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Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Title Insurance and The Reverse Mortgage

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John Howe

Title Insurance and The Reverse Mortgage

Before we get into the title issues of a reverse mortgage we need to understand that we generally are working with more seasoned adults from a different generation that will have a lot of questions and we will need some understanding and patience with the borrower. The mortgage company and the mortgage servicer, along with the title company, need to maintain a complete open line of communication and assume nothing.

A reverse mortgage allows seniors (over 62) to borrow against the equity in their home without making monthly payments. Interest costs are added to the principal, the total amount of the loan does not have to be repaid until the borrower dies, sells, or moves out for longer than 12 months. The loan can be disbursed in monthly payments for a set number of years to the borrower, or taken in a lump sum.

All reverse mortgages are non-recourse, which means the value of the home will satisfy the loan. Even if the value of the home falls below the loan balance, the lender cannot come after the borrowers’ other assets. It also must be the one and only mortgage against the property.

Some title issues that must either be addressed or at least be contemplated and researched are,

Probate Law. If one of the parties has passed away and the probate estate has not been satisfied or closed, the title company needs to be aware of the circumstances and the title findings may create an issue that needs to be addressed. In most cases if the property is held in “Joint Tenancy, or Tenants by the Entirety” the probate issue likely will not be a question.

Family Law. If there was a divorce in the past for any of the parties in title, what does the divorce decree as to the distribution of the property? A full copy of the divorce decree needs to be reviewed by the title company examiners to determine what, if any, effect it may have on this transaction.

Criminal Law. Has the title holder put up their house as collateral in order to post bond for themselves or a relative?  This needs to be checked and resolved.

Tax Liens.  In most cases, tax liens will have priority over all other liens or mortgages filed against the property, as they do in most all other situations. Some of them expire over a certain period of time, others never expire until they are paid and released.

All of the above issues, along with the normal search and examination process, must be reviewed very carefully in order to be able to insure and close a “Reverse Mortgage” transaction. As a title company Benchmark has closed some of these loans and are fully aware that, in a lot of cases, they will require more patience and understanding.

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!!!!

Dates to Remember

August 10 - Please wish our AVP of Accounting Sharon Burg a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

August 11 - Please wish our employee Amy Habrock a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

August 11 & 21 -  Place your title order on these days and receive 10% off your title premium!!!

Did you say FREE?

Be the first in your office to try out SureClose.com, 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 SureClose.com 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.

Why wait?

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

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.

Ready to refi?

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

Customer Feedback Line

After your closing please call our customer feedback line at (618)310-1307 ext. 26 and leave your comments. We will send you a token of our appreciation for your time.


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