Benchmark Title Company, LLC


National Title Services

by John Howe, President

So you say you have this large commercial deal cooking in New Mexico, or some other exotic place in this beautiful country of ours.  What do you do to get the appropriate title expertise needed to get to a full, smooth and accurate closing?


First thing you should do is contact a local title company with a strong level of experience in these kinds of transactions.  Of course, the staff at Benchmark Title has the needed level of expertise and will be glad to assist you with getting the title work completed, the closing finalized, and the policy issued quickly in order to make your customer happy you chose Benchmark to take care of this for you.


Some of the items you need to be aware of and should expect your local contact to assist you with are as follows:


Pricing - in some jurisdictions there are what is referred to as “Promulgated Rates” those are rates set by the statutes of that state, while some areas have “Filed Rates” which are rates filed by each underwriter company with the State's Insurance Department, and those are the rates that are customarily charged for the kind of transaction you may be attempting to close. Other areas have “Open Rates” which are subject to negotiation and bidding on each transaction depending on the size, scope of work required to be done, and what additional coverages the client or their lender may want.


As is the case in Illinois, some states have a form of “Transfer Tax”, sometimes paid by the buyer and sometimes by the seller.  Custom or contract will normally determine who pays those fees.  In some states there are what is referred to as a “Mortgage Tax”, which is similar to a transfer tax, except that it is based on the amount of the mortgage as opposed to the sales price. And in other jurisdictions, none of those factors apply or both of them may apply.


In some areas of the country, some of the title insurance coverages you can get here in Illinois, you may not be able to get where your property is located.  How about multiple properties in multiple states, what do I do now?


These are just a few of the issues as well as other potential questions you may want to be sure and have the appropriate local people take care of for you.  We have the contacts in all parts of the country to get the correct answers for you in order to assist you in making your client happy that you represent them.  With our national network of underwriters, we can process the order through any of the following:  Attorneys Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., First American Title Insurance Company, LandAmerica/Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, or Stewart Title Guaranty 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

What is a Title Search
Title Examination 

In Memoriam

Rita Chrismore

Our dear friend and co-worker,  Rita Chrismore, nee McIlwain, departed this world on Monday, August 20th.  Rita served Benchmark for 7 1/2 years as a receptionist and policy clerk.   She had a real knack for making people she had just met feel like dear old friends, and I'm sure many of you will remember her cheery and kind nature when answering your calls or handling your policy or recording requests.  These past few months we've been featuring a different employee each week, and I had reserved this Friday's spot for Rita long ago as today was to be her 71st birthday.  I couldn't imaging a more fitting tribute than to spotlight Rita and her accomplishments today.  She will be sorely missed by all of us here at Benchmark.   

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.

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