A recent court decision on an assessment collection case has made it clear that associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants into the record in any lawsuit to collect unpaid assessments.  

In this case, the association was awarded a judgment for the unpaid assessments, but not the attorney’s fees. This is because the association did not allege sufficiently that there was any legal provision for the recovery of attorney’s fees. Your collection attorney should review your governing documents for this provision and recommend an amendment if it is absent. The Declaration and the specific language that provides for recovery of attorney’s fees and costs in a collection matter should also be entered as evidence in court.

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Condo owners age 62 or older may qualify for a reverse mortgage. This is a special type of loan that allows them to take cash out of their property without having to repay the loan until they move out, sell or die.

Currently, 90% of reverse mortgages are insured by the FHA. In order for a reverse mortgage to be made in a condo building, the entire association must be FHA certified. A new rule proposed in 2016 includes a provision that would allow condominium units to individually become eligible for FHA financing.

Public comment on the proposed rule closed on November 28, 2016. HUD is expected to address condo approval for reverse mortgages in early 2017. 

To read more, click here.

In November 2016 the government announced that it would lower the minimum required owner-occupancy rate from 50% to 35%, which could allow more condominium buildings to become FHA Certified. The lower owner-occupancy rate, however, comes with additional requirements that must be met in order for any buyer to purchase in a condominium building with an FHA insured mortgage.

Buildings with fewer than 50% of their units occupied by owners must also document that their financial reserves equal 20% of more of their budget and that no more than 10% of units are late of homeowner dues. Additionally, they must provide 3 years of financial documents for review that are deemed "acceptable."

These more stringent criteria could potentially shut out a large number of condominiums from FHA eligibility, but those that are managing well financially despite high investment ownership rates would still qualify.

To read more, click here.

It is time to get your landscaping services in place for the coming spring! No matter what landscaping services you are looking for, click here to see a full list of our recommended vendors.


One of the factors that determines the amount of property taxes you pay, is the assessed value of your property. The value is determined by the Cook County Assessor, but if you feel your assessment is inaccurate, you can appeal it. If you live in Rogers Park, any appeals are due to the Cook County Assessor by March 1. 

There will be a workshop to learn how to appeal your property tax assessment on Wednesday February 22, at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf. The workshop will teach you how the assessment process works, how to file an appeal with the County Assessor's office and how an appeal is granted. If you are interested, please bring your property tax bill to more efficiently file an appeal. 

If you are unable to attend the workshop, the Cook County Assessor's website has an overview of the appeal process. 

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