By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
In an incredibly bold move a woman attempted to withdraw $649,696.69 from a real estate exchanger's bank account. The details of the story are proof that email compromise does occur, since the crime was perpetrated once a hacker learned the funds had been deposited via email from the exchange company. Read more in the story entitled "EXCHANGE funds."
A department of insurance regulator and an FBI agent entered a Texas fee attorney's office completely unannounced. The two gentlemen asked to review a single cancelled check. The fee attorney was alarmed, but immediately obliged. Find out what they were investigating in the story entitled "INSURANCE fraud."
Illegally diverted wire transfer attempts are an epidemic in the real estate industry. Fraudsters are attempting to divert home buyer's down payment funds, seller's proceeds, loan proceeds and even payoff funds. The scariest part of a diversion of payoff funds is no one knows the diversion has occurred until the borrower receives a late notice for the delinquency of the next payment, which could be more than 30 days after the crime has occurred.
Read a "TALE of two wires" for more examples of fraudsters attempting to hijack wire transfers. First, the highly skilled staff at Ticor Title's payoff processing center in Riverside, California, remained vigilant in ferreting out payoffs with altered bank wire information; and a payoff clerk saved the Company from a loss and the consumer from having derogatory marks made against his credit.
Then, discover the latest story regarding a fraudster's attempt to illegally divert a wire transfer in the amount of $288,908.33. The twist is the payoff lender, NOVAD, does not accept payoff proceeds via wire transfer.
Although title insurance companies and title officers perform a thorough examination of the public records, there are still instances which may arise which could warrant an insured filing a claim. One example is an error in the public record. In addition, clerical or filing errors could result in something being missed which could affect title to the property. Read this month's value of title insurance article entitled "CLAIMS" for more detailed information.