Welcome to the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association.

The Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association is comprised of experienced attorneys dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses in connection with real estate transactions of all types.

Next Meeting


Plan to Attend IRELA's Next CLE:

June 10, 2015 CLE Presentation:



Speaker:  TBD

Topic:  TBD



Watch this space for further information and updates. 


Mark your calendar to attend this CLE seminar. 


IRELA President Ralph Schumann will also provide updates on important developments and issues of the day affecting real estate practitioners, including pressures to which real estate practitioners are being subjected with the increased activity of Broker-Controlled Title Agencies and the accompanying threats to the integrity of the Illinois real estate transaction and to the consumer. He will also address the status of the IDFPR Working Group of industry representatives formed to evaluate and discuss implementation of the new CFPB Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure Forms, feedback from the CFPB eClosing Pilot Program, and the need for Illinois practitioners to begin to implement the "10 day rule" well in advance of August 1, 2015.


IRELA's Next CLE Presentation will be:

When: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at

  8:00 - 9:30 am

Where:   Belvedere Events and Banquets  | 1170 West Devon  |  Elk Grove Village, IL  | 847.534.0600

To access a map of the meeting location, click on: Map





Recent and Upcoming Events

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IRELA President Ralph J. Schumann (L)     and        Frank Pellegrini (R), Past President of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), presented at the ISBA Real Estate Law Update CLE on Thursday, May 7, 2015 on the new CFPB Forms which supplant the GFE, TIL and HUD-1 forms as of August 1, 2015.  To access and download the full, updated PowerPoint presentation used at the CLE seminar, click on:


Full, Updated CFPB Forms Schumann-Pellegrini Powerpoint


The closing process will significantly change when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final rule for integrated mortgage disclosures goes into effect Aug. 1, 2015. The rule integrates forms required under the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). A Loan Estimate will replace the current Good Faith Estimate and early TIL disclosure, while a Closing Disclosure will replace the HUD-1 and final TIL disclosure. The CFPB has given an implementation deadline of August 1, 2015.

A sample timeline provided by CFPB can be accessed at:

CFPB TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure Timeline Example

To access a recent handout used in connection with a title company presentation on the implementation of the new CFPB Forms, click on:

Handout including IRELA Comment to CFPB, Wells Fargo March, 2015 Notice regarding handling of Closing Disclosure, Best Practices and other issues, and CFPB Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure Forms


More News

Peter J. Birnbaum, President and CEO of Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., recently issued a Bulletin to ATG members concerning Real Estate Broker-Controlled Title Agencies and the accompanying threats to the integrity of the real estate transaction and to the consumer. The Bulletin discusses, among other things, the proliferation of Listing Agreements containing title orders, and the role and responsibilities of Illinois real estate practitioners when presented with such situations.


IRELA has for years been concerned about this situation and the threats it presents to practitioners and the consuming public alike.  IRELA's position has always been that the decision regarding ordering title constitutes the practice of law, as it requires evaluation of a number of factors in assessing which title insurance agency is best positioned to do the work required for the client while avoiding situations which might jeopardize a client's best interests. IRELA will continue the important work of protecting the real estate practitioner and protecting the consumer in this area.


We welcome your comments in this area.  Feel free to contact IRELA President Ralph J. Schumann at

To access and download Peter Birnbaum's Bulletin, provided here with permission, click on:


Birnbaum Commentary on Real Estate Broker-Controlled Business


IRELA COMMENT:  Birnbaum's Commentary provides important food for thought. Some listing agreements contain provisions that go beyond the usual terms regarding the listing of the property by the broker and broker compensation. Some contain orders for title services of which the seller may or may not be aware. IRELA members, and Illinois real estate practitioners in general, may wish regularly to offer to review any listing agreement before execution by a client. If a listing agreement that was signed without benefit of counsel contains a problematic boilerplate provision, such a provision may be voidable as a matter of law if the provision is shown to be unconscionable or contrary to public policy due to the unequal bargaining positions of the parties or on other grounds.  In addition, if the listing agreement between the seller and the Broker contains a boilerplate order for title services with a separate title agency not a party to the listing agreement, the putative "contract" may be unenforceable due to lack of privity of contract.




IRELA's President Ralph J. Schumann and IRELA Past President Joseph R. Fortunato, Jr., recently participated in a CLE seminar for Greater Illinois Title on the new CFPB Forms and related Implementation Issues on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, along with a panel of nationally recognized speakers.

To access and download copies of the brief Powerpoint, a handout for the presentation, or ALTA's Three-Day Closing Disclosure Rule Chart, click on:

1.  Schumann and Fortunato Brief Powerpoint

2.  Handout including IRELA Comment to CFPB, Wells Fargo September, 2014 Notice regarding handling of Closing Disclosure, and Commentary by David Huffman of ATGF

3.  ALTA Three-Day Closing Disclosure Rule Chart



If you missed the June 11, 2014 comprehensive CLE seminar on

Analysis of the New Multi-Board 6.0 Contract and

Comparison of Key Provisions of the Prior 5.0 Version with the New 6.0 Version

Watch for information about more CLE sessions being planned for September, 2014, on the new 6.0 Contract.


It's Here!!

IRELA is proud to announce the release of the 

Official Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0

The NEW Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0 is now available to IRELA members for downloading and use in the Members Only section of this web site. See details in right-hand column, and see the official "fillable" form contract in the Members Only section of this web site.



Help us in "going green".

Download the Handouts for IRELA CLE Seminars in advance and print them or bring them to the seminar on yourlaptop, tablet or other device.



Attendance at most IRELA CLE Seminars is Free for IRELA Member Attorneys in good standing.

(One hour of MCLE Credit provided.)


More News

On March 5, 2015, The Objections, a band sponsored by IRELA, won the "Best Band" Award at the Illinois Bar Foundation's "Lawyers Rock" fundraising event held at the Double Door on Milwaukee in Chicago. 

Pictured below (L to R) are Sean O'Brien, son of ATGF Vice President and Special Counsel to the CEO John O'Brien (Chairman and Founder of IRELA), IRELA President Ralph Schumann, Don Dopka, Tony DiMichele, Kristi Alsip, and Ken Naylor.

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Governor Quinn Issues Amendatory Veto to Condo Bill SB 2664

Gov. Quinn last year issued an Amendatory Veto of SB2664, the condo bill which was supported by a wide array of stakeholders as the best way to reintroduce a certain amount of predictability into the process of purchasing condominiums which were the subject of a foreclosure or similar action. For more information, see news update on this web site under "Developments".

This development was discussed in detail at the IICLE 10th Annual Real Estate Short Course on September 9-10, 2014 at Harper College.  (IRELA was a sponsor of this comprehensive CLE Seminar, and will also sponsor the upcoming 11th Annual Real Estate Short Course at the Schaumburg Hyatt Regency on September 8-9, 2015. More details will follow.)


NOTE:  EZ Dec System in Cook County was replaced recently by the MyDec system.  To access a June, 2014, Illinois Department of Revenue update on implementation of the new MyDec system,

Click on the following link to download:


IDOR Informational Bulletin on new MyDec system




Upcoming Events

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IRELA President Ralph J. Schumann recently presented a Case Law Update CLE for the Chicago Bar Association.  To access and download the handout, click on:

Schumann CBA Case Law Handout


IRELA recently submitted Comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to the CFPB's Request for Comments on the Mortgage Closing Process.  To access and download IRELA's Comments submitted on behalf of IRELA by Ralph J. Schumann, IRELA President, click on: 

IRELA Comments to CFPB.



IRELA position statement regarding HUD's Buyer Select Program. (Update.)

IRELA has several concerns regarding the HUD Buyer Select program as implemented in Illinois since March 1, 2013.  The requirements, and the elimination of a seller's attorney in the transaction, shift responsibility for many of the functions traditionally performed by a seller's attorney in Illinois from HUD's designated counsel to the "Closing Agent".  It appears HUD contemplates the Closing Agent functions will be conducted either by the title company or the buyer's attorney. The requirements present serious risk of fostering the unauthorized practice of law (UPL), as well as other problems. To download and review a letter from IRELA President Ralph J. Schumann to major title insurance companies detailing IRELA's concerns, click on:

Schumann Letter on HUD Buyer Select Program

NOTE: Schumann's Letter expressing concerns with HUD's Buyer Select Program was referenced in the monthly online newsletter of Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., "The Trusted Advisor."  Any attorney considering acting as a HUD vendor and participating as the Closing Agent in these transactions should first review the Schumann Letter, the summary of issues raised in the "Trusted Advisor" article, and the Closing Instructions promulgated by PEMCO and other asset managers.  IRELA members, as well as Illinois real estate practitioners in general, are urged to exercise extreme caution in this area.


Making Home Affordable Program Extended

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew announced recently that Treasury is extending the Making Home Affordable Mortgage Loan Modification image.jpgProgram for another two years. The new expiration date is now set for December 31, 2015. The program offers help to homeowners through solutions including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), and the Second Lien Modification Program. As of March, an estimated 1.1 million struggling homeowners have received a permanent modification through HAMP. The move aligns with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) extension for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which was first announced April 11th.

Implementation of the Appraisal Management Company Registration Act.

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Newly enacted Section 1452 of Title 68 of the Illinois Administrative Code, promulgated by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (the "Department") (effective March 4, 2013), is directed towards appraisal services and specifies rules implementing provisions of the Appraisal Management Company Registration Act, 225 ILCS 459. 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1452. These rules are comprised of definitions, application requirements, and registration, renewal, and reinstatement procedures.

Fraudulent real estate transactions -- Recently Enacted.

House Bill 2832 P.A. 98-0098 (Lang, D-Chicago) allows a county recorder of deeds to establish and use a "Fraud Referral and Review Process" for deeds and instruments that the recorder reasonably believes are fraudulent, unlawfully altered, or intended to unlawfully cloud or transfer the title to any real property. The wide-ranging nineteen (19) "trigger" categories include instruments evidencing "non-standard punctuation" and certain types of maritime liens.  NOTE:  IRELA remains very concerned about the underlying issues that gave rise to this proposed legislation, and looks forward to working with the Cook County Recorder's Office and the legislature to improve the implementation of measures established by the bill.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Learn more  »



IRELA contributes $2,500 to Lawyers Feeding Illinois. 

Pictured below are IRELA President Ralph Schumann and ATG Vice President and Special Counsel to the CEO John O'Brien (who is also the Founder of IRELA).  Ralph Schumann recently presented a check for IRELA's $2,500 contribution to the Lawyers Feeding Illinois program.  For more information, call (847) 593-5750 or (847) 273-8700.

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Learn more  »

IRELA continues to co-sponsor CLE programs with IICLE, ISBA, ATG, and other title insurance companies and organizations.  Check back for more details on upcoming events.


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Official Multi-Board

Residential Real Estate

Contract 6.0

The NEW Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0 is now available in the "Members Only" Section of this web site for downloading and use. It is designed to be a "fill-in-the-blanks" document. You can tab from field to field and enter your data, and then print out the final document. It is a thirteen page document with letter-size pages with a larger, more legible typeface. The cover page of the contract details important information regarding digital signatures, the copyright, and the limited license granted to approved entities to use the form.

SAMPLE Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0
This PDF bears a "SAMPLE" watermark.  While it has the official text of the contract, it is not a fillable PDF.

Key Highlights Comparison Chart
Summarizes the key changes in the Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0 prepared by IRELA President Ralph J. Schumann. Corresponding provisions in the prior 5.0 Version of the Contract are compared side by side to new provisions. This document is in PDF format.

Summary and Comparison of the New Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0
by IRELA Director Joseph R. Fortunato, Jr., highlighting changes from the previous (5.0) version of the Multi-Board "Common Contract".


IRELA President Ralph Schumann was interviewed recently by Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough on her "Housing Matters" program.  The program is available at Vimeo. To view the program, click on the image below.


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IRELA President Ralph Schumann spoke recently at a CLE Seminar on the Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0: An Analysis of Key Changes, for Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., with Robert Borla. The presentation is available as an OnDemand program at

ATG Members can click on

Special Access for IRELA Members:
Login on the ATG website,, is required to register to view this OnDemand program. If you haven't taken an ATG seminar before or viewed an ATG OnDemand program before, follow these instructions. Don't remember your login? Request a new password to get access.


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IRELA President Ralph Schumann spoke recently at a Greater Illinois Title Company CLE Seminar on the New Multi-Board Residential Real Estate Contract 6.0 at Maggiano's Little Italy in Oak Brook, Illinois.

IRELA President Ralph Schumann was interviewed recently for a story that aired on National Public Radio's  WBEZ logo.jpg on Property Flipping: "Flipping Houses in a Post-Bubble World".  

Schumann was quoted in an accompanying article, which can be accessed here as a PDF document:  "Flipping Houses in a Post-Bubble World."

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IRELA President Ralph Schumann recently participated in the recording of a television program for ISBA's "Illinois Law" series on Landlord-Tenant issues.   Pictured above (L to R) are former IRELA Board Member Samuel Levine, Joel Chupack (Past Chair of the ISBA Real Estate Law Section Council), Ralph Schumann, and program moderator Marty Dolan.

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Schumann was recently quoted in a Chicago Tribune article by Leslie Mann entitled "Don't Overlook These Homebuying Details".

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IRELA President Ralph Schumann attended a recent CBA Award Luncheon at the Standard Club in Chicago.  Pictured with him above (left to right) are Bill Anaya, Partner, Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Shay Jacobson, LifeCare Innovations, Joel Daly, attorney and former ABC WLS-TV News Anchor, Martha Kern, LifeCare Innovations, and Mike Rooney, Executive Director, IICLE. Congratulations to Mike Rooney on his new position!

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Schumann also was recently quoted in an article discussing legal issues presented with "More Adults Moving Back to Old Neighborhood, Buying Parent's Home". 

Regular IRELA meetings take place at 8:00 a.m. monthly on the second Wednesday at Belvedere Events and Banquets facility in Elk Grove Village, IL (847.534.0600) or at other announced locations.