December 8, 2009

Urge Illinois Legislators to Support the Proposed Informed Bifurcation Rule
Peter Birnbaum photo
Contact Committee Members BEFORE December 15 Vote!
Dear Fellow Attorney,
We have been asking a lot of our membership lately, and you have responded. We come to you once again for assistance.
On January 1, 2010, the new RESPA rule will substantively change lenders' disclosure procedures as well as the way you close real estate transactions. For the first time, lenders will include in the Good Faith Estimate a firm charge for title insurance and an opportunity to place an order with a provider recommended by the lender. This new procedure was not designed for a "seller pay" state like Illinois and it has the potential to cause confusion in the closing process and discourage consumers from shopping for title and settlement services.
Today we need your help to ensure the passage of a proposed Administrative Rule in the Illinois Legislature that will protect a consumer's right to shop for and choose settlement service providers in light of the new RESPA Rule.  On December 15, 2009, the twelve-member Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) is scheduled to vote on a proposed "Informed Bifurcation Rule" that will clarify that a borrower has the right to cancel a title order at any time before the closing. This rule is designed to protect consumers' right to shop for settlement services and encourage shopping and competition. ATG, the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation, and Professional National Title Network all support the Rule.
It is critical that you contact members of JCAR to urge them to support the Bifurcation Rule:
  1. Review our sample letter and edit it for your use.

  2. Locate the appropriate legislator using our JCAR contact list.

  3. Send your letter asap (so it reaches the legislator before the December 15 vote) and please forward a copy to me at our Chicago office or via email.
We are grateful for your anticipated assistance and thank you for your efforts. If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to email or call me at 312.372.8361.
Henry L. Shulruff
Senior Vice President
Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

[Send date: 12-8-09]