Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Same Thing, Different Result
More 2006 Policy Changes

by Sarah Holdener, Esq.

As I explained in an earlier title tip, some of the revisions to the 2006 Policies were for clarification due to the courts misinterpreting language in the 1992 Policies.  And frankly, the old version was a bit confusing.  Specifically there were areas where the American Land Title Association (ALTA) intended there to be coverage by listing something as an Exception to an Exclusion from coverage.  The double negative was intended to create positive coverage, but the courts frequently interpreted these as non-covered items.

With the 2006 Policies ALTA removed these Exceptions to the Exclusions and listed them instead as Covered Risks.  A few examples contained in both the 2006 Owners Policy and Loan Policy as Covered Risks are as follows:

5.  The violation or enforcement of any law, ordinance, permit, or governmental regulation (including those relating to building and zoning) restricting, regulating, prohibiting, or relating to
      (a) the occupancy, use, or enjoyment of the Land;
      (b) the character, dimensions, or location of any improvement erected on the Land;
      (c) the subdivision of land; or
      (d) environmental protection
if a notice, describing any part of the Land, is recorded in the Public Records setting forth the violation or intention to enforce, but only to the extent of the violation or enforcement referred to in that notice.

6.  An enforcement action based on the exercise of a governmental police power not covered by Covered Risk 5 if a notice of the enforcement  action, describing any part of the Land, is recorded in the Public Records, but only to the extent of the enforcement referred to in that notice.

7.  The exercise of the rights of eminent domain if a notice of the exercise, describing any part of the Land, is recorded in the Public Records.

8.  Any taking by a governmental body that has occurred and is binding on the rights of a purchase for value without Knowledge.

9.  Title being vested other than as stated in Schedule A or being defective
      (a) as a result of the avoidance in whole or in part, or from a court order providing an alternative remedy, of a transfer of all or any part of the title to or any interest in the Land occurring prior to the transaction vesting Title as shown in Schedule A because that prior transfer 
constituted a fraudulent or preferential 
 transfer under federal bankruptcy, state 
insolvency, or similar creditors' rights laws; or
      (b) because the instrument of transfer vesting Title as shown in Schedule A constitutes a 
preferential transfer under federal bankruptcy,
state insolvency, or similar creditors' rights 
laws by reason of the failure of its recording in
the Public Records
               (i)  to be timely, or
               (ii) to impart notice of its existence to a purchaser for value or to a judgment or
lien creditor.

It's not that we didn't have these coverages under the 1992 Policies, rather there was confusion as to whether we had these coverages, and both the title companies and the courts occassionally got it wrong when denying coverage to an Insured, which is why I called this Title Tip "Same Thing, Different Result."  

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

Drop Box

Benchmark Title has added a drop box  for your convenience outside our main office in Shiloh, IL.  Please feel free to take advantage of the new drop box by dropping by with your next new title order!

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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.

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   Employee Spotlight

 Patricia Wilson

Patricia Wilson joined Benchmark Title in September 2005 as a Title Examiner.  She first began working in title insurance in 1999 in the policy department for a St. Louis area title company as a policy clerk.  She has also worked as a policy examiner, typist, proofreader, abstractor and has searched properties in counties throughout the St. Louis and Metro East areas.  Since joining Benchmark Patty has examined residential and commercial properties and recently moved into the position of escrow processor in the escrow department.  During any down time, she also assists with residential examinations.  Patty lives in Troy, IL with her husband Doug and two cats, Shadow and Lexi.   She can be reached at 618-239-3750 or by email at 

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