Benchmark Title Company, LLC


More Common Title Problems

John Howe

More Common Title Problems

An owners title policy protects you as well as your heirs from financial loss caused by title issues. The title insurer, without expense to you, will defend you against a claim made against the title to your property. The one time premium is small, the protection is great. Below is the second set in a series of common title problems that could easily arise and create a problem with your title.

Undisclosed or missing heirs can appear at any time subsequent to the closing of the transaction. This creates a potential serious problem as this heir may well have a claim to at least a portion of ownership in the property. At Benchmark Title we do a comprehensive search of all of the public records in an effort to, with as much certainty as possible, minimize the potential of this issue arising.

Surviving children omitted from a will may still have some rights and an interest in the property. In cases where we find a death in the chain of title we will need to do be certain that all of the heirs and surviving children have had appropriate notification of the disposal of the property from the estate.

There can be claims by creditors against property sold by heirs or devisees that may have been created prior to the death of the owner. Once again, a case where the title company needs to be aware of the existence of any outstanding debts against the estate. A common issue may be the funeral expenses, remodeling projects wherein outside contractor may have been used. These folks in the construction arena will have lien rights.

Falsification of records is not an uncommon issue in cases where someone in a prior ownership role may have adjusted the records to indicate some form of interest in the property that was not correct could cause a claim to be filed. If the owner is aware of these issues and does not disclose them to the title company, then you need to be aware of the “Constructive Notice” theory. In that situation the coverage under the policy may have been placed in jeopardy.

If all of the above issues sound like some individuals may consider trying to hide information from the parties, that is a good catch on your part. However, as for our part, we watch for little bits of information that may raise a “red flag” and peak our curiosity to dig a bit deeper. We endeavor to be sure and get it right every time, but if we are wrong, the small cost of title insurance has created a true benefit to you.

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 10th -  WIsh Benchmark Title employee Shanna Ivey Happy Birthday!!

January 17, 2008 - Benchmark Title Commercial Reception 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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Lenders and homeowners will want to hear about our fantastically low new refinance rates. Contact us today for a quote!

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