Real Estate Litigation
For many people, a parcel of real property is their most valuable asset. When someone else's actions threaten your title to real estate or your property's value, it may be necessary to commence real estate litigation. Disputes may arise due to the use of breach of sales contracts, breaches of commercial leases, construction contracts, zoning violations, eminent domain, easements, failures to disclose, defects in title, and division among heirs or during divorce. The Voelker Litigation Group consists of real estate litigation lawyers who have guided residents of Chicago and other Cook County communities through many different types of disputes, including partition cases. We have represented property owners, secured lenders, borrowers, landlords, and tenants.Tenacious Advocacy in Real Estate Disputes
In Illinois, most real estate contracts and agreements must be in writing to be valid and enforceable. Some of the most common real estate disputes involve the breach of sales contracts. A breach of a sales contract occurs when there is a violation of the contractual terms or conditions, without a legal excuse. As with other contracts, the court will interpret the plain language of the agreement in order to determine the outcome of the case. The contract itself may limit the remedies available to either party.
If a seller wrongfully fails to perform its obligations under a contract, the buyer can potentially recover money damages, terminate the contract, obtain the return of the deposit and reasonable expenses, or secure specific performance of the agreement unless it provides otherwise. When the court awards specific performance, whoever is suing for breach can complete the transaction according to the clear and definite contractual terms, rather than get money from the other party for the breach.
If a buyer wrongfully fails to go through with the purchase as specified in the agreement, the seller may be able to sue for damages, sue for the purchase price in exchange for a deed, declare the contract forfeited, retain the earnest money as liquidated damages, or sue for compensatory damages if there were additional losses caused by the breach.
Among the types of real estate disputes we handle are partition cases. These are lawsuits in which one co-owner of property asks the court to divide the property between two or more owners. Under 735 ILCS 5/17101, if lands, tenements, or other real property are held in any form of co-ownership, any interested owner can compel a partition by filing a verified complaint in a circuit court where the premises are located.
The verified complaint needs to describe the property that is to be divided and describe the parties' interests. Anybody with an ownership interest needs to be made a defendant. Either by request or of its own volition, the court can appoint a disinterested commissioner to report as to whether the premises are subject to division without prejudicing the property rights and how the division should be made. A surveyor may also be employed to determine how to divide the property.
Often, a partition action is filed during divorce or after somebody dies, but as a property co-owner you can bring this action as a matter of right without a triggering event. Since a home or building may not be able to be equally divided, the remedy is usually the purchase or sale of one person's interest or the sale of the property, with an equal division of the sales proceeds.Discuss a Property Litigation Matter with a Chicago Lawyer
At the Voelker Litigation Group, we understand how valuable your property is to you. Our Chicago attorneys can represent your interests in contract disputes or other matters regarding real estate. Contact us at 312-870-5430 or via our online form. We represent clients across Cook County, such as in Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, and Mount Prospect, as well as in Peoria and Springfield. The Voelker Litigation Group also can provide representation in Florida, California, and Wisconsin, among other states.