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Protect Yourself and Your Clients From Wire Fraud

Protect Yourself and Your Clients From Wire Fraud

Wire fraud has become a daily occurrence in our industry. Realtors®, Real Estate Brokers, Buyers and Sellers are targets for wire fraud and many have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because they wired funds based on wire instructions received via email.

Common Wire Fraud Schemes

A hacker can break into a licensee’s email account to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker sends an email to the buyer, posing either as the escrow agent or as the licensee. The fraudulent email may contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and request that the Buyer send funds accordingly. They could just as easily send an e-mail to the escrow agent posing as a Seller or a Real Estate Broker instructing the escrow agent to wire seller funds to different account rather than to the account provided at the signing.

Be Alert

Below are the procedures we have implemented at Ticor Title to keep our clients’ information and money safe and secure. We have also provided some tips on what a client should look for.

We encourage you to pass them along to your client so they are aware of the wire fraud scams plaguing our industry.

  1. Ticor Title will not accept disbursement instructions or changes to disbursement instructions via e-mail. Should a circumstance arise that requires disbursement instructions be sent via e-mail we will always contact the client to confirm the information received using a pre-verified phone number.
  2. If we are instructed to e-mail wire instructions to a Broker or a Buyer or Seller they are always sent using encrypted e-mail.
  3. If your client receives wire instructions via e-mail instruct them to ALWAYS follow up with a phone call to their escrow closer before they wire funds.
  4. Pay attention to the wording of an email requesting funds. Many fraudsters are “offshore” offenders and their sentence structure may be broken and may contain misspelled words or improper grammar.
  5. Beware of e-mail spoofing. E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail address so that the message appears to have originated from someone other than the actual source. For instance, you could receive an e-mail that you believe originated from your Escrow Closer or Broker because the e-mail address is the same as theirs. However, if you click on the e-mail address it will disclose the true e-mail address of the originator. E-mail Spoofing is a common tactic used in wire fraud campaigns and if you are not familiar with the tactic you are very likely to follow the instructions contained in the e-mail, believing they came from the proper party.
  6. Be wary of a sudden or urgent request for funds that were not anticipated or required as part of the transaction. Examples include a request for an additional earnest money deposit or extension fee that was not part of the purchase agreement.

Wire Fraud in the News

Click on the links below to view stories recently aired by KOMO 4 news on the subject of wire fraud. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have or if you would like some additional information on the subject.

http://komonews.com/news/consumer/email-scam-targeting-real-estate-industry-gets-worse

http://komonews.com/news/consumer/real-estate-title-scams-steal-homebuyers-money-and-dash-ownership-dreams

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What is an ID Affidavit and Why is it Needed?

What is an ID Affidavit and Why is it Needed?

Understanding an ID Affidavit

What’s in a name? When a title company seeks to uncover matters affecting title to real property, the answer is, “Quite a bit.”

An ID Affidavit provides title companies with the information they need to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property from others with similar names. After identifying the true buyers and sellers, title companies may disregard the judgments, liens or other matters on the public records under similar names.

To help you better understand this sensitive subject, below are answers to common questions relating to ID Affidavits.

What is an ID Affidavit?

A Statement of Information is a form routinely requested from the buyer, seller and borrower in a transaction where title insurance is sought. The completed form provides the title company with information needed to adequately examine documents so as to disregard matters which do not affect the property to be insured, matters which actually apply to some other person.

What Does an ID Affidavit Do?

Every day documents affecting real property – liens, court decrees, bankruptcies – are recorded. Whenever a title company uncovers a recorded document in which the name is the same or similar to that of the buyer, seller or borrower in a title transaction, the title company must ask, “Does this document affect the parties we are insuring?” Because if it does, it affects title to the property and would, therefore, be listed as an exception from coverage under the title policy.

A properly completed ID Affidavit will allow the title company to differentiate between parties with the same or similar names when searching documents recorded by name. This protects all parties involved and allows the title company to competently carry out its duties without unnecessary delay.

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Ticor Title Welcomes Kim Rathwick, Sales Executive

Ticor Title Welcomes Kim Rathwick, Sales Executive

We are proud to announce that Kim Rathwick has made the choice to join the Ticor Title Sales team in the Greater Seattle area. Kim brings over 35 years of real estate industry success & leadership and will bring immense value to our clients and partners.

About Kim

Kim has worked in the real estate industry in several capacities for over three decades. She began her career in 1981 in the mortgage industry. After 11 years of helping homeowners, Kim shifted her focus to the title industry where she spent ten years building a successful sales and management business. In 2002, she began the next phase of her career as a success coach for members of the mortgage industry. Kim then went on to get her degree in Paralegal Studies and became a transactional paralegal for real estate attorneys. In July of 2015, Kim brought all of this experience together when she joined IPX1031 as Vice President, Regional Account Executive. Her responsibilities included sales and marketing, and consulting with clients and working with local tax, legal and real estate professionals. She also conducted continuing education classes throughout Washington state.

Please join us in welcoming Kim to the Ticor Title Family!

Kim Rathwick

425-229-2267
11400 SE 8th St, Suite 110
Bellevue, WA 98004

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Ticor Title Welcomes Dawn Jallen, LPO – Seattle Escrow Branch Manager

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April 19, 2017

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Blog, Escrow, WesternWA

Ticor Title Welcomes Dawn Jallen, LPO – Seattle Escrow Branch Manager

We are proud to announce that Dawn Jallen has made the choice to join the Ticor Title Escrow team as Branch Manager of our Seattle/Lake Union location. Her depth of knowledge, 19 years of experience and leadership skills bring immense value to our Seattle team and will ultimately provide a superior closing experience for our clients and partners.

About Dawn

Dawn began her career in 1998 with a small Seattle law firm specializing in escrow transactions. She began as an escrow assistant, and has progressed in the industry for 19 years. From 2000 to 2007, Dawn worked as an LPO and Branch Manager in Seattle for a National Title Company, which led to a position in Southern California as the Escrow Operations Manager for Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Dawn decided to return to the Seattle market in 2012 and since that time has continued to pursue her goals and career in escrow.

Dawn Jallen

dawn.jallen@ticortitle.com
Phone: 206-720-0114
Fax: 206-720-0117
1505 Westlake Ave N Suite 150
Seattle, WA 98109

Please Join us in welcoming Dawn Jallen to the Ticor Title Family!

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Keys to a Successful Escrow Closing

Keys to a Successful Escrow Closing

Closing on a home can be an exciting and stressful process all at the same time. With so many potential speed bumps it’s important we make your closing flow as smooth as possible. At Ticor we believe one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by educating buyers and sellers as they prepare for the big day. In particular we’d like to highlight some of the simple steps a buyer/seller can take to expedite the process. We call these steps the “Keys to a Successful Closing”.

BUYERS AND SELLERS

  • Provide your escrow officer with your phone number & email.
  • Confirm with your agent that all contingencies have been satisfied.
  • Keep your agent informed of any vacation or travel plans or times you will be unavailable.
  • If you plan to have your documents reviewed by an attorney, please notify your escrow officer at least 48 hours prior to signing.

SELLERS

Gather the following and deliver to your Escrow Officer:

  • Your forwarding address.
  • Any existing payoff information.
  • Identify leased equipment.
  • Homeowner Association information.
  • Utilities (if they are to be paid out of escrow.)
  • Judgment/Liens
  • Any name changes since vesting

BUYERS

  • Notify your escrow officer the names of your lender and homeowner insurance companies.
  • Verify with your loan officer that all conditions have been met.

BEFORE YOUR SIGNING APPOINTMENT

  • Plan to sign at the escrow company one or two business days before the closing date.
  • Expect the signing to last approximately one hour if you are the buyer and 30 minutes if you are the seller
  • Have two pieces of valid ID (one being photo ID) available at your signing appointment: Driver’s License, State ID, Passport, or Green Card.
  • If funds are required to close, be prepared to bring the monies in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer. These funds need to be received by the Escrow office 24 hours in advance of the recording/closing date indicated on your Purchase and Sale Agreement.

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Announcing the Ticor Intelligence Report

Announcing the Ticor Intelligence Report

intelligence-report-200

The Ticor Intelligence Report is designed to help you generate leads, increase referrals, and provide meaningful local market data to your clients and prospects.

Be the local market intelligence expert for $25 per year!

Generate Leads

Post and promote your reports on Facebook and Twitter. Print and share your reports at open houses. Upload reports to your website. It’s easy to get your area-specific reports in front of prospective buyers and sellers.

Look Smart

Your weekly Ticor Intelligence Report will quickly become your new best friend.Now, when someone asks you, “How’s the market?”, you can answer them confidently, with specific details. Your buyers and sellers will love you for helping them make smarter decisions about pricing, market timing and more.

GET STARTED

Getting Started takes just a few moments. Contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive for more information today!

Get Started

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Ticor Title Everett Welcomes Kelly Swanson, Sales Executive

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March 20, 2017

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Blog, WesternWA

Ticor Title Everett Welcomes Kelly Swanson, Sales Executive

We are happy to announce that Kelly Swanson has made the choice to join the Ticor Title sales team and will be headquartered in our Everett location. Kelly brings 30 years of experience and a depth of title & escrow knowledge that will provide immense value to our clients and partners. Please join us in welcoming Kelly to the team!

About Kelly

Kelly began her journey in the Title Industry in 1987. She spent many of those years in the title unit and customer service departments. In 1999 she decided to bring her knowledge and resources to her clients in the field. Kelly has experience in both residential and commercial in the local markets of Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties and also spent time as a Regional Sales Manager for a National Company covering major cities in the U.S., coordinating title and escrow services.

Kelly’s hobbies include horseback riding, gardening and spending time with her family. With 30 years of industry experience and her strength in title, customer service, marketing and sales Kelly is the right partner for your business!

Kelly Swanson

kelly.swanson@ticortitle.com
425-750-3198

2825 Colby Ave., Suite 300
Everett, WA 98201

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A Great Finish to Another Strong Year for Ticor Title

A Great Finish to Another Strong Year for Ticor Title

Ticor Title is a member of the FNF family of companies and the nation’s largest group of title companies and title insurance underwriters that collectively issue more title insurance policies than any other title company in the United States.

FNF Core Title Operation Performance

The fourth quarter of 2016 was a great finish to another strong year for our title insurance business, as we generated fourth quarter adjusted pre-tax title earnings of $292 million and a 15.8% adjusted pre-tax title margin. For the full-year 2016, we produced more than $8.2 billion in total revenue and a 14.7% adjusted pre-tax title margin.

Residential Real Estate Overview

Fidelity National Title Group purchase opened and closed orders increased by 7% and 12%, respectively on a daily basis in the fourth quarter. In addition, the mix of business during the fourth quarter shifted more towards purchase transactions, with purchase business accounting for 59% of open orders and 55% of closed orders.

Commercial Real Estate Overview

Our commercial operations experienced another strong quarter to end 2016. Total commercial revenue of $285 million was our second highest quarterly in company history. For fullyear 2016 total commercial revenue of approximately $973 million was just 5% behind the record setting 2015 performance.

Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

As we progress through 2017, we continue to strive to maximize earnings from our operations and remain the most profitable title insurance company in the country.

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Open House – March 23 – Spokane Valley

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March 2, 2017

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Blog, Spokane

Open House –  March 23 – Spokane Valley

You’re invited to join us for food, refreshments, conversation & good times as we celebrate the recent relocation of our Spokane Valley escrow office!

At Ticor Title Spokane Valley, we believe that every successful real estate transaction begins with a great team. We are proud of our dedicated family of professionals who are committed to the highest levels of service to our clients, the Spokane Valley community, and each other.

So please join us as we celebrate our growing team and new Spokane Valley location!


RSVP HERE

When:

March 23
4PM – 7PM

Where:

Ticor Title – Spokane Valley
16201 E Indiana Ave., Suite 3300
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Map & Directions

RSVP:

Cathy Wahl
509-220-9952
cathy.wahl@ticortitle.com

Download the Invite

Ticor Title Open House Spokane Valley
Click here to download the invite

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Ticor Title Welcomes Chrystal Southwick – LPO, Escrow Closer

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February 20, 2017

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Spokane

Ticor Title Welcomes Chrystal Southwick – LPO, Escrow Closer

We are happy to announce that Chrystal Southwick, Escrow Closer/LPO has made the choice to join the Ticor Title Escrow Team in Spokane. Chrystal will be headquartered in our downtown Spokane location in Rock Pointe III. Chrystal brings twenty-five years of experience and a solid reputation for providing high quality customer service.

About Chrystal

My clients would say that I am extremely passionate about my career. I believe the most important thing I can do as an Escrow Officer is listen to the client, understand what they’re trying to accomplish, and help them come to a solution with their clients.

Signing first time home buyers is one of the highlights of my profession. I love taking the time to go over their documents and making sure they understand what they are signing. I take special care in helping clients solve problems and talk through issues that may arise.

Having empathy for our clients is invaluable as an escrow professional. I take the time to put myself in the seller or buyer’s shoes and remember what it is like to have hopes of moving into a new home on a Friday afternoon with the moving truck loaded, 2 kids, 3 dogs and a cat and all you want to do is sleep in your own bed in your new home…I get that. That’s why I do everything possible to exceed timelines and expectations of our clients.

On the weekends I enjoy time with my family or hiking/walking with one of my dogs. I also enjoy red wine and dark chocolate.

Chrystal Southwick

chrystal.southwick@ticortitle.com
Office: (509) 227–7511

1330 N Washington, Suite 3525
Spokane, WA 99201

Please join us in welcoming Chrystal to the Ticor Title Family in Spokane!

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