Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Common Title Problems

John Howe

Common Title Problems

The 30 most common title problems encountered by title companies will be listed and explained in the following “Title Tips” as a series for the next group of issues. Some of them will be very obvious, some of them will be relatively obscure, and some of them will border on the “Could this really happen?” side of reality. We, at Benchmark Title, have experienced some of them, and I in my near to 35 years in the industry, have seen most of them and experienced a few personally.

Title issues not disclosed by the most careful search of the public records-called hidden hazards- are the most common. There are times when, no matter how efficient or careful the offices in the county may be, they are human and will make mistakes. Title Insurance protects your interest in your property against those “hidden hazards”

Forged deeds and / or releases have become a very common form of title problem, however, with the appropriate amount of due diligence a lot of these can be avoided through signature comparison on prior documents. 

Instruments executed under fabricated or expired Power of Attorney is another form of potential forgery and we are trained to recognize, or at least be aware of this possibility. Thoroughly reviewing the document before accepting it as valid is our best defense in these cases checking the type and expiration date if any is very important.

Deeds delivered after the death of the grantor or grantee or without the consent of the grantor. What ever the date of the document may be, it becomes invalid upon their death if it has not been delivered and or recorded in the appropriate county records office.

Sale of property by an alleged married couple that are really not who they purport to be. If you hold title as husband and wife, most often in the event of a sale you must sell as husband and wife. This is one of the reasons we require photo ID at each closing from all the parties to the transaction. It is not a pretty picture when the husband and non-wife, or wife and non-husband attempt to sell the property without the real spouses knowledge.

Some of this first set of common title issues are easy to catch and correct and some are very difficult to find. Another reason to be sure to contact Benchmark Title when you are buying or selling property.

Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:  

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Vice President and General Counsel

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

Bethany Bond
Marketing Director

Serving you from three convenient locations:

Main Office:
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221
Ph: 618-239-3750
Escrow Fax: 618-239-3707
Title Fax: 618-239-3757
Fax Orders: 618-310-1589
President: John Howe

318 North Main St.
Columbia, IL 62236
Ph: 618-281-9700
Fax: 618-281-9705
Manager: Randi Schur

4215 S. State Rte 159
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Ph: 618-288-1695
Fax: 618-288-1852
Manager: Sara Sowell

Dates to Remember

December 26, 2007- Benchmark Title welcomed 2 new additions. Michele Schuetz (Rodney) from our Columbia office had twin girls, Miley and Paige, both doing great and already at home.

January 17, 2008 - Benchmark Title Commercial Reception.  Details to come. Rescheduled for a later date.

January 18, 2008 - HBA Annual Installation Banquet
At Four Points Sheraton Conference Center, Fairview Heights, IL

Did you say free?

Be the first in your office to try out, Benchmark Title's new FREE online transaction management system. Why waste time making status phone calls or standing by the fax waiting for your title commitment when you can get what you need instantly from your own computer. Visit for more information or call April Tolan, our SureClose Specialist, at 618-239-3750 for your sign-on so you can start saving yourself time and money today. We'll even give you and your clients a free CD at closing containing copies of their closing documents.

Give me my policy!

Did you know that lenders and home buyers now receive their title policies at the closing table? Contact Michelle Null, VP Escrow Operations, to learn more about this exciting new program.

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