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

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.

 

GIT Florida Title Services, a subsidiary of Greater Illinois Title Company (GIT), Illinois’ largest title insurance agency, announced that Reid McCullough, Esq. has joined the company as Florida Regional Title Counsel. Mr. McCullough will be based in the GIT Florida Sarasota office located at 1990 Main Street where he will be responsible for business operations and underwriting matters.  He will manage Florida residential and commercial transactions and assist in the coordination of national commercial underwriting.

Reid McCullough received his BS in Building Construction from the University of Florida and a JD and MS in Building Construction from the University Of Florida College Of Law

Reid McCullough, Esq.

Reid McCullough received his BS in Building Construction from the University of Florida and a JD and MS in Building Construction from the University Of Florida College Of Law. He managed foreclosure and business litigation with The Ticktin Law Group in Deerfield Beach, FL and Jimerson & Cobb, P.A. in Jacksonville, FL. Mr. McCullough was a commercial examiner with First American Title Insurance Company in Sunrise, FL where he prepared commercial and residential title commitments and coordinated large transactions.

GIT Florida Title Services provides title insurance policies underwritten by Chicago Title Insurance Company and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.“Reid is a great addition to our company”, said Gregory Kosin, president of GIT Florida Title. “He brings an array of real estate transactional experience as well as commercial underwriting expertise. We are excited to have Reid on board and be a part of our Florida team.”

GIT Florida Title Services is part of the GIT Group of Companies, which includes Greater Illinois Title Company, the largest title agency in Illinois and one of the largest title agencies in the country. It has been named as a Top Ten Title Agent in the country and awarded the Title Agency in Excellence in Action Award by the Fidelity National Title Group for four consecutive years. The company has twenty three offices in six states and services national business through its National Title Services Group. The company provides title insurance, construction and commercial escrow services, sale and refinances closing services and real estate information for clients across the country.

GIT’s own Regional Account Manager, Sara Hulsebus’ hard work has been recognized by Chicago Agent Magazine.This list recognizes a “select” group of professionals in our industry who’ve distinguished themselves by going above and beyond to service others. Please read more here.

Sara serves as Secretary of the Chicago Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors.

Sara serves as Secretary of the Chicago Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors.

 

 

 

 

 

GFT lARGE LOGOGreater Illinois Title Company (GIT), a Chicago-based real estate information services provider and Illinois’ largest title insurance agency, has announced that it has opened a title insurance and closing operation in Florida. GIT Florida Title Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Greater Illinois Title Company will operate an office in Sarasota to research, insure and close residential and commercial sale and refinance transactions in all 67 counties in Florida. In addition, the company will facilitate new construction and development business throughout the state.

GIT Florida Title Services will offer title insurance policies underwritten by Chicago Title Insurance Company and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. “We are expanding our reach into new states to follow existing customers and to gain access to new markets”, stated GIT’s president, Gregory M. Kosin. “The Florida market has come back strong and runs countercyclical to our markets in the Midwest. As a result, it provides new sources of revenue during traditionally slower times.”

Florida Sarasota Office wLogo

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2015, Greater Illinois Title Company is the largest title agency in Illinois and one of the largest title agencies in the country. In 2014 it was named in the Top Ten in the country and awarded the Title Agency in Excellence in Action Award by the Fidelity National Title Group.

The company operates through a network of seventeen offices in the Chicago area and through its subsidiary, Greater Indiana Title Company, it currently has four offices in Indiana. The companies provides title insurance, tax deferred exchanges, construction and commercial escrow services, sale and refinance closing services and real estate information services for customers across the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Greater Illinois Title Company (GIT), a Chicago-based title insurance and real estate information services provider, has announced that it has opened a closing office in Naperville. The new location is GIT’s seventeenth office in Illinois. The company also operates four locations in Indiana under its wholly owned subsidiary Greater Indiana Title Company.

GIT Naperville office

The new closing office is located at 50 South Main Street in downtown Naperville. Located on the second floor of the Main Street Promenade Business Center, the location is in one of the principal areas of economic and real estate activity in suburban Chicago. Free parking is conveniently located in the attached parking garage with easy access to GIT’s office. Closing appointments at the new GIT Naperville location can be arranged by calling 630.462.7800.

Greater Illinois Title Company is the largest title agent in Illinois and one of the largest title agents in the country. The company provides title insurance, construction and commercial escrow services, sale and refinance closing services, 1031 tax deferred exchanges, land surveys and real estate information throughout the Chicago metro area. It currently operates through a network of seventeen offices located in Arlington Heights, Gurnee, Northbrook, Crystal Lake, Wheaton, Geneva, Naperville, Downers Grove, Westchester, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Homewood, Shorewood, Yorkville, in Chicago on North Milwaukee Avenue, in Lincoln Park and in the Loop at 120 North La Salle Street.