August 2011 Vol. 4, No. 7

Legislative Updates


Registered Titles (Torrens) Act

PA 97-0118, House Bill 1379. Amends 765 ILCS 35/110.3. Effective Date: January 1, 2012.

This bill changes the repeal date of the Registered Titles (Torrens) Act to January 1, 2014. Originally, the repeal date was July 1, 2037.

Illinois was the first state to enact a Torrens law in 1897. This was due in part to the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed the Cook County real -estate records. The legislation recognized a need for a system to verify title quickly because of the rapid expansion in Chicago and Cook County. By the 1960s, the efficiency of title insurance companies began to gain traction over the Torrens system. In 1992, the Illinois legislature passed the Torrens Repeal Law to phase out the Registered Titles (Torrens) Act. 765 ILCS 40/1 et seq. The Torrens Act anticipated its own end by providing a repeal date of July 1, 2037. 765 ILCS 35/110.3. This bill now accelerates the date of repeal by more than twenty-three years to January 1, 2014.

The effect of this bill will likely have little impact on the current property market since the Torrens title system has already been on the decline. It is likely that Torrens title certificates are so significantly non-existent in Illinois that the legislature wanted to move forward the repeal date to formally end their use.

Note that this is a duplicate of Senate Bill 1746, which is being reviewed by a House Committee.

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[Last update: 8-15-11]