Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Legislation Issues

John Howe


Legislation Issues

There is a lot going on in the Illinois State Legislature today that affects our business, Title Companies, Realtors, Lenders, and others. In this issue I will highlight just one of the bills to be passed, as a matter of fact this one has passed the Senate and is in the House of Representatives waiting for action.

This one is called the “Good Funds Bill” and has requirements regarding closing and disbursement of funds. In this act any funds coming from a single source, normally the new lender that exceeds $50,000 must be in the form of a wire transfer “Irrevocably credited” to the escrow account of the title company. All lenders in a transaction, purchase and sale or re-finance, must wire funds to the closing agent if they are lending in excess of $50,000.

Funds from a single source, normally the borrowers funds, if less than $50,000 must be in the form of a cashiers check, certified funds, bank money orders, official bank checks, or tellers checks, unconditionally held by the Title company responsible for the disbursement at the closing. If in excess of $50,000, funds must in the form of a wire transfer.

This act also defines “Good Funds” as Checks from an lawyers trust account, or real estate brokers trust account, provided that the title company has “reasonable and prudent grounds to believe that sufficient funds are available for withdrawal in the account from which the check is drawn at the time of closing”. The act also allows for acceptance of another title company’s check, drawn from their escrow account, under the same “reasonable and prudent” provisions as noted above.

Why the change you may ask? Many title companies, as well as buyers have had some major issues recently with lenders, small and large, that have filed bankruptcy, or just plain gone away. If a title company had disbursed on any of there funds, assuming that they were good funds at the time when in reality they were not, they would have disbursed at the closing and be responsible for the funds. The money in our escrow account belongs to those trusting us to care for it and disburse it according to instructions, if we disburse on funds that are not “Good Funds” then we have not followed our responsibility and are in a position of risk.

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

Benchmark Title is celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary!!!

With 10 years of the highest quality of service, & the most accurate product in the industry, we would like to say
Thank You for making us successful!!!!

Bring us your title order on May 9th and May 16th to receive 10% off your title premium!!!

Dates to Remember

May 12 - Please wish our Employee Michele Schuetz a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

May 29 - Please wish our President John Howe a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

June 6, 2008 - First Horizon Golf Tournament for Habitat for Humanity at Arlington Golf Course.  Contact Jamie Hollenkamp at 618-288-8656 or at

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