Bellas & Wachowski, Attorneys at Law

George Bellas started what is now Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law after leaving his position as a prosecuting attorney in 1973. The firm consists of six attorneys and six support team members working in areas such as business law, business litigation and personal injury claims. Our law offices are located in the Chicago area, near O'Hare Airport and easy for our clients to reach from anywhere in the Chicago area.

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Are virtual business transactions the new reality? Once consummated in title company conference rooms amid seemingly bottomless stacks of paper, real estate transactions—like seemingly every other aspect of our lives—have gone virtual during the pandemic. While some home buyers opt to continue in-person closings where possible, others are either giving their attorneys the power to ink final documents for them, or turning to software like DocuSign, with which increasing numbers of customers have become comfortable.…
COVID Rules for Residential Evictions The COVID-19 Pandemic has drastically altered the Rules for Residential Evictions affecting both landlords and tenants. The Federal Government and the State of Illinois have enacted rules to protect many individuals from eviction and landlords must be aware of the rules to protect their interests.   The recent Stay-At-Home recommendations and the slowdown in the economy have created pressures on both landlord and tenants. Continue reading
           Crypto economy has arrived. An actual physical bank will soon be providing the full slate of deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. The Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Kraken Financial on September 16 became the first digital asset firm in the U.S. to obtain a federal- and state-recognized bank charter and thus will be regulated very similarly to other American banks. Although the institution will have a physical office…
Employers Need to Mask Up Against Lawsuits Small businesses face a dizzying swirl of regulations from different levels of government about whether patrons and employees are required to wear masks during the pandemic, as well as whether employers are required to either purchase masks for employees or reimburse them for reasonable costs. The scenario becomes more fraught given the emergence of class-action litigation even when businesses are complying with the mandates and guidelines from the…
State Requires Sexual Harassment Prevention Training If you’re a small business owner and you haven’t trained your employees on sexual harassment prevention, you have until December 31 to stay in compliance with Public Act 101-0221, which amended the Illinois Human Rights Act to require such training this year and every year hereafter. This recent law mandated that the Illinois Department of Human Rights put together a model training program for sexual harassment prevention, which the…
Women-Owned Small Business Ends Starting October 15, in a stepped-up effort to ensure that all applicants are eligible, the U.S. Small Business Administration will no longer allow women-owned small businesses or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to self-certify that they meet the requirements for the Procurement Program for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns. That program enables these categories of businesses to compete for set-aside or sole source contracts with the goal of awarding at least 5%…
Is commercial real estate set to rebound after 2020? The pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders from governments and private employers has upended the commercial real estate market on a number of fronts.  And we are now looking square into the Pandemic Recession which has just begun. For now, it’s merely a matter of unpaid rents and empty spaces, which means short-term losses for building owners. But if working at home has lasting appeal—and the…
How private is your cell phone? Smartphones provide all kinds of information that advertisers might find useful, including the user’s locations throughout the day. While this information is aggregated and anonymized—excluding names and other identifiers—it’s possible that hackers or other malevolent actors could gain access to a user’s raw data. Location tracking can be useful for a number of reasons, ranging from targeted advertising from stores and brands, to traffic monitoring and reporting on the…
The Dangers of Payroll Tax Deferment As part of a series of executive actions rolled out in early August, President Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to allow the deferral of the 6.2% payroll tax on employees from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 for workers making less than about $104,000 on an annualized basis.  The plan was brought forth by the White House after it became clear that Congress did not plan to play ball with the…
The Key to Surviving as a Small Business How can your business – and you – survive the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a tall order.   But small business owners have means of surviving.   The corollary shutdowns have impacted 20% of small businesses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and restrictions have affected a far greater number. A study by the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Harvard University and its business school estimates more…