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True Story: Escrow Closer Thwarts Last-Minute Wire Fraud Scheme

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Last-Minute-Wire-Fraud-Thwarted

Leanne S., AVP Branch Manager of one of our sister offices, had a closing at 10:00 a.m. The buyer was obtaining a new loan to purchase the home. The buyer had not yet wired in the closing funds so she could not disburse the proceeds to the sellers.

Leanne made arrangements with the sellers at the closing to pick up the proceeds check later that day. The sellers indicated they were going to use the funds to pay off the home equity loan on their primary residence with Navy Federal Credit Union®.

A Last-Minute Change Requested via Email

Within 10 minutes after the buyer and sellers left her office she received the following email:

“Hi Leanne,

Thank you so much for assisting with the closing. But regarding our disbursement can you assist with changing disbursing to our Sun Trust bank account. Please note that this is very important. Kindly get back to me so I can send you wire instructions.

Thanks
Mr. and Mrs. Marty G.”

Wire Instructions via Email are a Red Flag

Leanne was confused. She just spoke to the sellers about the fact they bank at Navy Federal Credit Union. They never mentioned anything about SunTrust℠ being their bank. Plus, Marty was very specific about picking up his check.

Leanne replied to the email explaining she would not be able to accommodate his request unless he came back to her office to complete and sign her wire out instructions, and provide a copy of a voided check from his SunTrust account. She never received a reply to her email and Marty confirmed he never sent that email.

Careful Communication is Key

Be Aware!

Online banking fraud is on the rise. If you receive an email containing WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS call your escrow officer immediately to verify the information prior to sending funds.

Leanne was confident she knew the email was a scam. She spoke in detail to the sellers about when their proceeds would be available, she knew their plans for the money and where they banked.

Leanne was particularly unnerved about the fact the hacker seemed to know exactly when the closing was scheduled for and when the sellers had left her office. It is scary how savvy the hackers were.

The proceeds were in excess of $355,000. Had Leanne not paid attention to the details, she could have fallen for the scheme. Instead, she is being rewarded and recognized for thwarting a loss the Company could have suffered.

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Wirefraud-prevented.indd
Wire Fraud Thwarted

2018 Recorder’s Holiday Closure Calendars

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courthouse-2018

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 2018 Recorder’s Office Holiday Closure schedules for the Puget Sound and Spokane areas. These calendars assist in planning the timing of escrow closings at a glance, and each conveniently shows the following:

  • Days that the recorders offices will be closed
  • The last refinance-signing day for each month (in order to fund & record that month).
  • When Taxes become due

Download Recorder’s Office Calendars Below

True Story: A Vacant Lot and Fake Sellers Caught

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Vacant Lot & Fake Sellers CaughtTeri D., Closing Officer at one of our agencies, was processing a sale of a vacant, waterfront lot. The sales price was $205,000; a cash purchase. The purchaser paid $5,000 as earnest money and was working with a builder on plans to build a home on the lot.

Since the property was a vacant lot Teri realized the seller’s mailing address would be different than the property address; her office has an added precaution in place where the address provided is compared with the address for the tax bill on the tax assessor’s website.

Confirmation & Connecting with the Sellers

Teri discovered the vacant property address was different than the tax bill address. She sent a letter to the seller at the address listed on the tax bill introducing herself, her company and asking the seller to contact her to confirm the sale of the lot. The buyer was not obtaining a new loan so about a week later they were ready to close. Teri prepared the closing documents on Friday, March 31, 2017. She contacted the listing agent to find out where and how she should send the closing documents. The listing agent advised her to email the closing documents to the seller. Once again, in an effort to ensure there was no funny business going on, Teri also sent the documents via overnight delivery to the address on the tax bill. Everything was sent on Monday, April 3, 2017.

We’re Not Selling

“They told him they were not selling their lot…”

On April 5, 2017, the real owners of the vacant lot called the Agency and asked to speak with the President. Brice C. took their call. The owners explained to Brice they received a letter and overnight package from his company. They told him they were not selling their lot and did not have it listed for sale. Further, they stated they already explained this to the listing agent on March 24, 2017. That was twelve days ago. Teri wondered why the listing agent did not tell her that when she called on March 31, 2017?

Questions for the Listing Agent

Brice called Teri into his office to share what he learned. She immediately called the listing agent to notify him the real owners just called her company’s president. She asked him why he did not tell her he spoke to them on March 24, 2017. The listing agent explained after receiving the email about the property, unbeknownst to him, he asked the fake sellers for identification. They showed him their passports. He asked for copies and they gave him copies. It never occurred to him they were false.

The real owners had forwarded their email exchange with the listing agent to Brice, where they confirmed they were the owners of the lot and were not interested in selling. Teri also asked the listing agent why he provided her with a different email address for the seller than the one he received from the real owners who communicated with him. He simply huffed at her. Was he really going to let this deal close knowing all of this? She will never know.

No, Thank You!

Fortunately for Teri this agent does not usually do business with her. It was the selling agent who encouraged the buyers to select her as their closing agent. The company resigned from the transaction.

Teri recognized the risks associated with sales where the property owner is absentee. Simply checking the tax bill and sending a notice to the address listed on the bill saved the agency and the underwriter from a potential claim.

Ticor Title Welcomes Kim Rathwick, Sales Executive

Kim Rathwick Ticor Title

Kim Rathwick Ticor Title
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 Rathwick

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

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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!

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

Dawn Jallen LPO Escrow Branch Manager

Dawn Jallen - LPO 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.

Dawn Jallen

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

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.

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

Keys to a Successful Escrow Closing

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keys-successful-closingClosing 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.

Ticor Title Kent Welcomes Haley Barton Escrow Closer

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Haley Barton Escrow Closer Kent WA

Ticor Title Kent Welcomes Haley Barton, Escrow Closer

We are happy to announce that Haley Barton has joined the Ticor Title escrow team in Kent. Haley shines as a member of the Ticor family since 2013 and provides unique value to our clients with her diverse industry experience from both lending and real estate. Please join us in welcoming Haley to our Kent team!

Haley Barton

haley.barton@ticortitle.com

10840 SE 208th St
Kent, WA 98031

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About Haley

I am the proud wife of a deployed US Soldier and enjoy life on my little farm with my 2 daughters, 3 dogs, 2 cats, (and a partridge in a pear tree). I am a musician and dancer, avid gym rat, and love traveling.

I have spent the majority of my working years in the real estate industry in Washington State, first shadowing in lending, property management, real estate, and then ultimately in escrow. I am delighted to be a part of the Ticor Family since 2013.

I have been fortunate enough to see this industry from all angles and believe that my strength lies in seeing how escrow and title, along with my clients and customers are all integral pieces in reaching a common, often momentous goal.

I believe there is great power in transparency and open communication and I pride myself on keeping everyone involved and apprised each step of the way.

I take great pride in each transaction, each client, each customer and want to make this experience as easy and stress-free as possible.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.” – Babe Ruth

I genuinely cannot wait to work with you on your next transaction – Let’s take dreams and success to the next level together!

New! Real Estate Buyer & Seller Guide

Real Estate Buyer Seller Resource Guide

Buyer and Seller Guide to Title & Escrow

Click for eBooklet

We are pleased to announce the availability of Ticor Title’s comprehensive Buyer/Seller guide in PDF, eBook, and Print Formats. This guide is designed to provide meaningful information and answer commonly asked questions that home buyers and sellers have throughout a real estate transaction.

Our goal with the Buyer/Seller Guide is to improve the overall experience of buyers and sellers by providing education and insights that demystify Title Insurance, Escrow, the CFPB, Taxes and more. This guide is a useful tool in setting proper expectations for the complex process of buying and selling a home.

How to Get the Buyer & Seller Guide

For your convenience, there are three ways to access the guide:

Buyer & Seller Guide Available Formats
Formats & How to Access
Downloadable PDF Download the Buyer & Seller Guide in PDF format for viewing, sharing, and local print. Download here: Buyer and Seller Guide to Title & Escrow
eBooklet eBooklet format presents well on tablets, smart-phones, and desktops and provides a means of linking to and sharing individual pages or sections of the document. Click here to view the Buyer & Seller Guide in eBook format.
Print The Buyer & Seller Guide is available in a high-quality print format upon request. Please contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive to reserve yours today.

The guide provides insights and information on the following:

Click any item below to view.

TITLE

The Title Insurance Value Proposition: 10 Reasons
What is Title? – FAQ
Why You Need Title Insurance – 21 Reasons
Life of a Title Search
Title Policy Comparison Chart
Homeowner’s Policy of Title Insurance
Homeowner’s Policy Additional Benefits
What is the Title Commitment?
5 Common Ways To Hold Title
ID Affidavit – Why is it Needed?
Vesting: Common Ways of Holding Title

ESCROW & TAXES

Escrow: FAQ
The Escrow Process
The Life of an Escrow
Opening Escrow
Red Flags in the Escrow / Title Process
Other Parties to an Escrow Transaction
The Loan Process
PMI Private Mortgage Insurance – FAQ

Taxes
PATH Act
Loan FAQ
What is Payoff
Property Tax – Annual Calendar
Closing Costs: What Buyers & Sellers Typically Pay For

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
What is Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? (CFPB)
Will The New CFPB Rule Delay My Closing?
Purchase Title / Escrow Order Workflow
The New Closing Disclosure Explained

TERMS

Glossary of Terms

What to Expect at Escrow Closing – [Video]

What to expect at escrow closing


Now that you’re ready to buy or sell a home it’s time to close the deal. But what does that really mean? What happens at closing and how long does it take? Well the process varies depending on your location, but here’s a general overview of what you can expect at closing.

Escrow’s Role in a Real Estate Transaction

As your Escrow Closing Team, we will follow the terms of your Purchase and Sale Agreement, and use these instructions to complete the transfer of the property from Seller to Buyer.
We’ll ensure that any items on your title commitment have been cleared, prior to closing. We also maintain a detailed accounting of all the finances involved with the purchase of your property. Most importantly, we prepare the legal documents that transfer ownership, from Seller to Buyer.

Escrow carries out instructions per the terms of sale

It all starts when a buyer and seller agree on the terms of sale and ends four to eight weeks later at closing. In the middle, all kinds of stuff happens to make sure the terms of sale are met. It’s the kind of stuff you’re thankful someone else does while you’re getting ready to move.

Then at closing, the escrow officer confirms the terms of sale are met, makes sure the funds are distributed, the deed is recorded, and the keys are delivered. if you’re the buyer, this is when you finally get possession of your house.

Closing the sale of a home doesn’t have to be mysterious! find out more about how it works with the resources below.

Ticor Title Lynnwood Welcomes Christy Jones

Christy Jones - LPO Escrow Closer

Christy-Jones-LPO Escrow Closer

We are pleased to announce that Christy Jones has joined the Ticor Title team in Lynnwood!

A Seasoned Professional

As a seasoned veteran in Title and Escrow since 2001, Christy has experienced the ups and downs of the market and gained valuable knowledge along the way. She knows her client’s time is valuable, so she ensures that her team’s communication is quick and effective throughout the entire transaction. Christy has closed a broad array of transactions including: Refinance, Residential Resale, Multi-Family, Short Sales, Estates, REO, HUD Sales, Builder, Mobile Homes, and more. She strives to provide a positive and memorable closing with our customers and build long-standing relationship with brokers and lenders.

Christy Jones

LPO/Escrow Closer
425-434-4013
christy.jones@ticortitle.com
19020 33rd Ave W Suite 550
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Map & Directions

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A Lynnwood Native

Christy was born and raised in the Lynnwood/Meadowdale area, and attended Mountlake Terrace High School. Enjoying our beloved Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, and attending her son’s sports activities, is something she looks forward to every day. She also loves camping, walking around the Edmonds beaches and parks, partaking in the local fairs and festivals, bowling, and watching movies. Vacationing at Disneyland and other theme parks in California brings great joy to her life.

Integrity & Pride

As with her family, Christy has true dedication and compassion toward her customers. Integrity and pride in the service she provides is of utmost importance and she believes that a happy customer is a loyal customer!

Partner with Christy and experience the difference in how her communication and extensive knowledge makes for a smooth and enjoyable transaction.

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Contact

Ticor Title Washington State

1505 Westlake Ave N #150
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206) 720-0114
Fax: (206) 720-0117

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