Benchmark Title Company, LLC


What is a Title Examination

John Howe

Examine The Title?  What does that mean to me?When the title searcher gets all of the information available from the county records, collects copies of all of the pertinent documents relating to that property, and puts the information in chronological order, the file then moves on to the next step for review and examination by an experienced “Title Examiner”. 


By an “Experienced” title examiner I mean one that has had a significant amount of work in the area of search, has attended various seminars, has trained under the guidance of another experienced examiner, as well as a number of years in added continuing education through various seminars and education opportunities available from our Illinois Land Title Association Title School as well as many educational opportunities presented by our underwriters.  Although it is not necessary to be an attorney, it is a good idea to have an attorney either on staff or available for any issues that may require a legal opinion.  In the near future continuing education will be a requirement to become and remain a qualified Title Examiner.

What transpires next is a review of all of the documents, a history of ownership of the property if you will, and a determination by the title examiner whether any of those documents still affect current ownership, or the salability of the property to a qualified purchaser.


Who has owned the property prior to now?  Are the taxes paid and current?  Are there any judgments against the buyer?  What mortgages, if any, are still not paid off and released of record?  Also an examiner needs to determine what easements, if any, may either be detrimental or beneficial to the property. 

Have there been any deaths in the prior ownership chain of title?  The examiner will need to ascertain if the person selling the property has the right to sign the necessary documents.  Has there been a divorce in the recent past?  If so, the examiner will need to have a copy of the divorce decree to determine if either of the parties has any right to any of the proceeds of the sale, or who has a right to sell the property.

As a point of information, there may be times that some issue may be determined to be quite legal, yet the title underwriter may determine that the issue is not an insurable risk.  


These are just some of the basic issues that illustrate why an examiner must be well trained to be able to make a determination of insurability of title for the new buyer.  If you have any questions about this or any of our “Title Tips” please feel free to call any of our offices and we will be glad to assist you.

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

Save the Date!

Our Glen Carbon branch has been serving you for 2 years.   Mark October 4th on your calendar and plan to join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres from 5:00 - 7:00pm in our Glen Carbon office to celebrate the occassion.  Please RSVP to 618-288-1695 or by email to Sara at, or Bethany at  We hope to see you there!

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

 Angela Ingram

Benchmark Title is pleased to introduce our new Closer, Angela Ingram, who joined the Shiloh office staff earlier this month.  Angie first began working in the title insurance industry about 6 years ago as a receptionist for a St. Louis area title company.  She moved up to closing coordinator/processor before taking a position in Des Moines, Iowa as a loan document supervisor for a national mortgage lending institution.  Afer three and a half years away, Angie is in the process of relocating to the St. Louis metro east area and is excited to return to the title insurance business as a closer.   Angie can be reached at 618-239-3750 or by email at

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