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HR 5409 Sample Letter

To use the following as the basis for your letter, use your mouse to select and copy the text, then paste it into your document (or download the Word Version):

______________ , 2010

Springfield, Illinois

Dear Senator _________________:

I am writing to ask you to vote against Illinois House Bill 5409, which passed the Illinois House on March 26, 2010, and is currently before the Illinois Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted "Do Pass" after a hearing on April 20, 2010, concerning the bill.

I believe the bill is unfair to the Illinois title insurance industry because it imposes significant mandates on the industry without fairly and adequately compensating the industry for additional mandated risks. HB 5409, in its present form, requires title insurance underwriters to protect sellers, buyers, and lenders against negligence and fraud perpetrated by title insurance agents in the closing of real estate transactions. The mandated closing protection would be no less than that provided by closing protection letters in the form and format currently promulgated by the American Land Title Association (ALTA). While closing protection letters are currently issued by ALTA title underwriters, the decision to issue is solely within the discretion of the underwriter. The bill would strip the underwriters of that discretion and mandate closing protection for all covered transactions.

Even though I support the bill's concept of providing greater protection for consumers, I urge you to oppose the bill in its present form because it does not contain a provision to require a fee for the mandated protection. Without a mandatory fee, passage of the bill has the following consequences:

  • Unfairly burdens the title insurance industry with an unfunded mandate;

  • Subjects the title industry to increased losses without a source of revenue to build reserves for solvency and stability;

  • Leads to violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Illinois Title Insurance Act as a result of market pressures to reduce or eliminate any fee for the protection afforded by closing protection letters; and

  • Creates and fosters a settlement service marketplace detrimental to title agents, potentially forcing many title insurance agents out of business with resulting job losses and loss of closing and title insurance services for consumers.

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. Mandatory fees or service charges are logically consistent with mandatory coverage.

The Illinois Land Title Association and my title insurance underwriter, Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., also oppose HB 5409.

Thank you for your consideration of my request that you vote to oppose HB 5409 in its present form.



Last update: 4-27-10