Case law is case law, and any corporate veil can be challenged in a lawsuit.
A single member LLC in Illinois is not required to have an operating agreement, it can be used for any and all lawful business in the state.
Add a member and you are required to have an operating agreement that spells out what the LLC does in somewhat specific terms.
I am not sure what liability you are referring to when you refer to seeking this protection.
Lenders will not lend to an LLC without recourse.
The use of an LLC in real estate ownership is both a legal and tax question, consult an attorney and a tax professional to get the advice most suited to your situation. I have both on my team and I am happy to put you in touch with them if you send me your contact information.
I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. Again, consult with a lawyer. However....
Many investors I know use LLCs. Properly set up, they offere very good protection. I don't know any investors who use C corps or S corps. (I'm sure some do, but if I asked 100 active investors at the meetings I go to, not one of the 100 would be using an S corp or a C corp.)
Regarding the single-owner LLC--I've heard that concern, too. But there are plenty of ways--if you're so advised--to have multiple owners.
There's kind of a debate among investors about the number of LLCs one should have. Some investors just have one for all their activities. On the other hand, some set up a separate LLC for each property. (They're cheap to set up; cost should not be an issue.) And some take an intermediate course, putting several--perhaps up to a maximum dollar figure--into an LLC. Then they start another one. That's something to ask your lawyer about.
Finally, ask your lawyer about using land trusts rather than LLCs. Many people think of land trusts solely as a way to hide ownership. Actually, land trusts can give you very good asset protection. However, they are more expensive to set up (several thousand dollars, rather than several hundred). So: Ask your lawyer about the advisability of using land trusts instead of LLCs.
Hope that helps.
V.P. Marketing and Development
Quality Mortgage Lending
"We do FHA loans down to a 600 middle credit score"
"We do USDA loans down to a 620 middle credit score" (no money down)
"We do $100 down payment FHA program"
"Unlimited loan to value refinance on Fannie/Freddie refinances" (only on loans originated before May 31st 2009)
Feel free to contact Attorney John Mantas
Skoubis Mantas, LLC
1300 W Higgins Rd
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Phone: (847) 696-0900
Fax: (847) 696-0901
Best of luck with your investments.