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Legal updates from Three Rivers Association Attorney

By Gary S. Mueller, Mueller & Associates, LTD

Phone:  815-725-7300                        e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gary Mueller resized cropped CopySterlingR 2019 Med

June, 2019

I hope this finds all doing well. Kudos to the Golf Committee this year for a wonderful event. Really happy to see so my golfers, diners, and friends.  It was a very enjoyable day----and the weather held out.  Thank you for whatever part you played in the weather, Dave Hufford…..

So……………really hoping your business plan is in full swing at this point in the year. Note that, at SOME point, the sun will come out and there will be no more rain. Our office has experienced an influx of potential real estate litigation cases due, in part, to leaks and foundation issues on properties transferred in the last few months.  Note that cases considered pursuant to the Illinois Real Property Disclosure Act are difficult to win.  The Plaintiff needs an expert (or experts, depending on the condition(s) being challenged), an opinion from the expert that the seller knew or should have known of the condition, that the seller did not reasonably believe the condition was addressed/fixed prior to completing the disclosure, and the expert will need to be physically present should the matter go to trial.  Additionally, the Plaintiff will need to find the seller (who has likely moved from the area) in order to perfect service of summons and complaint. Finally, even if successful in the suit, the Plaintiff typically needs to MAKE the seller pay.  In the end, the litigation often is time consuming and can be expensive.  I do what I can to try to resolve and defuse the situation so that a potential client is not using good money to chase after bad.

Five months into the new 7.0 Contract update----Though I realize that my view may be slightly tainted as I was on the Committee that created the contract, overall, I believe the contract is better than the 6.1.  I am seeing fewer letters from buyer’s attorneys asking for gutter extensions 6 feet beyond the foundation wall, or repairs of nail pops, or similar NON-safety or health issues.  I have experienced situations where, while pointing out to an attorney the dictates of the inspection paragraph (and the fact that, if one seeks a non-major component repair, the seller can terminate the contract), the attorney has lashed out at me as if he/she knew this change and intended the letter that was forwarded, only to have an “emergency email” saying the buyer retracts all of the repair requests in the last letter that was sent.  I am also experiencing fewer attempts by attorneys to say that, though a five page attorney mod letter is presented, the buyer retains the right to retrack the letter if my client objects; most attorneys have removed the “wishy-washy” language from their standard letters.  So, at least in our office, the six month “anniversary” appears to show that the Contract’s revisions have been noteworthy and helpful.

Comments and stories---I am still welcoming “war stories” from any and all.  I have compiled a number of anecdotes and intend to share them from time to time when the business isn’t too crazy and one may simply want something light to read.  As we all know, the time between document execution and Funding number typically affords ample time for colorful, memorable discussion.  Often, I find myself sharing jokes from the Laffy Taffy at FAT, for example.  The following is a) one I remembered (which is a feat these days) and b) clean enough to tell anyone and everyone.  What do you call a royal bunny?.............................wait for it………………………wait for it………………………A Hare to the Throne! 

Enjoy the remainder of the month.

Take care.

Gary