This blog normally focuses on mortgage industry issues relating to fraud. Today, however, I wanted to talk about an issue that is more personal and near to my heart, knowing some close friends who are dealing with severe anxiety and depression during these times. They call their difficult days “COVID down days.” COVID “down” day […]Read More A Brief Word About COVID-19 and Depression
Even the best laid plans and the most stringent controls cannot prevent every fraud loss. When a loss does occur, where do you turn to mitigate your damages? Insurance and fidelity bonds provide a measure of recovery when losses occur; CPLs are not insurance policies as we have covered before and are not included in […]Read More Scrutinizing Insurance Coverage Is Critical to Managing Settlement Agent Risk to Prevent Losses.
The current COVID-19 health crisis presents the mortgage industry with a unique dilemma when it comes to risk management and crisis leadership. For those of us who lived through the 2008 financial meltdown, this feels very different. In fact it is a lot different. In 2008 banks and mortgage lenders faced somewhat unprecedented losses when […]Read More Why this Crisis is So Different from the 2008 Wall Street Collapse and How We Can Lead During an Event that Impacts the Entire World
Recently we have heard about states rushing, by way of executive order or rule change (NY, NH, CT) and with hastily passed legislation (NJ), to permit remote online notarization in their states. The motives are clear and the intentions are good: the ability to close loans while limiting human interaction is critical at this time […]Read More Is the Rush to Enact RON Laws and Rules Creating More Confusion in the Mortgage Industry?
The mortgage lending industry has faced severe financial threats and incurred significant financial harm due to data security and data privacy breaches. These breaches have resulted in wire fraud, data theft and identity theft in the past few years. The industry has previously come together and incorporated tools and policies to combat the issue, however […]Read More Data Privacy and Security Issues for Mortgage Industry Professionals in the Temporary Work at Home Situation
In the midst of the current COVID-19 health crisis, lenders and settlement agents who schedule and conduct mortgage loan closings where a small group of people typically gather to sign documents and finalize a transaction should consider adopting a process that offers a safe place to conduct business. A suggested checklist might include the following: […]Read More The New Mortgage Closing Etiquette, and a Word or Two about E-Mortgages and E-Closings
With the latest news that towns, cities, counties and in some places entire states are shutting down as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, concern is rising that the inability to record notices of settlement, deeds, mortgages and mortgage satisfactions will upend the closing industry. In order to successfully conclude the closing […]Read More Coronavirus Creates Potential Recording Delays that May Impact Mortgage Closings
Many lenders mistakenly believe that as long as they receive a closing protection letter (CPL) from a title agent or closing attorney then they have nothing to fear about a loss that may occur at the closing table. These lenders may collect an agent’s insurance certificate or declaration page but take no steps to verify […]Read More CPL or Bonds and Insurance: Which is More Important to Verify Before Doing Business with a Closing Agent?
Identity theft and misrepresentation in mortgage transactions has traditionally concentrated in the reverse mortgage business. In these cases one can clearly see how elderly homeowners can be manipulated into taking out loans or selling their homes through unscrupulous means. Oftentimes these transactions are conducted with powers of attorney and not every lender inquires why such […]Read More New York Law Now Requires Borrower Attorneys at Reverse Mortgage Closings to Protect Consumers from Fraud
Yesterday the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified in front of the US House Financial Services Committee about monetary policy generally, however he was asked an interesting question during his appearance by Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA). Rep. Sherman inquired why the Federal Reserve does not establish a payee name matching requirement to prevent wire transfer […]Read More The Importance of Escrow Payment Recipient Name Matching to Avoid Wire Fraud Harm