August 2011 | Volume 4 • Number 6
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Update from ATG Administration
Serendipity and ALTA
Membership Now Open to Individual Real Estate Attorneys

Serendipity is defined as "making a desirable discovery by accident." Such has been my experience with the American Land Title Association (ALTA®). ATG has been a member of ALTA practically from our first day of operation. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, and through that relationship our member agents have also benefited.

For more than a century, ALTA has given a voice to the abstract and title industry. Until recently, membership was limited to title agents, abstracters, and title insurance companies. Now you can benefit directly. ALTA is offering membership to individual real estate attorneys. For a limited time, you can join ALTA free for the rest of 2011 (read more).

ATG Members: We urge you to seriously consider joining to take advantage of the variety of practical and powerful resources only available through ALTA.

Peter J. Birnbaum
ATG President and CEO


ATTORNEYS | Practice Notes
ALERT! Foreign Time-Share Sales Scams — The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Financial Institutions, has received information regarding scams that target consumers attempting to sell time-shares in foreign countries (primarily in Mexico) through the use of fraudulent and non-existent vacation management companies, escrow and title companies. Read the IDFPR Warning
Effective September 1, 2011: Attorneys Must Comply with New Trust Account Rules — The Illinois Supreme Court has approved new trust account rules, effective September 1, 2011, by amending Rule 1.15 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010 (see the text of the new rule). The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois has published a list of the eligible financial institutions registered with the state relating to the new trust account requirements. This list is current as of August 3, 2011. We expect additional institutions will be added in advance of the September 1, 2011, implementation date. ATG Members: Please check the Underwriting Assistance area of our website for future updates.
Mortgage License Act
PA 97-0143 — Amends the Residential Mortgage License Act of 1987 by adding to the definition of an "exempt person or entity" with another entity that is exempt from the mortgage licensing requirements, subject to certain limitations... read more
Mechanic's Liens
Robert Neises Const Corp v Grand Innovations, Inc —Mechanics' lien "relation back" refers to the time period about which a claim for compensation may be made, not to lien priority... read more
Foreclosures; Mortgages
PHH Mortgage Corp v Mattfeld — When effecting service of process by publication, a party must prove that they published the legal notice in a newspaper "likely to give notice in the area" in which the party being served is located... read more


ATG MEMBERS | Underwriters' Bulletin
This content is for members only. Consider joining — see Membership Benefits
REMINDER: ARDC Censure and Title Agency Disclosure - ATG members and regional agents have a duty to disclose their relationship with ATG to the parties in real estate transactions... read more



IN THE NEWS | Top ATG Member Events, Lombard Office Moving, FREE NHS Events for Distressed Homeowners
ATG Celebrates its Top-Issuing Members - Top-issuing members from 2010 had their choice of two events in their honor: Dinner and a Musical ("Jersey Boys" at the Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis) in May or Dinner and a Museum (the Sculpture Garden Terrace at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago) in July - read more. Congratulations to all our top members!

Top Member Event photoATG President Peter Birnbaum (center) at the Fox Theater in St. Louis before the performance of "Jersey Boys" with (from left) ATG top member Denis Pierce, Pierce & Associates, (Chicago, Ill.); Laura Steffey of top member firm Brewer Law Office (Tremont, Ill.); Melissa Tenholder (guest), and Pam Murphy of top member firm Pierce & Associates (Chicago, Ill.) - see more photos.

We're Moving Our Lombard Office - Effective September 13, the ATG Lombard office address will be:

1 East 22nd Street, Suite 220
Lombard, IL 60148

The main phone (630.627.7441) and fax numbers (630.627.5675) will remain the same.

FREE NHS Events for Distressed Homeowners - At these events, homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments meet one-on-one with their servicer, a housing counselor, or volunteer who will determine if they qualify for the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, other loan modification, or Illinois' Hardest Hit Fund Homeowner Emergency Loan Program... read more

The first event was held August 20 in Matteson, Illinois. Future events will be held in Barrington and Elgin. Watch this newsletter and our website for updates.

Attorneys/Support Staff: Volunteers for these events are always welcome. If you wish to give your time to this worthy cause, please contact Pat Washington at or 773-329-4136.




WHAT'S NEW | Member, CLE, Process, and Trust Services
ATG logo Plan for New Business - With a small investment of time, we'll help you examine your existing business relationships, leverage those contacts into new firm business with a marketing action plan, and teach you networking strategies. We'll set realistic goals and show you how to evaluate returns against efforts. Contact Member Services Representative Bob Dillow today!

Short Sales: Basic Procedures and Strategies for Success
an ATG program

Learn the basic mechanics of the short sale process, how to avoid common problems, and tips for success to help your clients successfully complete short sale transactions.
1.50 MCLE in IL | OnSite
9/13: Tinley Park | 9/20: Schaumburg (FULL) | 9/21: Chicago (FULL)

Details/Register Now

One Payment Buys ATG Legal Ed Seminars for One Year - With a Lawyer Discount Package, you pay once and get direct access to our library of more than 30 OnDemand programs PLUS our full 2011 calendar of live programs when they're available... read more

See ATG Legal Education at for our full program list.

ATG LegaLServe logo FAST AND FLEXIBLE: The Process Server Responsive to Your Needs - Get the finest process serving available to lawyers today. Learn what the LegalServe Difference can make in your practice and place your order today!

  Exchange Tax Dollars for Investment Dollars: Offer Starker Exchange Services to Your Clients - ATG Trust Company can show you how to help your clients defer paying taxes on the gains earned from investment property and increase their wealth using tax-deferred dollars... read more

NOT A MEMBER YET? Learn about the benefits to you and your clients.








[Last update: 8-30-11]