Author: Law Office of Andrew Szocka

Modifying A Written Contract Orally: What Most Won’t Anticipate in Their Breach of Contract

Our Crystal Lake breach of contract lawyers recognize that the legal qualities inherent to contractual agreements can appear to be contradictory or confusing, so we’re dedicated to analyzing all breach of contract cases individually to provide our clients with the highest standard of counsel.

A breach of contract lawsuit generally comes about when one party neglects or fails to uphold a contractual duty. The court is going to examine the majority of arguments for a case between each side regarding the established boundaries of the written agreement. The verdict will be reached through reinforcing the contract’s requirements. One significant rule many clients and lawyers will not be aware of is how oral modifications can override the guidelines on a written contract, even if the agreement includes a “no oral modification” statement.

During Tadros v. Kuzmak (1995), Ms. Tardos was sent to court for a non-payment of $105,777 with a commercial real estate property through Joseph Walinchus, Walter Kuzmak and the Bank of Evergreen Park. The court determined that the merchants’ oral modification breach of contract regarding tax escrow dismissed Tardos of any duty to fulfill monthly tax installments and permitted the forfeiture of the estate.

Simply, since the sellers didn’t uphold part of the oral amendment, Ms. Tardos could leave the contract and bypass the non-payment fees. That means the presence of a “no oral modification” holds no legal weight and may be misleading instead of protective. The importance of this legal item rests in the way strict understandings of the actions of each party within the legal contractual boundaries can be short-sighted sometimes.

The legal mechanics and the oral amendments of agreements are suitable as the veritable interpretation of the contract. In Caulfield v. Packer Engineering (2015), similar precepts were applied to an employment contract agreement as the court described that, “the requirements of written contracts can be altered by a succeeding oral agreement even if the agreement precludes oral modifications.”

Contact Our Cary Breach of Contract Attorneys

Our Fox River Grove breach of contract lawyers have decades of experience combined in managing a multitude of different business litigation and dispute cases in the Greater Chicago Area. To speak with one of our attorneys today, please reach us online or give us ring at (815) 242-9153.


***This is not intended to be legal advice and you should consult with an attorney.

Property Owners Should Know “These” Laws!

Commercial real estate law can be hard to grasp when you’re in the middle of it. Laws exist at the federal level and the state level and the local level includes regulations. It’s best to seek professional guidance to keep a level-head, particularly when a sizable investment is involved. The following primer will explain a couple areas of law that all commercial real estate property owners need to understand.

Tenant/Landlord Laws

Tenant/Landlord laws differ enormously for each state, but they’re meant to protect both of the parties involved in any kind of leasing or rental agreement. Such laws often call for:

• Taxation
• Payment of rental fees
• Necessary disclosures
• Rights of privacy
• Duration of tenancy

These laws are essentially finely crafted legal definitions of how the relationship between the property owner and the individual residing in the space works. Knowing what the laws are in Chicago is a vital part of ensuring you don’t violate your tenant’s rights. It’s also good to understand the laws if a tenant should ever violate your contractual arrangements.

Zoning and Land Use Regulations

State or local legislation generally dictates how zoning and land use laws are enforced. As well as determining taxation, such regulations define the way an estate (commercial or otherwise) may be used. Zoning mandates can determine whether the property can partake in retail operations and even the kind of retail operations that can take place. For instance, property as simple as a hot dog cart falls under zoning regulations and the operator could be close down if the business infringes on the established property rights.

State legislation usually directs the procedures for any zoning changes. It involves applying for rezoning and getting the local board to hold a meeting. It could be more complex than that depending on what the local law looks like.

When In Doubt, Ask an Expert

Attempting to steer through the tricky regulations and local laws that dictate commercial property leasing can be hard. There are just too many variables within the state, federal and local levels that must be acknowledged. To request information or talk to an attorney, contact us now at (815) 242-9153.


***This is not intended to be legal advice and you should consult with an attorney.

How Debtor & Creditors Can Protect Their Assets From Dishonest Clients

Aggressive litigation for lenders

Whether you’re a creditor or a debtor, you hold protected rights under federal and state law. The Law Office of Andrew Szocka helps clients act on those rights and receive the proper justice. We serve clients entwined in a variety of debt-related cases. The lawyers at Andrew Szocka’s law offices have the skill and ability to keep your assets protected and give your case the best outcome possible.

Crystal Lake Lawyers Exercise Creditors’ Rights

Creditors can encounter media criticisms for questionable practices in lending. More often than not, it’s the creditors who are falling victim to deceptive debtors. A lot of debtors avoid repaying legitimate debts in an attempt to “game” the system. Illegal tactics can even be used like fraudulent asset transfers. We can help creditors reinforce their contracts and get fairly compensated.

Once your judgment is entered, our lawyers apply a wide range of post-judgment solutions to allow creditors recover any funds. Such solutions include:

• Real estate liens ― Oftentimes, a creditor can enforce the selling of a property owned by the debtor to fulfill the judgment.

• Citations to discover assets ― The creditor making judgments can require a lien on other assets than just real estate. The individual can also conduct a debtor’s examination.

• Levy — County sheriffs can sell or seize debtor’s of the judgment’s property in order to fulfill any outstanding debts.

• Garnishments — Creditors can arrest funds that belong to the debtor, but may otherwise be held by a third party.

• Wage deductions — A creditor has the ability to deduct money off a debtor’s income to meet the judgment.

Turnover orders — The debtor will be required to “turn over” non-exempt funds like a debtor’s financial account to the creditor in order to fulfill judgments.

Resolute representation for forthright debtors

Honest debtors shouldn’t suffer from harsh collections actions. They should not fall into the trap of aggressive lender behavior such as those who try to seek confession judgments or force a business into bankruptcy with them.

If a lender with whom you’ve been interacting with has succumbed to threatening the health of your company, The Law Office Of Andrew Szocka is here to assist. We strive to defend businesses having a hard time surviving in a competitive economy with overzealous lenders. Call (815) 242-9153 right away or reach our firm online to schedule an initial review.


***This is not intended to be legal advice and you should consult with an attorney.

How to Deal With Quiet Title Actions

Oftentimes the meaning of a “Quiet Title Action” is unclear. The term is used frequently when there’s a defect or dispute in the ownership or title of a property. A conflict of ownership can occur when multiple parties have an interest or claim in the title.

Sometimes referred to as “clouds”, these claims must be discharged from the title in order for a property to be considered a “marketable title” (clear from outside defects and claims).

When Would Filing a Quiet Title Action in Chicago Be Necessary?

If you consider yourself the owner of a piece of land, eliminating any claims someone else may have on your land is vital. Filing a Quiet Title Action will involve having a hearing before the Master of Equity to resolve ownership of the land.

After filing for a Quiet Title Action, anyone who has a claim on the property has to defend such claims by attending the hearing and presenting their arguments. The commonly mistaken phrase “quiet title” uses quiet as a verb and not an adjective describing the title.

You’re quelling additional claims someone else places on the asset itself.

What Will Quieting a Title Achieve?

The accused parties in a quiet title lawsuit can be either unknown or known. If the claimant is unknown, publishing an open notice of the case in the local press is enough to move ahead with the lawsuit. Known defendants are entities or individuals that have an interest, possession or claim of the property.

The action will ideally be uncontested and you can obtain a quitclaim deed, stating that the other party’s claim is abdicated. If this is the case, you can then record your claim in the real county reports to fix your ownership of the property into place.

With contested actions, however, a trial would then be held to settle which ownership claim is the strongest.

If you fall on either side of an ownership conflict in the Chicago metropolitan area, the Law Office of Andrew Szocka is on your side. We recognize how confusing title law can be and that striving to “go it alone” gets overwhelming. Call us today to schedule a consultation — we’ll do everything in our power to mitigate your stress and deliver the best possible results.


***This is not intended to be legal advice and you should consult with an attorney.

What Your Contractor Needs to Include in Your Residential Project Agreement (Little Known Fact!)

Making sure a construction project goes smoothly from start to finish can be challenging. From negotiating the terms and the scope of work to handling the trades to fulfillment. One of the most valuable tools a contractor can possess is a well-drafted contract clearly laying out the jobs the contractor will do, the expenses as well as how and when the contractor gets paid.

It’s especially important when you’re dealing with residential projects because contracts are dictated by the “HRRA” also known as the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act (815 ILCS 513/1, et seq).

Ordained in 2000, the HRRA serves as an effort of the Illinois legislature to foster honest and fair practices throughout the remodeling, repairing and construction of businesses.

law contractor agreement

The HRRA encapsulates numerous obligations which are particular to residential plans in Crystal Lake and surround areas. These requirements affect every contractor whether they’re rehabilitating an entire home or remodeling a kitchen and failing to follow them is disastrous to the contractor’s take-home returns. Contractors need to understand what the HRRA conditions are before opening any such arrangements.

What type of construction projects do the Home Repair and Remodeling Act influence?

The HRRA governs any residential remodeling or repair work of more than $500.00. The expression “repair and remodeling” is defined broadly and includes replacing, fixing, converting, altering, improving, modernizing or making of an extension to a real property principally used or designed as a residence.

However, of distinct importance is the word “residence” which usually is characterized as “a single or multiple-family house or dwelling containing six or fewer condominiums, apartments, townhouses or dwelling spaces.”

What should written contracts cover regarding the HRRA?

The Act entails writing a contract for every residential remodeling or repair that exceeds $1,000.00. The contract needs to be given to the customer for signing before initiating the home remodeling or repair work at the home.

Two of the primary contract provisions ordered through the HRRA are (1) the entire cost of the materials and parts including any charge for estimates and (2) the company address and name of the person involved in the company of home remodeling or repair.

Prevention is the best cure

Contractors working on residential projects should be cognizant of the demands put in place by the HRRA and its encumbrances. Contractors will benefit from procuring a written agreement for all types of projects — not just residential plans so each party is on the same page.

It’s always best to look over your procedures and contracts concerning residential projects with a reputable Illinois law attorney to prevent any hiccups as you get rolling on your project. Contact us at the Law Office of Andrew Szocka today for a consultation based out of the Greater Chicagoland Area (Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, etc).


***This is not intended to be legal advice and you should consult with an attorney.