paper checks in favor of electronic payments. The SSA has set up an online portal called My Social Security, where you can track your benefits. You are encouraged to visit the website and set up an account. This helps prevent scammers from setting up an account in your name and trying to steal your benefits.

 

It is not just a retirement program

Social Security Retirement Couple

There are four main types of Social Security benefits: retirement, disability, dependent and survivor. Sometimes a person can qualify for more than one of these, but Social Security generally will only pay one benefit at a time to a person.

When filing for benefits, make sure to ask about eligibility for other benefits. If there is a change in your family status, such as the death of the breadwinner, you should inform SSA of their death and ask if you or other family members will be eligible for any additional survivor or dependent benefits.

 

Most receive more back than they put in

Studies have shown that most people receive more in benefits than they paid into the program. Married couples are more likely to get back more than they contributed than single people, and both low-income and high-income people may receive more dollars from the program over a lifetime than the amount of money they contributed to it.

 

This post is based on the article “12 Top Things to Know About Social Security” written by Kenneth Terrell and originally published in AARP Bulletin.

 


* 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 estate law services including estate planningliving trustprobatesocial security disability, and more.

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

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Repeat Client and Referral Discounts

TO OUR VALUED REALTOR PARTNERS:

$50-$100 Discount

It is our pleasure to serve you and your clients!

$50-$100 Off

As a token of our appreciation, we are pleased to provide repeat customers with a $50.00 discount.

In addition, should they refer someone to our office and that person utilizes our services we are happy to provide an additional discount of $100.00 on any future services to the referring client.

 


* 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 Senior Property Tax Exemption and Freeze Application Deadline Extended

Senior Tax Exemption for Chicago Bungalow

Senior Exemption Application Deadline Extended

If you have not applied for your Cook County Senior Property Tax Exemption or Property Tax Freeze Application, there is still time.

The deadline for senior homeowners in Cook County to apply for the senior property tax exemption and senior property tax freeze has been extended to Friday, March 2.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has extended the deadline past the original deadline, previously Friday, March 2.

If you know someone who may be eligible, please let them know. Thousands of eligible homeowners have not renewed their exemptions.

Related post: Real Estate Tax Exemptions Cook County Chicago

 

According to Assessor Joseph Berrios:

Property tax bills Kane & DuPage County“I extended the deadline so all seniors have extra time to return their applications to ensure they receive the expanded exemption savings this year.

It is also important to remember that under Illinois law, seniors are required to reapply annually for both the Senior and Senior Freeze Exemptions.”

Related post: Cook County Assessor Faces Controversy Over Widespread Inequities

 

Many qualifying seniors have not renewed

The assessor’s office said over 270,000 applications were mailed in early January to seniors who received the exemption last year.

Approximately 80,000 seniors who received that notice have not yet renewed their exemptions.

 

Senior Property Tax Freeze Exemption Qualifications

Cook County SealTo qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2017, taxpayers must have:

  • been born prior to or in the year 1952,
  • a total household income of $65,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2016,
  • owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017,
  • used the property as a principal place of residence as of January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017, and
  • been responsible for the payment of 2016 and 2017 property taxes.

 

Download forms

Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption  Application (PDF)

Senior Property Freeze Exemption Application (PDF)

 

For more information, visit http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/ or call the Assessor’s office at 312-443-7550.

 


* 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


 

Photo credit: “Chicago bungalow” photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Illinois State Tax Lien Registry

Illinois home with tax lien

On January 1, 2018, the new State Tax Lien Registration Act went into effect, changing how state tax liens are filed in Illinois.

The act created a single centralized Illinois State Tax Lien Registry for filing notices of tax liens.

 

What is Statewide Tax Lien Registry?

The Statewide Tax Lien Registry is an online, searchable database of Illinois tax liens filed or released by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). The registry documents all active tax liens as of January 1, 2018, and all future lien filings and releases.

Registry Website: Illinois State Tax Lien Registry

IDOR will no longer be recording its liens or releases with local county recorders.  Going forward, IDOR will maintain its own searchable Illinois State Tax Lien Registry and you can no longer search for liens through your county.

 

Illinois State Tax Lien Registry Video

 

How to know if a tax lien has been filed?

Anyone can search the Illinois State Tax Lien Registry. The registry is the only location available to search liens filed by the Illinois Department of Revenue. You will no longer be able to inquire through each individual county.

 

How to access the Illinois Tax Lien Registry?

You can access the registry through the “Lien Registry” link under the “Quick Links” section on the Illinois Department of Revenue website at tax.illinois.gov, or visit this direct link.

 

How do I find a tax lien?

When you are at the Statewide Tax Lien Registry, you can search for a tax lien using multiple forms of search criteria including:

  • Lien ID
  • FEIN
  • Business name
  • Lien filed or released date
  • Taxpayer first and last name
  • Street address
  • Combination of above

Seal of IllinoisSearch results are dependent on how the taxpayer is registered with the department. A general search or using a partial name could provide multiple results.

Search results will appear as a list of liens at the bottom of the screen. If no tax lien appears in the list area, you may want to modify search criteria to assure you have the correct information.

The results row will identify specific information about the lien, such as the date filed and the date released if applicable. For more information on a specific lien, click on the blue “Lien ID” hyperlink. The lien detail will now be visible.

Any questions about the status or the validity of the tax lien must be addressed by the taxpayer. The taxpayer is the only person who may contact the department about the lien. Call by phone at 217-785-5299.

 

Due diligence recommended

Because this tax lien system is new, property owners with existing tax liens before January 1, 2018, should perform due diligence that includes searching both the Illinois State Tax Lien Registry and your county recorder office to ensure all relevant state tax lien information is discovered.

 

Vist the Illinois Statewide Tax Lien Registry

 


* 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 buying and sellingshort salesmortgage foreclosure defense and more.

For Information Call 630-858-0090