Illinois

General Procedures and Information

Method of Issuing Title Insurance

Title agents and approved attorneys issue title insurance policies and related forms.

Foreclosures

Foreclosures are judicial in Illinois.

For specific questions, contact Illinois underwriting personnel.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Corporate Directory: Illinois Contacts.

Redemption Rights

The borrower's rights of redemption on residential property are 7 months from service or submission to the jurisdiction of the court or 3 months from the date of the judgment of foreclosure. On all other foreclosures the borrower's rights of redemption are 6 months from service or submission to the jurisdiction of the court or 3 months from the date of the foreclosure. 735 ILCS 5/15-1603

Survey Standards

Stewart Title Guaranty Company does not require a survey for deletion of the survey exception in loan policies in Illinois on 1-4 residential properties and commercial properties with liabilities of $10 million or less. Residential properties are defined as subdivision lots or acreage tracts of twenty-five acres or less.

References
Related Bulletins:

MU000028   Survey Requirements - Loan Policies

MU000038   This Bulletin has been replaced by MU2007002.

Document and Form Information

Acknowledgments

These are the standard forms of acknowledgment:

  • IL Acknowledgment-Individual 1
  • IL Acknowledgment-Corporation 1

Conveyances

The customary form of conveyance is the IL Deed-Warranty (Statutory Individual to Individual) 1

Other common forms of conveyance include the following:

  • IL Deed-Warranty (Statutory Individual to Corporation) 1
  • IL Deed-Warranty (Statutory Corporation to Corporation) 1
  • IL Deed-Warranty (Statutory Joint Tenancy) 1
  • IL Deed-Warranty (Special-Statutory Corporation to Individual) 1
  • IL Deed-Quitclaim (Statutory Individual to Individual) 1

Transfer declarations must accompany all deeds to be recorded.

Witnesses are not required on conveyances in Illinois.

A conveyance document that is executed and acknowledged in accordance with the laws of another state is acceptable for recordation and constructive purposes in Illinois provided that the document complies with the Illinois recording requirements. It must contain a legal description, tax number, property address, mail-to and prepared-by sections. The document must also conform to the standardization requirements of Public Act 87-1197. If the document is not in compliance with the Act, the recorder shall charge an additional fee up to an amount equal to the fee already due.

Security Instruments

The customary security instrument is the mortgage. However, the trust deed is also used.

Witnesses are not required on mortgages in Illinois.

A mortgage document that is executed and acknowledged in accordance with the laws of another state is acceptable for recordation and constructive purposes in Illinois provided that the document complies with the Illinois recording requirements. It must contain a legal description, tax number, property address, mail-to and prepared-by sections. The document must also conform to the standardization requirements of Public Act 87-1197. If the document is not in compliance with the Act, the recorder shall charge an additional fee up to an amount equal to the fee already due.

Title Insurance Form Regulations

Title insurance policy forms and endorsements are not required to be filed. Stewart Title Guaranty prescribes the use of the standard ALTA policy forms and endorsements in Illinois.

References:

Forms List: Illinois Forms.

Releases/Satisfactions

These are the standard release forms:

  • IL Deed-Release 1
  • IL Satisfaction of Mortgage 1
  • IL Release Deed by Individual Trustee 1
  • IL Release Deed by Corporate Trustee 1
  • IL Partial Release of Deed of Trust 1

Fees, Rates and Taxes

Deed Transfer Taxes and Documentary Stamps

The current rate for the state deed transfer taxes is $0.50 per every five hundred dollars of consideration. The current rate for the county tax is $0.25 per every five hundred dollars of consideration except in Cook County. The current rate for the state and Cook County deed transfer taxes combined is $1.50 per one thousand dollars of consideration. In the City of Chicago, the current rate for municipal taxes is $7.50 per every one thousand dollars of consideration. Municipal deed transfer taxes vary by city.

The seller usually pays both the state and county deed transfer taxes. The payment of the municipal deed transfer taxes are usually negotiated by the seller and purchaser.

For specific questions, contact Illinois underwriting personnel.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Mortgage Transfer Taxes

Illinois does not have a mortgage tax.

Real Estate Taxes

Real estate/ad valorem tax payment dates vary by county.

Recording Fees

Fees differ by county. For specific questions, contact the Illinois underwriting personnel.

Search and Examination Fees

If title insurance is requested, the seller usually pays the search and examination fees. In the Chicago area, the title insurance premium includes the search and examination fees.

Title Insurance Rates

Title insurance rates are not filed in Illinois.

The seller customarily pays for the owner policy and the purchaser pays for the loan policy.

For specific questions, contact Illinois underwriting personnel.

References:

Corporate Directory: Illinois Contacts.

Spousal Rights

Spousal Rights

Dower and curtesy were abolished in Illinois on January 1, 1972. 755 ILCS 5/2-9

Illinois is not a community property state.

Illinois does have a homestead exemption of $7,500 dollars. 735 ILCS 5/12-901 to 5/12-912

Statute Of Limitations

Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations on judgment liens is 7 years. ILCS 5/12-101.

The statute of limitations on tax liens is 3 years if no notice is given and 20 years if notice was given. 735 ILCS 5/1104.

Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

There is no required attorney involvement in the title insurance or closing process. However, Illinois strictly enforces its unauthorized practice of law statutes with respect to preparation of documents.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

The State of Illinois permits a cancellation fee or a commitment fee upon cancellation but does not mandate that there be a charge.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

Illinois allows for a mortgage certificate of release. See 765 ILCS 935/1 et seq. The Certificate must be in a statutorily mandated form. See 765 ILCS 935/50. A title insurance agent must be specifically appointed by the title insurance company before it has authority to issue a Certificate of Release. See 765 ILCS 935/30. Wrongful or erroneous certificates do not relieve the mortgagor from personal liability. In addition, wrongful recording imposes liability on the title insurance company executing or recording the certificate for actual damages sustained along with reasonable attorneys fees and costs. See 765 ILCS 935/40.

Deeds

Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions. Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

Types of Deeds:

  1. Quit Claim Deed (General)
  2. Quit Claim Deed (Joint Tenancy)
  3. Quit Claim Deed (Tenancy by the Entirety)
  4. Quit Claim Deed in Trust
  5. Warranty Deed (General)
  6. Warranty Deed (Joint Tenancy)
  7. Warranty Deed (Tenancy by the Entirety)
  8. Warranty Deed in Trust
  9. Special Warranty Deed (General)
  10. Trustee’s Deed

All other deed forms are subject to review and approval by an Illinois underwriter.

Warranty Deeds are the customary deeds used in the state. All deed forms are insurable subject to the facts and circumstances surrounding the issuance of a particular deed.

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe. Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

The signature of both spouses is required to a document which is acknowledged in order to release, waive or convey homestead estate rights. See 735 ILCS 5/12-904.

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe. 

None.

Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:

(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?

All charges are subject to change in the contract, however, customarily charges are as follows:

  1. Owners Policy – Seller
  2. Mortgage Policy – Buyer
  3. Transfer Tax – State - Seller
  4. Transfer Tax – County - Seller
  5. Transfer Tax – Municipal – by Ordinance
  6. Recording Fee – Deed – Seller
  7. Recording Fee – Release of liens – Seller
  8. Recording Fee – Mortgage – Buyer
  9. Survey Charge – Seller
  10. Closing Fee –Agency – Buyer
  11. Closing Fee – Cash Deal – ½ Buyer/ ½ Seller
  12. Closing Fee – Formal Escrow – ½ Buyer / ½ Seller

Policy Countersignatures

Please describe any statutory or regulatory requirements for countersignatures in order to issue the policy (for example, residency requirements).

There are no requirements for policy signatures or countersignatures on title insurance policies. 

Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

  1. Illinois real estate taxes become a lien on the land on January 1 of the year before they are collected. NOTE: TAXES ARE COLLECTED 1 YEAR IN ARREARS.
  2. Cook County, Illinois sets its own date of collection. The first installment always has a delinquency date of March 1 and is equal to ½ of the previous tax payment. The payment of the second installment depends upon the completion of assessments and publication of the notices, and the mailing of the actual bills.
  3. In the remaining 101 counties, tax bills are due June 1 and September 1. Current unpaid taxes accrue interest at 1.5% a month or any portion thereof.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances? If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

Illinois title insurance charges are usually all inclusive charges. However, a charge for search and examination fee may vary by locality. 

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)? Please respond to each category. If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

Illinois does not require any particular time period for a search by law or regulation. There is a 40 year statute of limitation on claims to real estate, with some exceptions, pursuant to 735 IL CS 5/13-118. 

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

Illinois allows the use of both a deed of trust and a mortgage. Illinois is a lien-theory state. Mortgages are considered to be liens against the property and the vast majority of the liens in Illinois are mortgages. Both instruments are subject to the same judicial foreclosures rules under 735 ILCS 5/Art XV.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.

  1. Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the Public Records.
  2. Easements, or claims of easements, not shown by the Public Records.
  3. Encroachments, overlaps, boundary line disputes, or other maters which would be disclosed by an accurate survey or inspection of the Land.
  4. Any lien, or right to a lien, for services, labor, or material heretofore or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not shown on the Public Records.
  5. Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the Public Records.

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.

None.

Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements. Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

None.

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe.

Illinois has a transfer tax. The tax is imposed at the state, county, and at some municipal levels. The state property tax code can be found at 35 ILCS 200/31-10 et seq.

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

A usury endorsement can be issued. The current usury laws apply only to personal loans, however, violation of that statute is a Class 4 Felony.

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?

None.

Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument? If so, please describe.

None.

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