Skip to main content

Buyers/Sellers Prepare to Pay More to Close your Contracts - Title Rates are Going Up

Chicago Title Insurance Company sent out notice today that, effective August 1st, it is increasing escrow closing fees and title insurance premium charges for residential closings.  Escrow services will cost an additional $100 per transaction. Fees charged for Owners and Lenders insurance policies will also rise, $50.00 each.

I have not yet checked with any of the other title insurance companies but do not be surprised if others follow suit with rate increases of their own in the coming months. For the records, this is CT's 4th rate increase in the last in the last three years. Owners policy premiums have increased 20% since July, 2007. Lenders policies are up 33%. The cost of escrow closings, depending on the amount of insurance purchased, have increased as much as 55% in that time span as well.  (To be clear, these historical rate increases span the whole Chicago Residential Market, not just at CT). 

Chicago Title remains my preferred source for title services. I am an attorney-agent and am proud of  that affiliation. The company has provided my clients with excellent service over the years and I really like working with its closers, examiners and the other support staff I interact with. That said, costs matter - especially in this tough market environment.  There are (at least for now) other, somewhat cheaper alternatives available. One of the many reasons why I write title with several companies. Does a $50 or $150 cost increase matter in the relative scheme of things?  For most people, probably not, but all the same, it  has got to be hard for sellers confronting the deflation of home values (and resulting losses of equity in a sale) to bear increasing costs. Cheaper alternatives exist and I am grateful to have the ability to offer my clients choices.

Let me know if you have any questions about title insurance charges for your next real estate transaction or if you have leads on other cheaper (high quality) alternatives.

Popular posts from this blog

THE EQUIFAX DATA BREACH AND YOU—6 STEPS TO TAKE NOW

Identity thieves hit a major credit reporting agency—hard. Millions of consumers’ confidential identity information has been compromised.

Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies announced that a massive security breach took place earlier this year. Offenders accessed data sets of 143 million US consumers.

Zoiks! Real estate scams up 480%

by Michael H. Wasserman

You read that right, A 480 percent increase according to a May 2017 PSA from the FBI. Its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Scammers are targeting wire transfers with alarming frequency. As state law mandates the use of wire transfers for most real estate transactions, it's vital that every buyer, seller and professional be vigilant to prevent fraud. Here's what to look for and what you can do to help protect your money - your deal.

Check the Source: Wire transfer fraud typically starts with a "phishing" email that looks ok at first blush, but is a fake. Real-looking but fraudulent emails may contain:

A slightly different email address. It could be just one character off. Or using a correct name but from a free account, like gmail, aol or yahoo.

Legit-looking logos and email footers. Remember, logos can be downloaded from public websites from title companies and banks.

A working phone number for confirmation. So, if/when you call the…

CITY of CHICAGO CONDOMINIUM REFUSE REBATE DEADLINE APPROACHING

by Michael H. Wasserman, Attorney at Law

The City of Chicago offers refuse rebates to condominium and homeowner associations that have give or more units. Rebates are paid one year "in arrears" so that the next round of rebates will be against waste collection costs incurred in 2013. The 2013 rate is $25.00 per unit. .

Applications for the rebate must be submitted to the associations' local aldermanic office ASAP (eg, in the 48th ward, no later than January 12, 2014).

A full description of requirements, qualifications and forms needed to request the rebate is available from the Chicago City Council, Department of Finance.