in this issue

By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

This is our 100th edition! Can you believe it? Since January 2006, we have rewarded $114,000 to title officers, escrow officers and accounting staff for diligently preventing fraud and forgery in their own area of influence.

Since our first edition, we have consistently provided detailed information about how our heroic employees and agents have detected crimes, and aided in the prevention of the same crime being perpetuated elsewhere in the Company.

We have also provided tips and tricks for our employees to avoid common losses and prevent title claims, and information on workplace and personal safety. It is astounding, but in eight years we have never come close to running out of material. So, we have to ask…HAVE you had enough?

There is a reason our Company only handles property escrows. We are licensed and insured to issue title insurance. Many employees have asked why we do not. The article "WHY don't we handle holding escrows?" provides three great examples of why we do not and the pitfalls if we did.

Often it is not the act of a single hero that saves the Company from closing and insuring a transaction with the potential to later have a loss or claim. Many times it is the actions of several heroes acting together to protect the Company from risk of loss. The story entitled "THREE–way split" is a story of three co–workers doing their best to recognize a risk and eliminate it before proceeding to close and insuring the transaction.

Using adverse possession with criminal intent is not a new game, but it has become more widespread. Read "THE people of the state of California v…" to find out how alleged fraudsters may have used adverse possession laws to literally steal properties.

This edition contains the fourth story in the continuing saga of FIRPTA nightmares. In this story an escrow officer at another company holds back the funds post–closing to pay the withholding to the IRS, pending the outcome of the seller's application for a waiver or reduction of the amount due. The escrow did not have any written instructions to hold back the funds. Three months later the escrow officer discovers the seller never sent the application to the IRS! Now the remittance is late and the penalties are steep.

SHARE a Fraud Insights article. Now, it is easier than ever to share the article with your customers on Facebook® and Twitter®. At the bottom of each article you will find the social media icons. Click on the icon and it will launch the social media site login and share the article.


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