(1.5) "Title insurance" means insuring, guaranteeing, warranting, or
indemnifying owners of real or personal property or the holders of liens or
encumbrances thereon or others interested therein against loss or damage
suffered by reason of liens, encumbrances upon, defects in, or the
unmarketability of the title to the property; the invalidity or
unenforceability of any liens or encumbrances thereon; or doing any business in
substance equivalent to any of the foregoing.
"Warranting" for purpose of this provision shall not
include any warranty contained in instruments of encumbrance or conveyance.
Title insurance is a single line form of insurance, also known as monoline. An attorney's opinion of title pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) is not intended to
be within the definition of "title insurance".
(2) "Title insurance company" means any domestic company organized under
the laws of this State for the purpose of conducting the business of
title insurance and any title insurance
company organized under the laws of another State, the District of Columbia
or foreign government and authorized to transact the business of
title insurance in this State.
(3) "Title insurance agent" means a person, firm, partnership,
association, corporation or other legal entity registered by a title
insurance company and authorized by such company to determine insurability
of title in accordance with generally acceptable underwriting rules and
standards in reliance on either the public records or a search package
prepared from a title plant, or both, and authorized by such title insurance company in addition to do any
of the following: act as an escrow agent pursuant to subsections (f), (g), and (h) of Section 16 of this Act, solicit title insurance, collect
premiums, or issue title insurance commitments,
policies, and endorsements of the title insurance company; provided, however, the term "title insurance agent"
shall not include officers and salaried employees of any title insurance
(4) "Producer of title business" is any person, firm, partnership,
association, corporation or other legal entity engaged in this State in the
trade, business, occupation or profession of (i) buying or selling
interests in real property, (ii) making loans secured by interests in real
property, or (iii) acting as broker, agent, attorney, or representative of
natural persons or other legal entities that buy or sell interests in real
property or that lend money with such interests as security.
(5) "Associate" is any firm, association, partnership, corporation or
other legal entity organized for profit in which a producer of title
business is a director, officer, or partner thereof, or owner of a
financial interest, as defined herein, in such entity; any legal entity
that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a producer
of title business; and any natural person or legal entity with whom a
producer of title business has any agreement, arrangement, or understanding
or pursues any course of conduct the purpose of which is to evade the
provisions of this Act.
(6) "Financial interest" is any ownership interest, legal or beneficial,
except ownership of publicly traded stock.
(7) "Refer" means to place or cause to be placed, or to exercise any
power or influence over the placing of title business, whether or not the
consent or approval of any other person is sought or obtained with respect
to the referral.
(8) "Escrow Agent" means any title insurance company or any title
insurance agent, including independent contractors of either, acting on behalf of a title insurance company, which
receives deposits, in trust, of funds or documents, or both, for the purpose
of effecting the sale, transfer, encumbrance or lease of real property to
be held by such escrow agent until title to the real property that is the
subject of the escrow is in a prescribed condition. An escrow agent conducting closings shall be subject to the provisions of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (e) of Section 16 of this Act.
(9) "Independent Escrowee" means any firm, person, partnership,
association, corporation or other
legal entity, other than a title insurance company or a title insurance
agent, which receives deposits, in trust, of funds or documents, or both, for
the purpose of effecting the sale, transfer, encumbrance or lease of real
property to be held by such escrowee until title to the real property that
is the subject of the escrow is in a prescribed condition. Federal and
State chartered banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions,
mortgage bankers, banks or trust companies authorized to do business under
the Illinois Corporate Fiduciary Act, licensees under the Consumer
Installment Loan Act, real estate brokers licensed pursuant to the Real
Estate License Act of 2000, as such Acts are now or hereafter amended, and
licensed attorneys when engaged in the attorney-client relationship are
exempt from the escrow provisions of this Act. "Independent Escrowee" does not include employees or independent contractors of a title insurance company or title insurance agent authorized by a title insurance company to perform closing, escrow, or settlement services.
(10) "Single risk" means the insured amount of any title insurance
policy, except that where 2 or more title insurance policies are issued
simultaneously covering different estates in the same real property, "single
risk" means the sum of the insured amounts of all such title insurance
policies. Any title insurance policy insuring a mortgage interest, a claim
payment under which reduces the insured amount of a fee or leasehold title
insurance policy, shall be excluded in computing the amount of a single
risk to the extent that the insured amount of the mortgage title insurance
policy does not exceed the insured amount of the fee or leasehold title
(11) "Department" means the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
(12) "Secretary" means the Secretary
of Financial and Professional Regulation.
(13) "Insured closing letter" or "closing protection letter" means
an indemnification or undertaking to a party to a real property transaction, from
a principal such as a title insurance company, setting forth
in writing the extent of the principal's responsibility for intentional
misconduct or errors in closing the real property transaction on the part of a
settlement agent, such as a title insurance agent or other settlement service
provider, or an indemnification or undertaking given by a title insurance company or an independent escrowee setting forth in writing the extent of the title insurance company's or independent escrowee's responsibility to a party to a real property transaction which indemnifies the party against the intentional misconduct or errors in closing the real property transaction on the part of the title insurance company or independent escrowee and includes protection afforded pursuant to subsections (f), (g), and (h) of Section 16, Section 16.1, subsection (h) of Section 17, and Section 17.1 of this Act even if such protection is afforded by contract.
(14) "Residential real property" means a building or buildings consisting of one to 4 residential units or a residential condominium unit where at least one of the residential units or condominium units is occupied or intended to be occupied as a residence by the purchaser or borrower, or in the event that the purchaser or borrower is the trustee of a trust, by a beneficiary of that trust.
(15) "Financial institution" means any bank subject to the Illinois Banking Act, any savings and loan association subject to the Illinois Savings and Loan Act of 1985, any savings bank subject to the Savings Bank Act, any credit union subject to the Illinois Credit Union Act, and any federally chartered commercial bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union organized and operated in this State pursuant to the laws of the United States.
(Source: P.A. 100-485, eff. 9-8-17.)