Monthly Archives: November 2010

Time to protest Palatine taxes is now

I live in Palatine. Yesterday, in the mail (and about as welcome as a jury summons to 26th and Cal, an IRS love note or a bounced check) came the reassessment notice for my real estate taxes.

My tax assessment went up 5%, which I don’t consider too bad.

This is the triennial reassessment, meaning that I will be stuck with this assessment for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Rather than being afraid of this paper bullet, I look at is as an opportunity to reduce my real estate taxes and so should you.

I will file a protest of the assessment.  I have no idea how to do this and I always hire someone to do it for me. I wrote here about how to file a tax protest and who to hire.

This is a good opportunity to keep your real estate tax down if you live in Palatine Township, but remember you only have 30 days to file a protest. So don’t fear your reassessment notice and take some action.  Trust me, no one wants to listen to you complain about real estate taxes for the next three years.

Getting a mortgage after bk, short sale or foreclosure

It is possible to get a new mortgage after a short sale, bankruptcy or foreclosure, but it takes awhile.

The chart above tells how long it takes, after each of these events occurs, to get a new mortgage.

The first column labeled FNMA is a standard Fannie Mae, conventional mortgage, and this generally requires a 10% downpayment. The second column labeled FNMA 20% is a mortgage with 20% down. The third column is an FHA mortgage, which requires only 3.5% down, and is the current favorite these days with first-time buyers, because it requires credit of about 610 FICO and is otherwise easier to qualify for compared to conventional financing.

Most clients get FHA mortgages after a bankruptcy, which is only a 2 year wait.

The waiting periods are one thing to consider when deciding how to handle a underwater real estate and whether a strategic default is worth it or not.

Cook Co. tax bills mailed yesterday

The Cook County second installment of 2009 tax bills were mailed yesterday and are due 12/13/10 (a nice pre-Christmas present).

You can check the amount of your tax bill here.

Please double check that your homeowner’s exemption is on the tax bill. If not, you can apply for a certificate of error at the Cook County Assessor’s office or your township assessor’s office. If the homeowner’s exemption is missed, you can still pay the lower amount (with the homeowner’s exemption subtracted) if you act quickly and file for the certificate of error immediately.