Benchmark Title Company, LLC


Title Issues: Some things to know

Sarah Holdener

In a previous “Title Tip” we discussed the requirements and procedures of a “title search”. The following is some interesting information that logically follows that discussion.

In many areas, the title to a property can be traced back to a royal grant, charter, or the United States Government Land Grant. In many areas, titles are not traced back that far; instead, local custom or title insurance underwriters requirements indicate a shorter search time period.

There are few titles, if any that have a perfect history from their source, or root, to the present day. Each transfer of ownership is a link in what is referred to as the chain of title. As each transaction or link takes place, there is potential for a problem. Even if the entire chain of title appears to be in order, the chain is still subject to interpretation. When searching a title, what we are trying to determine are the various rights and interests that make up each link in the chain as it has passed from one owner to another.

Every title is made up of many different rights and interests that may be owned by different people. The owners of the property own the most valuable of the property’s rights and interests, but other people may also have rights to the property, such as easements for utilities, mortgages, etc.

Each title can be compared to a box of toothpicks. The rights and interests are represented by the toothpicks. The owner owns what is called the “Fee Simple” title, which means they have purchased the most valuable toothpick including the right to possession, use, occupancy, enjoyment, inheritance, etc. Also within the box may be toothpicks that may be owned by other parties. These are called encumbrances and may consist of easements, mortgages, liens, etc.

When a person purchases a parcel of real estate, it is not only the physical property itself that is acquired, but also the sellers rights and interest and title to the property. It is essential for the purchaser to be aware of what rights and interests the seller and any other entities may have in the property. The title search must cover all of these various rights and interests before they complete the purchase. Title Insurance protects all of those rights and interests.

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

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

Dates to Remember

November 3rd - Home Builders Association of Greater Southwestern Illinois (HBA) Annual Charity Auction
At The Falls Convention Center

November 8th - Realtors Listing Exchange will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rusty's in Edwardsville.  Please contact Bethany Bond for details.

November 9th - GGAR "Tools of the Trade Program"
8:30 a.m. at Hampton Inn, Glen Carbon

November 12th - Officed Closed for Veteran's Day

November 14th - HBA Sales and Marketing Concil Meeting
8:00 a.m. at Four Points Sheraton, Fairview Heights

November 15th - Realtors Listing Exchange will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Joe Boccardi's in Columbia.  Please contact Bethany Bond for details.

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? Contact Michelle Null, VP Escrow Operations, to learn more about this exciting new program.

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