By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
The estimated annual losses from elder abuse range anywhere from $2.9 billion to $36.48 billion. It is difficult to determine an exact number due to many factors, including underreporting. Many times, the perpetrator is a close family member or trusted caregiver. Often crimes go unreported because the victim does not want the humiliation of reporting a family member, or admitting a scammer duped them, or they may not even be aware a crime has occurred. As our population is aging, when dealing with family members in a transaction it is important to be alert and know the warning signs of elder abuse — just as an astute escrow assistant demonstrates in the story entitled "ILLITERATE."
A title officer at Ticor Title in Los Angeles opened an order for a title report for a new loan in the amount of $275,000, to be secured by residential property. The closing was to be conducted by an independent escrow agent. The title report reflected the subject property as being free and clear from all liens. While examining the chain of title, the title officer became suspicious when he discovered an uninsured deed recorded in December 2017 conveying the property out of a family trust to a Mother and Son. Read "COMPETENT" to discover how the title officer prevented one family member from encumbering the family's property.
Read "TEAMWORK" to find out how the administration team of Ticor Title's Las Vegas operation was able to stop an absentee owner scam from occurring, just like the one we reported in the January 2018 edition. In this scam the borrowers were attempting to use someone else's properties — seven in all — to secure a $1.6 million loan.
Handling a closing where the signer has a disability may require additional planning and consideration. Settlement agents should make every effort to accommodate a principal's needs, while remaining compliant with state specific laws. Read "PRINCIPALS with special signing needs" to discover how to accommodate principals who are hearing or sight impaired.
Be sure to answer the monthly document execution question to make certain you understand the tips shared and to increase your "PROPER document execution for recording and insuring" knowledge.