By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
In this month's edition, we present recent industry related fraud problems. More importantly, we provide viable solutions. The article titled "CAPTURING images" reflects an attempt to steal identification from consumers by way of a mobile signing agent. It also provides solutions for transmitting identification information, when necessary. Settlement agents do not want mobile signing agents to photograph and send by email or text copies of the identification presented at the signing. It is too dangerous to send identification this way — the identification could be intercepted during transmission. No one wants to risk a consumer's non-public information being stolen and compromised.
Several homeowners in Tucson, Arizona, were hand delivering their monthly mortgage payments to the seller on a seller carryback loan and obtaining receipts of payment. To their surprise, they found foreclosure notices posted to their properties by institutional lenders. What is confusing is the homeowners never took out loans from the institutional lenders. They did, however, borrow from the seller. They did not know or completely understand the seller who carried back their loans already had underlying loans that would not be paid off at time of closing. Read "THAT's a wrap" to gain a better understanding of how the homeowners are being harmed.
When Rhode Island real estate is sold, the buyer must deduct and withhold six percent (6%) of the total amount paid (or the gain) if the seller is a nonresident individual, estate, partnership or trust; the buyer must deduct and withhold seven percent (7%) of the total amount paid (or the gain) if the seller is a nonresident corporation. The buyer must pay the amount withheld to the Division of Taxation within three banking days of closing. Read more detailed information in the article titled "RHODE island real estate withholding."