By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
Home buyers are still the main target in the diverted wire scam. Hackers are recruited from universities in Nigeria, Philippines, Romania and Russia. They are smart and have figured out that the most vulnerable target in a real estate transaction is a home buyer involved in the biggest financial transaction of their life who is at the height of their emotions. In the latest attempt to illegally divert a home buyer's down payment the fraudster offers a "DISCOUNT for early wire." Read the story for more details.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) combined the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) statutes with the requirements set forth in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) — this is where "TRID" comes from. Our newsletter is about improving our practice. It is important to emphasize acronyms are some of the worst ways we communicate. For instance, when I refer to a CD, you understand what I am referring to as a settlement agent. However, do our customers understand? Read "SPELL it out" to discover more reasons for using your words, instead of acronyms to communicate with one another, as well as your customers. It will make for a successful transaction.
There is a difference between traditional faxes and internet faxes (sometimes referred to as e–fax). A traditional fax is sent from a fax machine directly to another fax machine using a phone line. An e–fax service sends the fax through an internet service and sends it as an email file attachment. It is typically compressed so it can be downloaded more quickly. The e–fax service makes it easy to send and receive faxes by email and online using a phone, tablet or computer. There is no separate fax machine or phone line needed. The problem is the e–fax, just like an unencrypted email, can be intercepted and altered. The industry has seen an influx in payoff statements received via e–fax where the payoff lender's bank wire information has been altered in an attempt to divert to the payoff funds to a fraudster's account. Read "E–FAX machine" to find out how one heroic accounting team member saved the Company from a potential $326,939.58 payoff loss.
When a closing involves a member of the United States Military and their dependents stationed abroad, they may have their signatures notarized by certain commissioned officers pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 936 (Article 136 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice). A special form of acknowledgment should be attached to the document, read more in "SIGNING out of the country by a member of the military."
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.