There is a lot to talk about so let's get to it!

FinCEN Filings - New Procedure | Cyber Fraud Message for this Week | Data Call Update

Dear Members,

It is so much fun to write this blog when when there is a lot going on - when I have to pick and choose what to include! I have a self-imposed rule that these blog entries are to be short and sweet and, if you want more information, provide links. This month there is a lot to talk about so let's get to it…………

FinCEN Filings - New Procedure

For more than two years Members closing all-cash transactions in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties have had to determine if an active Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) applied to their transaction. If so, a report needed to be made to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the U.S. Treasury. The Fund has been filing the reports for you but with the continuation of the GTOs and possible expansion to additional Florida counties, our ability to continue to do this will have to be reconsidered.

So here is my point. I am encouraging you to become a BSA Filer and incorporate this reporting function into your closing processes. While The Fund will continue to file these reports for the time being, we want Members to consider and adopt the practice of filing directly through the BSA portal. We think this might prove to be more efficient for you and it will help us out here with our internal processes.

We aren’t abandoning you! We have created a 35-minute instructional video which explains the entire process beginning with your creation of a user account within the BSA E-Filing system. A slide handout may also be downloaded and used as a reference when you need to do a filing. We have established a dedicated email address for questions,, and you can always call our Help Desk and be directed to one of our experts for answers. Happy filing!

Cyber fraud message for this week.

I am going to get bossy here: You must stay up to date with the new angles and schemes the fraudsters are using to steal money out of a real estate transaction. It is also a really good idea for you to understand how incredibly easy it is for the fraudsters to learn about upcoming transactions, get information about the buyer, seller, realtor and closing agent, and figure out the weak link they can use to fool someone into sending them some money. 

CertifID is a company that specializes in helping closing agents combat fraud.  They have begun a series of webinars (FREE!) on various aspects of this whole distasteful topic and I encourage you to register for them.  45 minutes in length.  Here is a link to register for future webinars,  If you want to view the webinar from January 16, here is a link to that specific webinar:

Realize that regardless of how vigilant you think you are...and you think your staff is…….you are vulnerable! So take the time to watch these webinars or otherwise learn about various schemes; it will be time well spent.

Data Call update.

Two key points about the Data Call:

  • The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is charged with collecting data from title insurance underwriters AND agents in order to properly conduct a review of the title insurance premium rates.
  • Only licensed title agencies are obligated to submit the Data Call. But all of us should pay attention to the Data Call because the rates you are allowed to charge flow from the Data Call.

OIR is taking a good look at the current Data Call Worksheet to see what improvements can be made. The Florida Land Title Association (FLTA) has been very involved in the process and a group of its members has worked hard to compile suggested changes to OIR. So what will happen next? OIR will review FLTA's recommendations and then propose, through a formal amendment process, whatever changes they think are appropriate. These may be the same as or different from what FLTA has suggested. We will have to wait and see. But the process of collecting data for the purpose of reviewing title insurance premium rates is one of the most important regulatory activities that deserves your attention…….it goes to the heart of your business!

You will be invited to provide input and I hope you will do so. If you want a copy of FLTA's suggested changes, let me know. Leslie Anderson here at The Fund is working with me on this and you can reach out to her with comments and questions at or

That's all for this week. Let me know how we can help you.


Melissa Jay Murphy
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
General Counsel and Secretary