in this issue

By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

The National Escrow Administration team travels the country informing and training our escrow settlement professionals on new trends, regulatory changes and updates, to Company policy and procedure. During our travels we continually hear hair–raising stories of fraud, forgery and theft, which provide much of the content for this newsletter. In this edition read what we heard on the road in the story entitled "POSER."

Ever wonder how houses that were once used to manufacture methamphetamines (meth) will ever be re–sold and lived in? Almost six pounds of toxic material is produced for each pound of cooked meth. Houses used as meth labs are often rendered uninhabitable due to the toxic chemicals used to produce the meth. Cities involved in meth lab busts often do not bother seizing the property, since nobody in their right mind would purchase it an auction, even at a steep discount. Find out more about "METH labs and properties for sale" in this edition.

"BT1 = be the one" explains how one escrow officer views her job, not only as the closer in a transaction, but as a team player who is on the lookout for losses of any kind. She steps out of her role as a closer to make sure her examiner has not missed any liens or encumbrances. How many escrow officers do that? Not many! Learn how her extraordinary efforts paid off by saving the company from a potential loss of more than $6,000.

Why does the company have a requirement to only send a cashier's check for FIRPTA Withholding to the IRS? Why does the company have a requirement to write a taxpayer identification number (TIN) on the face of the cashier's check? Read "FIRPTA withholding nightmare #10" to learn just one example of how payments are misapplied, resulting in unhappy buyers and sellers. You will discover why those processes have been put in place.


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