May 2010 | Volume 3 • Number 5
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Update from ATG Administration
New RESPA Regulation Nears the Six-Month Mark
We've been operating for several months under the new RESPA regulation. While the rule was intended to improve disclosure, several ambiguous provisions have resulted in conflicting interpretations of the rule. In attempts to provide clarity, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released several versions of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). ATG has also released a dozen REsource® updates specifically to correct unanticipated HUD-1 Settlement Statement issues.
Prior to implementation of the new Rule, there was a great deal of speculation about how the new Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the Tolerance Buckets would impact ATG members' ability to compete with lender-selected title providers. There was considerable debate about whether it made sense to be included on the lender's list of providers in "Seller Pay" states like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. While many were concerned that lenders would attempt to steer customers to their affiliated providers it appears that providers continue to be selected based upon service, convenience, and price... read more
David Huffman
Senior Vice President - Title Operations

ATTORNEYS | Practice Notes
Wisconsin Register of Deeds Recording Fee Changing Statewide in June - It's official: All 72 Wisconsin counties will charge flat $30 recording fee per instrument effective June 25, 2010 (read the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association May 17 press release). See the chart that accompanied the press release, showing that each county in the state will begin charging $30 per instrument, regardless of the number of pages, on Friday, June 25, 2010.
Dudley v Neteler | Where land is split into two tracts, straddled by a house, and conveyed to two parties, the owner of one tract who paid taxes on the house had an implied easement to the portion of the house not on her land... read more
Mental Capacity; Undue Influence
Nichols v Estate of Tyler | A fiduciary relationship with and constant access to a mentally disabled landowner were sufficient evidence to conclude that a neighbor obtained an invalid trust agreement and land sale contract via undue influence... read more
Murphy v O'Dowd | An express easement must contain an affirmative statement of exclusivity to convey the right to exclude the fee owner... read more

ATG MEMBERS | Underwriters' Bulletin
This section for ATG members only provides updated procedural and underwriting information. If you keep hard copies of our Member Handbooks in your office, print this information for insertion.

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E-mail your questions to Christine Sparks.
Claims: Submitting a Claim on Behalf of an Insured | What happens when a client has a title problem on an existing policy? One of the first considerations is to determine whether the problem falls within the coverage of the title policy that was issued to your client. If so, promptly notify the title insurance company that issued the policy, but to preserve the rights of your client, take care to comply with the conditions of the policy... read more
Procedural Updates
Hold Harmless Letters | A hold harmless letter is an agreement between two title insurance underwriters wherein one agrees to indemnify the other for any claim that may arise out of a particular title defect on a particular piece of property. ATG agents: review the conditions under which you need a hold harmless letter, how to request one (plus the supporting documentation), and what to do once the hold harmless letter is issued... read more

IN THE NEWS | Free Help Applying for MHA, Ward McDonald Scholarship, ATG Receives Bar Award
More Events Scheduled in Chicago Area
ATG presents Fix Your Mortgage|Get FREE assistance applying for the Making Home Affordable program - Click Here for Details
Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund (ATG) continues its series of free events to help distressed homeowners:
  • June 5, Curie High School, Chicago
  • Also: Keep Your Home event Saturday, June 26, Thornwood High School, South Holland

More sessions will be added to the schedule soon. Volunteers needed... read more

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ATG and U of I College of Law Honor Ward F. McDonald
Diana and Ward McDonald
see more photos
ATG and the U of I College of Law co-hosted a reception for Champaign attorney and long-time ATG Board Member Ward F. McDonald. ATG established a law school scholarship to be awarded to a 3L student who completes or enrolls in the Real Estate Finance course offered at the College of Law.
ATG has committed to $25,000. We invite ATG members, agents, and friends to join us in making a tax-deductible donation... read more
Ward F. McDonald Scholarship Fund
online form | printable form

Contact Chris Higgins with questions.

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ATG and Waukegan Attorneys Receive Lake County Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award
ATG and two Waukegan attorneys were recipients of the 2010 Liberty Bell Award from the Lake County Bar Association (LCBA). From left: award recipient Douglas W. Stiles; ATG President Peter J. Birnbaum, ATG Senior Vice President Henry L. Shulruff; award recipient David P. Leibowitz, and Chief Judge James Booras, who announced the award... read more   Liberty Bell Award Recipients

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[Last update: 5-27-10]