Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Claims!!  What Causes Title Company Claims and What Can Be Done About That

John Howe

What Causes Title Companies Claims and What Can Be Done About That.

In this series I will point out some claim categories and with that what we, and you, can do to keep claims at a minimum. I am sure you realize that if claims rise, fees rise, and more importantly customer stresses rise. None of us want that to happen. I will just cover two types in this first of a series.


  •  Identity theft, flips, forgery, and foreclosure rescue.
  •  Prevention Procedures and Practices.

All funds to a transaction MUST pass through the escrow settlement process, and all disbursements MUST be reflected on the HUD statement, including any secondary financing. There can be no exceptions to this practice. This is one of the quickest ways for someone in the process to be defrauded out of what may rightfully be theirs, usually dollars. There have been many times when we are asked to not show a particular item or funds transfer on the HUD and invariably it will be something one party does not want the other party to know about. That has a very strong potential to be fraud.

The  lender (Not the Broker) will want to approve the HUD prior to the disbursements being made. This may at times create a delay of disbursement, however we have no options if the closing instructions indicate this practice.

All disbursements outside the closing must be shown on the HUD as POC (paid outside closing).

If the seller is retaining possession, beware, this could indicate a form of Foreclosure Rescue situation and likely is a form of fraud in some way.


It is a bad practice for any documents to be sent out of our office for signatures without one of our closers being in attendance.  There are circumstances where this may absolutely need to be done and we will comply on occasion. The documents will only be released to a reliable party such as the lender, another title company if out of state, a known notary, or of course an attorney.

We will confirm with all the parties that they in fact did sign the documents and discuss with the notary regarding the validity of the signatures.  We also compare signatures from prior documents the parties may have signed in the public record.

All of these practices are for the protection of the buyer, seller, Realtor, lender and of course the Title Company. No one wants to be involved in a  fraudulent transaction and face the potential of involvement in the court system.

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

September 10 & 22  - Bring us a new order on these days and receive 10% off your title premium.

September 25 - NAHBR Golf Classic at Arlington Golf Club.  Registration at 11:00 am with Tee Time at 12:00 Noon.  Contact HBA at 343-6331 for more information.

October 7 - GGAR Board of Directors Installation Luncheon and Ceremony in honor of incoming Chairman of the Board, Doug Hartmann Jr. at Gateway Center, Collinsville.  Reception and Check-in at 11 am, Buffet Luncheon 12 pm, ceremony after lunch.  $20 per person.  Please RSVP to the Association office by September 30.

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.

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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