June 1, 2012

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® closely tracked a number of bills as the final hours of the 97th General Assembly ticked away. Briefly, here are some highlights:

HB506: Homestead Tax Lien bill

From left, IAR's Julie Sullivan, assistant director of legislative and political affairs; Jon Broadbooks, director of communications; and Greg St. Aubin, director of governmental affairs, listen to Illinois House floor debate on Thursday, May 31, on SB3522. The bill ultimately stalled in the Senate.

IAR opposed this effort which sought to allow tax assessors in the state to file a tax lien against a property, and penalties and interest when a homeowner received a homestead exemption for which they were not eligable. The bill was backed by Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios and sponsored in the House by Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and in the Senate by Antonio Muñoz.

Because in many parts of the state exemptions are automatically renewed after an initial application, there was a real danger that homeowners might get treated as scofflaws when no such intent existed.

SB3574: Auctioneer bill

This bill would allow licensed auctioneers the ability to collaborate with real estate licensees on real estate auctions, and represents a compromise between the IAR and the Illinois Auctioneers Association. The bill was called Thursday by Sen. John Sullivan, but it was pulled from the record at the last minute. The bill is dormant for now, but will likely be considered again in the fall veto session.

HB5359: Amendments to RELA

This bill passed unanimously in the Senate Thursday, and followed a similar unanimous vote in the House March 22. The bill, which amends the Real Estate License Act to make cleanup and administrative changes, now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. IAR favored this bill.

SB3522: Fast-track Foreclosure

After going through myriad incarnations since the spring of 2011 (HB 1109, SB 16, SB2534), issues relating to caring for property in foreclosure and providing for fast-track foreclosure for abandoned properties were partially advanced in last-minute action at the Capitol.

SB 3522 didn't include the concept of making lenders take care of property they had a mortgage on (but had not yet foreclosed upon), but included fast-track foreclosure for abandoned property, as well as a combination of $1,250 in front and back end fees charged to foreclosing large lenders (those with assets of $10 billion or more) to fund housing counseling and assistance to municipalities for taking care of foreclosed propoerties.

The bill passed the House on Thursday, and was advanced out of Senate Committee at about midnight the last night of session, but the clock ran out on calling the bill on the Senate floor. IAR was neutral on this bill, which was heavily opposed by the large banking institutions.

Your IAR lobbyists were FIGHTING FOR YOU till the wee hours on the many issues of concern including new and controversial issues that always seem to surface in the waning hours. Members Only: Read the latest State Capitol Report for a recap of the primary issues. A comprehensive end of session report will be available soon.

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