D.R. Legal News

DR Legal News

Designated Realtor Legal News

November 2017


Feds Explain Potential Money Laundering Schemes Using Real Estate Transactions

Harmsby Lisa Harms Hartzler, Sorling Northrup Attorneys

This past August, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an “Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals” to explain how drug traffickers, corrupt officials, money launderers and other criminals hide illicit profits, conceal their identities, and launder funds through real estate transactions. Although certain metropolitan areas in the country are targeted for this kind of activity more than what might be seen in most of Illinois, all real estate professionals should be aware of how a purchase and sale of real property can be exploited by criminals, what the warning signs are, and what they can or should do when they encounter a suspicious transaction. 

Legal Case Studies

  1. Sellers held liable for inaccurate disclosures in house sale
  2. Condominium Association allowed to sue subcontractors (but not designers and material suppliers) for breach of implied warranty of habitability where developer and general contractor were insolvent
  3. Professional license revocation violated procedural Due Process requirements
  4. Ban on overpass signs upheld, but limit on signs within 100 feet invalidated 
  5. Proposed electric transmission line denied public utility status
  6. FOIA request for assessor’s property data denied Read more

Real Estate Disciplines

Recent disciplinary actions taken by the Real Estate Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) include:

  1. A real estate managing broker and real estate broker corporation license shall each remain revoked and each fined $1,200,000 for failure to deposit security deposits into an escrow account separate and apart from personal and other business accounts, failure to account for or remit the earnest money, unprofessional conduct and failure to respond to the Department's requests for records.
  2. A real estate managing broker license was revoked for violating the terms of a consent order. Read more.

Alert Your Brokers: Renew Now and SAVE on Post-license Courses

Broker RenewalThe convenient Early Bird package allows brokers to complete post-license education with no travel or hassle, in plenty of time for broker license renewal.

The 2018 broker license renewal deadline is approaching. Encourage your brokers who need post-license education to act early and SAVE $50. The Early Bird 30-hour Post-License D2L Package offered by Illinois REALTORS® Licensing & Training Center includes the 15-hour Post-License webinar, 15-hour online Post-License Topics course, and online exams for $229. To claim this offer, brokers must register by November 13 and attend the November 15-16, 2017 post-license webinar. Invite your brokers to check out the broker renewal page for more information.

Hot Topic: Tax Reform

Flood the House Call for Action

Proposed tax reforms could raise taxes on middle class homeowners. Tell Congress to reform our tax code AND protect middle class homeowners. Take action now!

Advertising Properties as "Sold"

by Becky Carraher, Director of Ethics and Professional Standards

One type of complaint being filed through the Illinois REALTORS® Ethics Citation Program involves ads containing photos or addresses of properties and words such as “Recently sold – I can sells yours too.” The average reader may interpret these types of ads to mean that the broker placing the ad did participate in the sale of these properties, either as the listing or cooperating broker. If that is not the case, the Ethics Citation Panel may determine these types of ads are misleading and a citation may be issued. Learn more about advertising and ethics.

WATCH! When Should You Disclose?

Legal Minutes Video

In the next episode of this new video series, Legal Minutes, Director of Legal Services Betsy Urbance discusses buyer and seller disclosure, and the forms available to members to meet disclosure requirements. Share this video at your next office meeting (member login required)!

The 411 on Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Commercial real estate transactions are complex, and a new 3-hour video helps explain “The 411 on Commercial Real Estate." Learn from commercial brokerage experts on the intricacies commercial brokers encounter which may be foreign to residential brokers, what types of transactions to refer and gain a deeper appreciation for this extension of real estate practice. The video has an accompanying outline. Resources are free for all Illinois REALTORS® members, developed as an initiative by the Illinois REALTORS® Commercial Committee and Commercial Task Force. And in the future, members may be able to purchase this video for CE credit.

Legislative Scorecard

Know the Legislative Score!

2017 was another contentious year at the State Capitol as the budget impasse and calls for major regulatory reforms dominated debate in the Illinois General Assembly—with more than 6,300 bills introduced. Illinois REALTORS® tracked more than 250 measures affecting the real estate industry, and victories for REALTORS® and private property owners include updates to the Real Estate License Act to streamline and modernize delivery of courses; the new PACE Act which provides innovative financing for energy efficiency improvements on commercial and industrial properties, protection of the statewide ban on the power of home rule units to impose rent control measures, and much more. Download the full report!

Do You See a Leader in One of your Brokers?

The Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Development Program is accepting applications until November 30.

nar expo

We'll See You at NAR Conference & Expo

Visit us at booth #3631 Nov. 3-6 at the NAR Conference & Expo. Stop by to get your REALTOR® heart pin and take a photo by the #REALTORSworkingwithHeart Bicentennial booth. Take a selfie with President Abraham Lincoln from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 4. Encourage your brokers to register using the promo code IAR17 for a FREE Expo-only pass.

More Resources

Online Only! Designated REALTOR® Legal News is e-mailed to all members who are the Designated REALTOR® (or DR) for their real estate office. Be sure to watch and open all e-mail from “Illinois REALTORS."

The Designated REALTOR® Legal News is e-mailed six times per year (January, March, May, July, September, November) to the Designated REALTOR® member of the Illinois REALTORS®. For reprint permission, contact iarnews@iar.org.

Breakout Text: 

Past Issues



Looking for a topic for your next office meeting or regional meeting? The Member Outreach team is available to cover the latest legislative issues in play—local, state and national—as well as new laws, forms, RVOICE resources and RPAC. Call 1-800-752-3274 or Info@illinoisrealtors.org.