Benchmark Title Company, LLC


More Common Title Problems

John Howe

More Common Title Problems

This issue will indicate some interesting ways that, if we at Benchmark are not vigilant and paying attention to the “Red Flags” I have mentioned in the past, could cause some real problems in the future regarding your purchase.

Deeds from a defunct corporation can become a problem in that if we are not in possession of the corporate papers identifying the officer from the former corporation who is legally authorized to convey any corporate owned property, and we insure the title to that property accepting the signature form the wrong corporate officer. The sale could be set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction. The purchaser may then have a claim against the title company.

When a deed is given in the sale of property, the person giving that deed must be of sound mind and capable of understanding what they are doing and the consequences of their act. We need to be certain that when we are closing the transaction and suspect that there may be an issue in this regard,  appropriate questions be asked in order to be sure of the competency of the individual. This also is a situation where the sale could be voided.

Although minors can own property in their name, they may not sell that property while a minor. A guardian or parent must be fully involved in the transaction for there to be a valid transfer of property. Once again the transaction, if by a minor, could be declared null and void.

If a deed by a supposedly single person is given and it is later discovered that that person was, in fact, married, that discovery can create a serious problem. Illinois is a state in which a spouse acquires a homestead right in and to the premises if the married couple lived together in the marital property.

All of the above can be problems affecting title, but in most cases we have documents signed at the closing that protect both the purchaser and the title company. Although mistakes do occur, we at Benchmark Title pride ourselves in our ability to spot some of these issues, understand the consequences, and provide the proverbial “Ounce of Prevention” in order to protect the purchaser and the lender. That is why title insurance is such an important part of any real estate transaction.

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 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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