Attorneys’ Title Guarantee Fund acquired by Chicago Mortgage Company

Apr. 8 – CHICAGO – The Attorneys’ Title Guarantee Fund, which has a decade-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 bills itself as a leader in mortgage lending and digital financial services.

Attorneys’ Title was incorporated in Champaign-Urbana in 1964 and is now based in Chicago. Attorneys’ Title’s office is in Champaign at 2102 Windsor Place.

According to Guaranteed Rate spokeswoman Miranda Morin, the Champaign office will remain open and continue to operate under the Attorneys’ Title name, as will other Attorneys’ Title locations.

The purchase price will not be disclosed, she said.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for our law firm, team members and clients,” said Attorneys’ Title President and CEO Peter Birnbaum.

Jerry Gorman, former senior vice president of operations at Attorneys’ Title and current director of legal education, said Guaranteed Rate has grown dramatically in recent years and has tremendous IT skills.

It’s also Chicago-based Midwest, as is the attorney’s title, he said.

“There are many similarities between our two companies,” said Gorman.

Attorneys’ Title was formed 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 Savoy attorney Stanley Balbach, Gorman recalled.

Their representatives were all attorneys who issue title insurance policies as part of their legal practice. No one was allowed to own more than 1 percent of the stock in the company, Gorman said.

Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli said the acquisition will allow the company to continue serving consumers in the home sales and buying process.

“I have always valued and appreciated the importance of the attorney’s role in real estate transactions,” he said. “That’s why Guaranteed Rate is committed to the legal 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 for years to come.”

Founded in 2000, Guaranteed Rate has more than 10,000 employees in more than 850 locations across the United States

Since its inception, Guaranteed Rate’s business has spanned more than 1 million home loans and refinances with total loan volume in excess of $116 billion as of 2021.

Attorneys’ Title member attorneys have handled more than 3 million home closures since the firm’s inception. In addition to property insurance, it offers other legal and housing services through its subsidiaries.

The Champaign office serves Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Ford, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

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