Attorneys’ Title Guarantee Fund Acquired by Chicago Mortgage Lender | Contractors
CHICAGO — The Lawyers’ Title Guarantee Fund, which has a decades-long history in Champaign-Urbana, has a new owner.
The title insurance company was sold earlier this week to Chicago-based guaranteed rate companies, which describes itself as a leader in mortgage lending and digital financial services.
Founded in 1964 in Champaign-Urbana and now based in Chicago, Attorneys’ Title has a Champaign office at 2102 Windsor Place.
The Champaign office will remain open and continue to operate under the attorney title name, just like the other attorney title locations, according to Guaranteed Rate spokeswoman Miranda Morin.
The acquisition price is not disclosed, she said.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for our law firms, our team members and our clients,” said Peter Birnbaum, President and CEO of Attorneys’ Title.
Jerry Gorman, former senior vice president of operations for Attorneys’ Title and current director of legal education, said Guaranteed Rate has grown dramatically in recent years and has tremendous information technology capabilities.
It is also the Chicago-based Midwest, as is the attorney title, he said.
“There are a lot of commonalities between our two companies,” Gorman said.
Attorneys’ Title was founded by a group of Illinois attorneys with the goal of preserving the involvement and role of attorneys in real estate transactions. One of the main drivers was the late Savoyard lawyer Stanley Balbach, Gorman recalled.
Its agents are all lawyers who issue title insurance policies as part of their legal practice. No one was allowed to own more than 1% of the company’s shares, Gorman said.
Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli said the acquisition will allow the company to better serve consumers in the real estate sales and buying process.
“I have always appreciated and valued the importance of the lawyer’s role in real estate transactions,” he said. “This is why Rate Garanti is committed to the lawyer-agent business model created by ATG. We look forward to building on ATG’s success by providing attorneys and consumers with the technology, tools and additional support that will enable ATG to thrive in the years to come.
Guaranteed Rate, founded in 2000, employs more than 10,000 people in more than 850 branches in the United States
Since its inception, Guaranteed Rate’s activity has included more than one million home purchase loans and refinances with total lending volume of more than $116 billion in 2021.
Attorneys’ Title lawyers have handled more than 3 million home closings since the company’s inception. In addition to title insurance, it offers other legal and housing-related services through subsidiaries.
The Champaign office serves Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Ford, Piatt and Vermilion counties.