Homing in on Real Estate Trends Experts and Groups Look at Proposals, Developments, New Laws in the Industry

By Donovan, Deborah | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 10, 1998 | Go to article overview

Homing in on Real Estate Trends Experts and Groups Look at Proposals, Developments, New Laws in the Industry


Donovan, Deborah, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Deborah Donovan Daily Herald Real Estate Writer

Like many things, it boils down to money.

Dipping into escrow money is one of the biggest temptations that gets Illinois' real estate brokers in trouble, says Jack Schaffer, commissioner of the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate.

"Most of the things we fight over involve money," Schaffer said. "Some brokers use escrow money like their own personal piggy banks. Their little house of cards collapses, and somebody gets stiffed."

Schaffer's office, which has 286 employees, added the real estate industry in 1996 and regulates and licenses people from several other fields.

Besides Schaffer's agency, there are several organizations that assist, educate and oversee people whose job it is to help folks buy and sell homes.

These groups range from the Illinois Association of Realtors to the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association, which monitor trends, proposals and laws regarding the industry.

Schaffer's agency gets perhaps 5,000 complaints a year about real estate agents and mortgage lenders. A similar number of people call each year with questions.

Of these, 60 complaints each month against real estate agents require investigation, and 30 are found to require disciplinary action. That's from 78,000 licensees.

In the mortgage division, 40 to 50 brokers' licenses are revoked annually or not renewed.

Schaffer said he hopes pending legislation will soon let him issue a list of errant mortgage salespeople to warn mortgage brokers against hiring them.

"This is very frustrating to us. We have had legitimate companies call up and try to get information about specific people. The previous employer was so anxious to get rid of them they agreed not to say bad things," he said.

Of 1,200 mortgage companies licensed in Illinois, 10 generate half of all complaints, Schaffer said. A few companies do so much business it's expected they would receive many complaints, Schaffer said. But sometimes there is a "rogue loan officer."

Ironically, real estate offices get in trouble when business is slow and people are tempted to dip into the escrow accounts.

By law, that money - usually from home buyers - is supposed to be kept in a separate account so it will be available for down payments at the property's closing.

The good news is that after the brokers are called on this, "in an awful lot of cases they do make the consumer whole."

Mortgage folks are on the other side of the equation, Schaffer said. They get behind on the paperwork when business is good. This can delay closings until after mortgage rates go up.

Schaffer said he hopes investigators from the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate will be able to go out and talk to brokers and examine their escrow books on an "officer friendly basis."

He said his office has temporarily gotten the services of a few more investigators on loan from the Property Tax Appeal Board.

"They don't have much to do over there because people don't know they have this (appeal) option yet," Schaffer said.

All orders issued from the agency are made public on the Web site (http://www.state.il/us/obr) and in a newsletter. This process helps to warn other states about malingers, too.

Schaffer and industry groups also are involved in a project to rewrite the state's real estate licensing law.

Jim Merrion, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, said his group is working to increase the number of hours of classes real estate agents and brokers have to take to renew their licenses.

They also would like to eliminate the provision that waives the continuing education requirement for long-term license holders.

That affects 16,000 licensees, and perhaps 5,000 of them might not bother to take the classes to keep their licenses, Schaffer said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Homing in on Real Estate Trends Experts and Groups Look at Proposals, Developments, New Laws in the Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.