April 27, 2010

Urge Illinois Legislators to Oppose HB 5409
Mike Brandt photoCurrent Version Unfairly Burdens Real Estate Title Insurers -- UPDATE
Dear Fellow Attorney,
We contacted you on April 15 about a bill before the Illinois Legislature of significant interest to ATG. House Bill 5409, which passed the Illinois House on March 26, 2010, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of last week. We urge you to act.
In its current form, the bill imposes significant mandates on the title insurance industry without fairly and adequately compensating the title industry for the mandated risks. The bill would require closing protection for all covered transactions, stripping title underwriters of the discretion to provide closing protection or decline to provide it. While ATG supports HB 5409's concept of providing greater protection for consumers, ATG opposes the bill in its present form due to the lack of a provision to set a minimum fee for the mandated protection (see previous Call to Action).
On a vote of six yeses (Senators Link, Raoul, Haine, Noland, Harmon, and Wilhelmi), one no (Senator Righter), and one present (Senator Silverstein), the bill passed out of committee. The bill is now placed on the calendar of second reading in the Senate. Of the six yes votes, four (Senators Haine, Noland, Harmon, and Wilhelmi) voted yes with the understanding that there were outstanding issues with the bill and that Senator Martinez would not call the bill for second reading unless the parties could meet and reach an agreement.
  • Contact your Senator/Representative | We urge you to contact your legislative representatives in the Illinois House, and especially in the Illinois Senate, to advise them of your opposition to HB 5409 in its present form.
  • Review this Letter | See a sample letter for your use.
Remember, the addition of a statutory, mandatory service charge or fee for closing protection is reasonable because closing protection would be made mandatory by the bill. It is the position of ATG that mandatory fees or service charges are logically consistent with mandatory coverage. Thank you for your support on this important issue.
Michael K. Brandt
Vice President - Claims and Legislation
Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.
2012 Windsor Place
Champaign, IL 61820

Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG) and subsidiaries provide services for member attorneys and their real estate clients. ATG also works with lenders, Realtors, and other parties to ensure that each real estate transaction is completed in a professional and hassle-free manner. Contact us today! 800.252.0402.