Hachem v. Chicago Title Insurance Co. (IL)

Summary: The purchaser of real estate has a duty to examine the public record and is chargeable with notice of whatever is shown by the record, even if the matter was not reflected on the title commitment.

Hachem v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., 2015 IL App (1st) 143188.

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Facts: After completing the purchase of a residence, Sanaa Hachem searched the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and discovered that the property was part of the Longwood Drive historical district, pursuant to an ordinance designating that the property had been landmarked in 1982. Hachem made a claim with Chicago Title Insurance Company that the ordinance was an encumbrance on title. Chicago Title denied the claim. Hachem subsequently brought suit against Chicago Title, the agent who issued the policy, and the Wolfes, the sellers of the house. The defendants filed motions to dismiss pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2–615 (West 2012). After a briefing, the circuit court granted the defendants' motions. Hachem brought motions to reconsider the dismissal and additionally sought leave to file an amended complaint. The circuit court denied both motions. Hachem appealed.


Holding: Affirmed. Hachem alleged that he was damaged by Wolfe defendants' (1) failure to disclose the identified encumbrance and (2) make the proper identification of property as a Chicago landmarked property. Hachem's first claim failed because the parties' agreement did not require the Wolfe defendants to disclose the historical designation, and Hachem agreed to take the property subject to all restrictions of record. Hachem’ second claim failed because it was the duty of the purchaser of land to examine the record as he was chargeable with notice of whatever is shown by the record. Despite failing to investigate the public record, Hachem is charged with the knowledge that the property was landmarked because the designation had been recorded with the property in January 1982.


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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Fri, 08/19/2016 - 1:41pm