Greater Illinois Title Company Celebrates It’s 35th Anniversary

GREATER ILLINOIS TITLE COMPANY

DRIVE UP Closings

Greater Illinois Title Company is working to provide safe and convenient options to help our clients. We are currently offering two options for Drive Up closings.

  • For purchase transactions, -Drive Up to a GIT office
  • For refinance transactions – Drive Up to the borrower’s home
     

BOTH OPTIONS DESCRIBED BELOW WILL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING:

1. Schedule A Closing APPOINTMENT

2. Obtain APPROVED HEALTH FORM

For anyone who may enter our offices or who will be involved in a Drive Up closing, GIT will send out and obtain a simple health screening form and ask that it be filled out and sent back to the local GIT closing office for review and approval prior to the closing.

CLOSINGS:

  • We are strongly encouraging the Seller(s) and Buyer(s) to obtain a Power of Attorney from his/her/their respective attorneys to limit or eliminate the need for people at the closing table.  
  • With the lender’s authorization, GIT will send paperwork to the buyer/borrower and the respective attorney ahead of time to allow time for review and any questions.
  • Seller(s) attorney can UPS  paperwork to GIT for their closing. GIT will provide UPS Services at no charge

DRIVE UP Purchase CLOSINGS:

  • A GIT staff member will meet you at the scheduled time, obtain evidence of a government issued ID, and hand over an envelope only with the pages that require a “wet ink” signature.  The client will then need to execute these documents. 
  • The executed documents will then be taken back to our office for final processing and notarization. We will contact you if there are any further questions.
  • Not all closings may qualify for the Drive-Up Closing Services , so please contact your GIT closing office or your GIT Account Manager for further information in order to determine if a closing qualifies for this option.

Refinance Closings:

We are recommending the following in order of preference for refinance closings:

  1. Drive Up to a GIT Office 
  2. Drive Up at borrower’s home
  3. Remote Online Notarization  where authorized

Drive Up Closing at a Borrower’S HOME

  • GIT will send paperwork to the borrowers ahead of time to allow time to review and contact us with questions.
  • If all is approved, clients will receive a scheduled appointment time. Our mobile closer will then drive up to the home, obtain evidence of a government issued ID and hand over an envelope only with the pages that require a “wet ink” signature.
  • The executed documents will then be taken back to our office for final processing and notarization. 
  • Not all closings may qualify for the service so please contact your GIT  closing office for further information in order to determine if a closing qualifies for this service.

REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION (ron)

  • Remote Online Notarization is electronic  notarization done by a licensed and commissioned notary public via a secure two-way communication system. Illinois is in the process of studying an emergency executive order to allow a form of  RON to facilitate closings

If you have any questions, please contact your GIT Account Executive at any time.

 We’re all in this together. Be Safe and Stay Healthy!  

Greater Illinois Title Company

During these uncertain times we are striving to provide all necessary title and escrow services to our clients while still protecting the health and safety of our employees and office visitors. In order to exercise an abundance of caution, and limit our person to person contact, during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic we are implementing the following procedures at the GIT Group of Companies. Thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times.

Note: We are requesting that only those persons that need to sign documents be present at the closings. Additionally, all attendees will be asked to complete a Health Screening Form.

Cash Transactions
Cash transactions may be closed electronically via e-mail and/or DocuSign, upon request. The staff at GIT are well trained in closing transactions using these methods.
Recommendations to assist in this process:

  • Please send all necessary documents, including any documents that were pre-signed, to your GIT office in advance of closing, via email for review by GIT staff.
  • GIT will coordinate the signing of any additional necessary documents via email or DocuSign, if necessary. GIT will send a link to signers for a one time sign-up.  If a POA is being used, the link will be sent to the person with authority to sign.
  • A UPS or FedEx label will be provided at no additional cost to any party that needs to send GIT documents or checks, including the original deed.
  • Proceeds and other disbursements will be sent by GIT overnight via UPS.
  • Documents requiring notarization will still require ‘wet ink” signatures in Illinois and those states that do not have functioning Remote On-Line Notarization statutes implemented

Lender- Seller Instructions
Lender funded sale side transaction.
The process below eliminates the need for the Seller and Seller’s Representation to attend the closing in person.

  • Please send all necessary documents, including any documents that were pre-signed, to your GIT office, in advance of closing, via email for review by GIT staff.
  • Closing Statements will be emailed to all parties for review prior to closing.
  • GIT will coordinate the signing of any additional necessary documents via email or DocuSign if necessary. GIT will send a link to signers for a one time sign-up.  This includes any documents that the lender requires other parties (i.e. Realtors®) to sign, if approved by the lender.  If a POA is approved by the lender and being used, the link will be sent to the person with authority to sign. 
  • A UPS or FedEx label will be provided at no additional cost to any party that needs to send GIT documents or checks, including the original deed.
  • On the day of closing the final Master Settlement Statement and Seller CD will be sent out for final approval and signature.
  • Proceeds and other disbursements will be sent by GIT overnight via UPS or FedEx.

Lender- Buyer Instructions
Lender funded buy side transaction.  

  • Closing Statements will be emailed to all parties for review prior to closing.
  • Seller and title documents can be reviewed and signed electronically before closing using DocuSign, if necessary, as described above
  • Only Buyers or their representatives or legal counsel required to sign Lender documents should attend the closing.
  • After document signing, parties will be notified once transaction has funded.
  • Once the file has funded, proceeds and other disbursements will be sent overnight via UPS along with a signed closing statement or available for pickup.
  • We are happy to request lender approval of POA’s if requested in order to facilitate the closing POA’s must approved by GITGC, Attorney and Lender prior to closing.

We understand the need for flexibility during these times, and we will be able to accommodate clients in our offices, or via a “drive through” signing whereby only documents that need a ‘wet ink” signature will be presented to the borrowers with proper government issued ID. This is all part of GITGC’s striving to implement “No Contact Closings”. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this extraordinary time.

If you have further questions or need assistance with anything, please reach out to us! 

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

The GIT Group of Companies recognize this unsettling time with the COVID-19/Coronavirus situation rapidly evolving across the country. We are closely monitoring developments related to the spread of the virus. Our priority remains the safety of employees and customers that visit our offices.
 
The GIT Group of Companies has in place a Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan which is currently in effect. This proactive plan puts into place preventative measures to minimize contact and potential exposure to COVI D – 19 and having some GIT Team members work remotely to minimize exposure risk.  We are implementing extra measures to minimize the spread of bacteria in our offices. We have increased the frequency to a daily disinfecting of workspaces as well as closing tables, counters, chairs, coffee bar areas, handles, desks and other items.
 
The Coronavirus Response Plan is being implemented in conjunction with our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan. This includes deploying certain staff to work remotely under secure conditions. Employees working remotely are supplied with corporately provisioned secure devices to work from home. Remote access protocol is followed and cleared by the GIT IT staff. GIT has eighteen branch offices in the Chicago Metro area and five offices in Northwest Indiana which are able to accommodate closings should the situation arise in which one or more of our locations would be impacted by any coronavirus matter.
 
The GIT Group of Companies have robust SOC2 Certified Business Continuity Plans in place to ensure that all of our operations will continue to run efficiently and effectively. These plans are tested regularly and enhanced to ensure seamless operational functionality.
 
We are now in the process of implementing and executing our Business Continuity Plan by primarily focusing on having certain employees work remotely while still being able to provide full and seamless operational capabilities. We will await further guidance and directives from government agencies and the CDC. We are committed to communicating to staff, customers, clients and the general public as more information becomes available.
 
We will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation. Our thoughts go out to anyone who may be affected by the coronavirus. We are here to help, remain fully operational and will take every necessary step to continue to provide the services that you rely on with a minimum level of disruption as events unfold.
 
Should anyone have any questions please feel free to reach out at any time.
 
Thank you for your continued trust in the GIT Group of Companies. Stay healthy.
 
Gregory M. Kosin

The Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies Completes Type 2 SOC 2 Report and ALTA Best Practices Certification

Greater Illinois Title Company, the largest title agency in Illinois and one of the largest in the country announced that it has recently completed its Service Organization Controls Type 2 SOC 2 examination and ALTA Best Practices Certification for the period of 2016 to 2017.

The examinations were performed by an independent auditing firm, A-LIGN and contained no exceptions. A Type II report includes the service organization’s system description, as well as a detailed testing of the operating effectiveness of the service organization’s controls throughout the specified period.

Completion of the Type 2 SOC 2 Type II examination covers Greater Illinois Title Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries: Greater Indiana Title Company, GIT Florida Title Services, Greater Wisconsin Title, GIT Michigan Title Services, and Greater Missouri Title Company.

Achievement of this elite standard of compliance certification places all GITC companies in the Top 1% of title agencies in the country.

A SOC 2 examination is widely recognized because it represents that a service organization has been through an evaluation of their control activities as they relate to the applicable trust services principles and criteria.

A SOC 2 examination is performed in accordance AICPA attestation standards and is designated as an acceptable method for an entity’s management to obtain assurance about service organization internal controls over security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

“We are pleased to report that GIT and all its subsidiary companies have received SOC 2 certifications following an extensive, ongoing audit and testing over a twelve-month period. This is the highest and most complete examination and testing of processes and controls for a settlement services provider,” stated Gregory M. Kosin, President and Chief Compliance Officer for the GIT Group of Companies. “It provides comfort to lenders and consumers knowing that proper security policies and procedures have been implemented and tested. We passed both examinations without a single exception. The GIT Group of Companies is effectively in an elite and select group of title agencies in the country.”

The Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies, which includes Greater Illinois Title Company, Greater Indiana Title Company, GIT Florida Title Services, Greater Wisconsin Title Company, GIT Michigan Title Services, Greater Missouri Title Company and Greater Illinois Tax Deferred Exchange Corporation, operates from thirty five offices and closing locations in seven states and services national business through its National Title Services Group™.

Effective January 1, 2018, whenever a title company is searching property for the purpose of issuing commitments or policies, a search must be conducted on the Illinois State Tax Lien Registry (STLR).

Illinois will have an online database for the recording of a lien against a person or entity who owes money/taxes to the Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDOR”). On July 6, 2017, Public Act 100-22 (SB9), became effective allowing the IDOR to create its own state tax lien registry.

Put simply, the IDOR will no longer be recording its liens or releases with local county recorders. Instead, the IDOR now maintains its own searchable lien registry. The IDOR proposed this registry after seeing Mississippi and Georgia successfully administer similar cost-saving programs in their own states. This self-admitted cost savings program will offset recording costs paid by Illinois to individual counties.

In many instances, the search of the STLR will disclose a large number of possible liens against the party the title company is searching. We anticipate that it will become almost mandatory for title companies to require personal information affidavits completed by the buyer and seller prior to closing. This new policy may require the last four digits of a person’s or entity’s #SSN or #FEIN.

This step will be carried out more frequently by title agents to ensure accuracy on title companies’ name searches.

A notice of tax lien registered in the STLR on or after January 1, 2018, will be a lien upon all property owned by the taxpayer in the State of Illinois, without any further requirement of recording in any specific county. When a notice of tax lien is filed by the Department in the registry, the tax lien is perfected and shall be attached to all of the existing and after-acquired property of the debtor, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, which is located in any and all counties within the State of Illinois.

With the implementation of STLR, the lien will continue to have an internal IDOR association with the county where the IDOR has reason to believe the taxpayer has or had, a presence; and will be searchable with the county as a parameter. Despite the specific language in the statute, the IDOR materials suggest the position that all liens, even those in the registry, are merely county liens. However, any association on the STLR to any specific county does not limit the attachment of the lien to all property owned in the entire state.

Questions regarding the internal workings of the STLR can be emailed to [email protected] 

On January 3, 2018, the IDFPR held a Town Hall Meeting which was labeled by the IDFPR as the beginning of a dialogue regarding premium splits between title agents and their underwriters. They referred to it as the first step in a long journey. The IDFPR limited the discussions at the town hall meeting to the following three issues:

(1) Improper Inducements– IDFPR Position- The underlying agreement between the underwriter and the agent controls the compensation to be paid and if a higher amount is paid to the agent, there is a violation of the Illinois Title Insurance Act and RESPA

(2) Splitting of premium – IDFPR Position- The Department would like to see agency contracts between the title agency and the underwriter of 80/20 or 85/15. The title agent’s agency contract agreement with the underwriter controls the split. Splits of 100% to the agent or those that would otherwise violate the statutory premium reserve are improper.

(3) Splitting of fees – IDFPR Position – A non-escrow agent can receive a split of a fee that directly relates to policy issuance or is otherwise authorized by the Act, i.e., determining the insurability of title, collecting premiums, soliciting title insurance, and issuing commitments, policies, and endorsements. Thus, a fee for a later date examination relates to insurability and can be split with the agent if that agent performed the examination. Otherwise, the fee cannot be split.
Furthermore, fees relating to closing/settlement services cannot be split because they are not related to an agent’s statutorily authorized activities.

Lastly, the Department stressed the importance of issuing the DS1 Disclosure Statement to clients prior to issuance of the title commitment. In many instances, the DS1 Disclosure Statement is signed at the closing table, and this is an issue that the Department is going to pay particular attention to on a go forward basis.

The Department Representatives also discussed the importance of the title agent performing the ‘core title services” as set forth by the IDFPR and HUD. For a title agent to receive compensation as a title agent, the title agent must perform core title agent services for which liability arises separately from attorney services, including the evaluation of the title search to determine the insurability of the title, the clearance of underwriting objections, and, where customary, the issuance of the title commitment and title policy, and where customary, the conducting of the closing.

The Department stated that legislative changes in the future may be needed to address marketplace conduct.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact GIT President Greg Kosin at [email protected]

Greater Illinois Title Company has recently opened a new closing office in Hyde Park. The new location is GIT’s s eighteenth office in Illinois. For other office locations click here.

The new closing office is located in Chicago on the second floor of the Hyde Park Business Center at 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue. Hyde Park is one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods and is a chic location because of new development in the area including new restaurants and a Whole Foods. Closing appointments at the new GIT Hyde Park location can be arranged by calling 312.264.4900. Free parking is available. For directions please click here.


GIT Hyde Park Office
5113 S. Harper Ave. Suite 2C, Chicago, IL 60615
Second Floor
ENTRANCE ON HYDE PARK BLVD
Street parking or free parking in garage – garage entrance on S. Lake Park Avenue, 1/2 block south of Hyde Park Blvd by Whole Foods,
Please call for appointment
Phone: 312.264.4900
Fax: 312.236.0284

GIT FLORIDA TITLE SERVICES OPENS NEW SARASOTA OFFICE

GIT Florida Title Services, (GFT) a wholly owned subsidiary of Greater Illinois Title Company, one of the largest title agencies in the country, moved to larger offices in the Center Pointe Building located at 2033 Main Street in Sarasota. The new Florida state headquarters office builds upon the company’s rapid growth in the State of Florida as the company is facilitating residential and commercial sale and refinance transactions in all 67 counties in the state. The company has experience in all types of title work including residential subdivisions, commercial projects, investment properties, government contract work and 1031 tax-deferred exchanges through Greater Illinois Tax Deferred Exchange Corporation.

GIT Florida Title Services provides title insurance policies underwritten by Chicago Title Insurance Company and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. Joining Reid McCullough, Esq. Title Agent-Regional Counsel in the new office is Regina Menda, Esq. Title Agent and Regional Counsel and

Julianna Forrest, Closing Assistant.

Pictured from Left to Right: Regina Menda, Esq., Title Agent-Regional Counsel Reid McCullough Esq., Agent-Regional Counsel Julianna Forrest, Closing Administrative Assistant.

Pictured from Left to Right: Regina Menda, Esq., Title Agent-Regional Counsel,  Reid McCullough Esq., Title Agent-Regional Counsel
Julianna Forrest, Closing Assistant.

The new office located on the first floor of the four story atrium lobby also houses McCullough Legal Services to assist GFT to gain access to new markets. GFT president, Gregory M. Kosin stated “GIT Florida Title is well-positioned to leverage more opportunities in the Sarasota – Manatee area and our expansion will build upon that success.”

The Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies, which includes Greater Illinois Title Company, Greater Indiana Title Company, GIT Florida Title Services, Greater Wisconsin Title Company, GIT Michigan Title Services, Greater Missouri Title Company and Greater Illinois Tax Deferred Exchange Corporation, operates twenty-four offices in seven states and services national business through its National Title Services Group™.

The Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies recently completed its Service Organization Controls SOC 2 examination under AT Section 101 and its AT 101 ALTA Best Practices Certification. The GIT Group passed both examinations without a single exception. This places the GIT Group of Companies in the top one per cent of title agencies nationwide.

Greater Illinois Title Company Completes SOC 2® Report and ALTA Best Practices AT 101 Certification

Greater Illinois Title Company, the largest title agency in Illinois and one of the largest in the country, announced that it recently completed its Service Organization Controls SOC 2® examination under AT Section 101 and its AT 101 ALTA Best Practices Certification. The examination and certification were conducted by A-LIGN, a licensed CPA firm, accredited ISO 27001 certification body and ALTA Elite Provider.

Completion of the SOC 2® Type I examination and ALTA Best Practices Certification indicates that Greater Illinois Title Company, and its Subsidiary companies (Greater Indiana Title, GIT Florida Title, Greater Wisconsin Title, GIT Michigan Title, Greater Missouri Title) have implemented processes, procedures and controls that have been formally evaluated and tested by an independent accounting and auditing firm according to AICPA Standards. The examination included the company’s controls related to the Trust Services Principles and Criteria of Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.

A SOC 2® examination is widely recognized, because it represents that a service organization has been through an evaluation of their control activities and not only includes the service organization’s system description, but also includes detailed testing of the design of the company’s controls.

“A SOC 2® Report and AT 101 ALTA Best Practices Certification are an exhaustive examination and certification of our company’s compliance and controls.” stated Gregory M. Kosin, President and Chief Compliance Officer for the GIT Group of Companies. “It will provide comfort to our lender clients and consumers knowing that proper security policies and procedures have been implemented and tested, and that GIT and its subsidiaries are SOC 2® compliant. We passed both examinations without a single exception. The GIT Group of Companies is effectively in an elite and select group of title agencies in the country.”

The Greater Illinois Title Company Group of Companies, which includes

Greater Illinois Title Company, Greater Indiana Title Company, GIT Florida Title Services, Greater Wisconsin Title Company, GIT Michigan Title Services, Greater Missouri Title Company and Greater Illinois Tax Deferred Exchange Corporation, operates twenty-three offices in six states and services national business through its National Title Services Group.