Skip to main content


Title Insurance Companies owned by Fidelity National (including Chicago Title Insurance) have a announced a new policy that will, among other things, help Buyers, Mortgage Lenders, and Attorneys estimate closing costs more accurately.

Effective January 1st, 2012, the Fidelity companies will charge Buyers a flat rate to record closing documents with local county recorders of deeds.

County Recorders of Deeds keep the "official" public registry of all land title transfers and liens placed against real estate, such as mortgages, foreclosure proceedings, and the like. The Recorders charge fees based on the number of pages in any given document,

This causes problems for residential mortgage lenders who are obligated by federal regulations to give their borrowers accurate "good faith estimates" of their closing costs, but may not know exactly how many pages of mortgage paperwork a borrower will need to sign at closing,. This  happens because the loan originator may not know what end lender may be making the loan, what  loan product will be used, what riders may need to be attached to the mortgage, or what document preparation service or software will be used to generate the mortgage paperwork.

In turn, this causes problems for attorneys who also want to give their clients an estimate of the cash to closing (aka the "bottom line") for a closing.

And most importantly of all, it adds to the problems Buyers have trying to figure out precisely how much money they will need to fork over at the title company office to close the deal.

Going forward, Chicago Title, Fidelity National & Commonwealth will all be charging Buyers at flat rate to record deeds and mortgages based on the average recording charge per transaction, rather than based on the actual number of pages to be recorded.

For Cook County transactions, the (purchase) flat rate will be $143.00

In DuPage, Kane, and Lake  Counties, the fee will be $74.00

Kendall and McHenry County recordings will cost $86.00

Side effects? of course.

Cash  Buyers will end up paying more for recording than they would have under the old system, as the average recording fee is certainly skewed by multi-page mortgage documents that they do not have to record.

By that same token of course, Buyers using first & second  mortgages will likely receive a significant savings, again, because they will only be charged the average, and based on the additional second mortgage recording fees.  

No word from the other local major title companies at this time.

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?