Illinois Real Estate Regulation: Issues of Ownership

Instructor: Kyle Aken

Kyle is a journalist and marketer that has taught writing to a number of different children and adults after graduating from college with a degree in Journalism. He has a passion for not just the written word, but for finding the universal truths of the world.

In America, real estate and property laws differ from state to state. This lesson will look at how the property law, including real estate timeshares or land sales, differ in Illinois from national requirements.

Points of Property and Protections

In the United States, property and real estate laws usually concern things like homestead protection from creditors, land trust, and even real estate timeshares. In Illinois, for example, the homestead protection law allows an individual to designate a portion of their property as off limits from any creditors under certain conditions. This lesson will detail Illinois property and real estate laws regarding issues of ownership and how those laws differ from national requirements.

Land Trust

A land trust is an inexpensive and simple way to handle ownership of real estate. It is an arrangement where the title to the real property is held by a trustee, but all the conveniences and rights of ownership are exercised by the owner or beneficiary. In Illinois, there are many benefits of using a land trust:

1. Protection from the owner

2. Privacy of ownership

3. Succession of ownership

4. Disposing of part interest

5. Ease of conveyance

Homestead Protection Laws

The homestead protection laws were created to prevent homeowners from losing their home due to economic hardship. These laws allow an individual to register a portion of their real property as a 'homestead,' and designates it as off limits to certain creditors under certain conditions.

In Illinois, the homestead law allows an individual to claim as much as $15,000 worth of property (or $30,000 for a couple, if jointly owned) as a homestead. However, there are some situations when a creditor can still enforce the sale of a homestead to collect on any debts owed to them, like if you happen to owe taxes to the state or pledge the homestead as credit for the mortgage.

Other states, like Florida, have no maximum limit to the amount of real property that can be designated as a homestead. In Florida, an individual can protect their entire property if they file for bankruptcy.

Land Sales Registration Act

Under the Interstate Land Sales Act, many states require registration for interstate sales, leasing, and marketing of subdivision properties. In many states, the laws require a builder, or other, to register the details about the subdivision which is going to be sold through an application process and to pay a filing fee. Those who violate the laws, unknowingly or intentionally, can be fined, faced with civil or criminal penalties or even jailed. Many states have different regulations on the governing of land sales, from different timelines to register to ways to enforce the law.

In Illinois, the land sales registration act states that any interests in out-of-state subdivision with more than 25 lots have to be registered with the Commissioner of Bands and Real Estate. Any receipts collected for the delivery of property must be kept for three years. At any time, a commissioner may inspect the project at the developer's expense. Also, buyers only have two years to revoke a contract if it doesn't meet the guidelines of the law.

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