Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Claims - Part 3  

John Howe

Claims -  Part 3

Why do we ask for all that information?

Payoffs of prior liens/mortgages are a very important part of the closing process and not following a proper process and procedure can create some very large claims and difficult issues for ALL parties in a transaction.

Let me relate to you a situation I can recall in the past where a lender sent a payoff letter, the title company closed the sale and paid off the lender based on the amount in the payoff letter and the lender determined that the amount was wrong, refused the payoff, and sent all parties in the deal into a difficult situation. Bottom line, the title company paid the claim.

Can we as a title company rely on all the payoff letters, particularly in this market?

Yes we can and yes we do, however, everything is confirmed by phone, when possible, the day of closing. Local lenders are very good about honoring their payoff letters, however, some of the out of state internet lenders of the last few years have not only been charging for each payoff letter request, and taking up to 10 days to send out to our escrow staff for calculation into the closing figures.

Therein lies the reason we require a payoff letter request form signed by the seller, or owner in the case of a re-finance, in order for us to request a payoff letter from the prior lender. If your seller/owner does not sign one of these forms for us to fax to the lender, often they will not provide a payoff letter. A good practice based on privacy issues.

Here are a few rules we need to live by in order to protect all the parties to the transaction.

  •     All payoff letters must have a description of the property. Lot and block, address, recording information of the mortgage being paid off, or some other good identifying information.
  •     All payoffs must be made by the settlement agent, through the escrow, and delivered by the closing agent.
  •     The closing agent may NOT rely on a credit report to determine that the loan has been paid in full.
  •     In the case of a Line of Credit loan or open-ended mortgage product, all payoffs must be accompanied by a request to close the loan signed by all borrowers. These kinds of loans must be paid in full and closed so no further draws can be made affecting the property.

Are their exceptions to any of these processes? Very few, if any.  Remember, these procedures and processes are for the protection of ALL of the parties to a transaction.

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 22  - Bring us a new order on this day and receive 10% off your title premium.

September 24 - Please wish our employee, Patricia Wilson, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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.

November 7 - HBA Auction from 6 pm - 10 pm at Far Oaks in Caseyville, IL

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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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