Skip to main content


First American Title Insurance Company announced today that it too will no longer accept third party checks at Chicago area residential real estate closings. They join Chicago Title and PNTN, who already declared an end to the age old practice of telling buyers to bring funds to closing in the form of cashiers checks made payable "to themselves."

These net effect of these three announcements (and the many more that are about to follow) is that the rules have changed for ALL local closings... and anyone not keeping abreast is going to have an unfortunate  problem at their next closing.

1st American's notice takes the issue even one step further, and this will be of particular concern and import to real estate lawyers:  First Am will no longer accept third party title insurance company checks either. In other words, Buyers who intend to use the proceeds of a sale to close their next purchase at First American better have a lawyer (or realtor) who is hip to the new requirements  --- or enough time to have that title company check clear into their bank account, and be able to document ("source") the funds to satisfy their mortgage lender.
FAT logo

Date: October 26, 2011 

To Our Valued Customers:   

Consumer banking technology now allows people to directly deposit checks into their bank accounts using Smart Phone applications and other computer technology. There have already been documented cases of fraud associated with this new technology. As such, we now require that all funds presented to us be payable directly to First American Title. 

In addition, if a customer is presenting a title company check to us from a different transaction, the title company check must be made payable directly to First American Title. 

When requested to redirect proceeds from our closing to another title company, First American Title will accommodate with written direction from the seller. 

Thank you for your cooperation. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 It will be interesting to see how rigidly this rule is enforced over the next couple of weeks, but I see a very painful learning curve ahead for a lot of us.

Careful practitioners are not only going to have to update their own office procedures and client-closing instructions.... they are going to have to educate their clients, Realtors, and opposing counsel too!


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.

What to do when drones fly near your home

Imagine a quiet evening on the deck of your new home when—out of nowhere—a noisy drone begins hovering around your property, almost certainly snapping photos or video. It’s like Space Invaders meets Gladys Kravitz. So what do you do?

Help! My Neighbor’s Old Tree is Growing Over my Roof

Let’s say about 100 years ago, a family planted an oak tree on the edge of their property. Over generations it’s grown into a magnificent tree that provides summer shade, autumn color and a swing for the neighborhood kids. You probably even liked the tree when you bought the house next door to it.

But today, its root system is invading your basement, its acorns bombard your yard and its huge limbs loom threateningly over your roof. By law, can you cut it down? Trim it? Turn it into a boat?