Benchmark Title Company, LLC


The Title Tip of the Week this week explains what a closing protection letter is and why a lender should always ask for one when closing a loan with a title company.  

Closing Protection Letters
by Sarah Holdener, Esq.

Closing protection letters are routinely requested by lenders when a title agent closes on a transaction which involves a mortgage.  A closing protection letter, sometimes called an insured closing letter, is a document issued by a title insurance underwriter that sets forth the underwriter's responsibility for negligence, fraud and errors in closings performed by the closing agent.  It provides the lender with indemnification against loss or damage arising from a breach of fiduciary duties owed by the closing agent to the parties to the transaction.

Most often the duties of the closing agent are spelled out in the closing instructions provided by the lender.  The closing protection letter is necessary because the agency/principal relationship between an underwriter and a policy issuing agent covers only policy issuance and does not cover the escrow functions provided by a closing agent.  If a problem arose out of the closing through error or fraud, the parties would normally only be able to look to the closing agent for recovery.  In response to this concern the closing protection letter evolved, giving the lender and homeowner greater security when closing with an agent.  The letter, when addressed to a lender, is also considered to apply to the homeowner/borrower and thus covers the homeowner as well as if he had received the letter.

Benchmark Title Company, as one of the Metro East's largest independently owned title companies, is underwritten by three national underwriters -- Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Stewart Title Guaranty Company, and First American Title Insurance Company.  With offices in St. Clair County, Madison County and Monroe County we are able to serve you and your customer wherever you may be.  Our specialties include title and closing services for residential resale, refinance, new construction including construction disbursement services, and commercial resale, refinance and development.  With over 250 years combined experience under our belts, you can rest assured that you are getting the best possible service when you close at Benchmark Title Company. 

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

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Commercial Division Manager

Sarah Holdener, Esq.
General Counsel,
VP Production

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

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

Upcoming Title Tips

Surveys on Commercial Property
Red Flags of Forgery
What can SureClose do for you

 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? Call Michelle Null, VP Escrow Operations, to learn more about this exciting new program.

Ready to refi?

Lenders and homeowners will want to hear about our fantastically low new refinance rates. Call today for a quote!

Why wait?

You can place your next title order now by clicking here.


   Employee Spotlight

 Becky Rouch

 Becky Rouch, Escrow Officer / Closer in our Shiloh office, has been with Benchmark Title for two years.  Becky started off in banking as a data entry clerk and worked her way to construction disbursing agent and then loan closer.  She has worked as a processor and closer of residential loans at a variety of banks before venturing into title insurance as a commitment typist for a local title insurance agency.  Upon joining Benchmark in April 2005, Becky quickly advanced through the escrow department to become a Closer in our main office in Shiloh.    Becky lives in Belleville with her husband, Kevin and son Zack, 4.  Becky can be reached at 618-239-3750 or by email at



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