Talking Turkey: Faster Payments, Top Claims & New Cyber Threat

Dear Members,

It's Thanksgiving Week, the official kick off of the holiday season. Which means it's crunch time for real estate closings to get them in before December 31!  So today is some non-stressful information for you to ease into the final 6 weeks of the year.  Sort of.

Vendor Marketplace.  Here's my monthly reminder of information available to you on our Vendor Marketplace. 

You know that Professional Liability Insurance is more than a requirement; it’s essential. Learn what Attorneys First Insurance, FLAG Insurance Services, and Kouwenhoven & Associates could offer your practice, and check out their Member specials, too. Visit Vendor Marketplace today.

Faster Premium Payments.  Say good bye to writing checks to Old Republic for the title premium!  Use our new feature in ePolicyManager to start paying invoices online. (BTW, this is for those of you using a software other than DoubleTime or eClosing.) This will really streamline your post-closing process…. and help with getting all of your premium in before the end of the year.  Here is a link to learn more and to set this up:

What are the top reasons for claims?  You might be interested in this data from the American Land Title Association (so the info is based on national statistics).  According to an industry survey, the top claims by number (not cost) are:

  1. Closing errors
  2. Searching errors
    (These first two make up about 75% of ALL claims!)
  3. Boundary and survey issues
  4. Easement issues
  5. Recording problems
  6. Fraud and forgery
  7. Access
  8. Mechanics liens

A common closing error is the failure to pay assessments, taxes or municipal liens, as well as failing to make payoffs for prior mortgages or judgments. Neglecting to pay or close lines of credit are not as common anymore but can still result in claims.

Execution defects where the signatory does not match title or there’s a missing spouse are other common closing errors that can spur a claim. Additionally, a botched notary acknowledgement can make a document void.

Wire transfer fraud continues to be a top threat. A new trend is that the criminals can block the initial wiring instructions email. Then when the title/settlement agent receives an email with wiring instructions, they think it’s the original.  You have to be so, so careful!

Claims can often be prevented at the closing table. My strong recommendation is that you SLOW DOWN. When reviewing the commitment, read all the documents provided. Often easements and restrictions can show up in the middle of a document. It’s not enough to just have it in the file. Second recommendation is to follow our underwriting guidelines. And if you have a question, Fund underwriting attorneys are ready to talk to you……..reach out to them and let them help you.

Have a great Turkey Day!

Let me know how we can help you.


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