When Do Title and Settlement Services Constitute the Unauthorized Practice of Law? Rhode Island Gives Notice.

Sometimes the line between services provided by non-attorney title and settlement professionals and those by lawyers becomes blurred.  This happens in states where it is common practice for a title agent representative to appear at a mortgage closing and in the course of managing the title and disbursement side of things, fill in on a […]

Read More When Do Title and Settlement Services Constitute the Unauthorized Practice of Law? Rhode Island Gives Notice.

Protecting Borrower Data in An Age of Hacking and Phishing Schemes

“Data privacy” and “data security” are terms most lenders are hearing over and over again these days.  The reasons for this are numerous but include federal and state regulator focus on the issue, increased publicity over wire fraud and data storage breaches in business and industry, and heightened concern by consumers about how their sensitive […]

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CFPB: No More Regulation by Enforcement? An Analysis

According to Mortgage Professional America, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney, recently told industry leaders that the CFPB will no longer practice “regulation by enforcement.” “The regulation by enforcement answer is really simple – we aren’t doing it anymore,” Mulvaney said. “It’s a fairness issue. If you’ve done something for […]

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The Fraud Triangle

Fraud is pervasive in virtually every industry.  The reason is that fraud is the consequence of a human condition that exploits the opportunity to gain assets through rationalization and need.  Every one of us is vulnerable to committing a fraud crime given the right circumstances and the opportunity.  Mortgage lenders and banks need to understand […]

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Data Breaches from Email Phishing Scams Still Rocking Mortgage Industry: WEI Mortgage latest victim.

Just today the industry learned that WEI Mortgage has discovered a data breach from an email phishing scam last Fall that appears to have exposed loan file information and borrower personal identifying data such as Social Security numbers to outside parties. Back in October 2016 I wrote that Wells Fargo Bank and the Federal Bureau […]

Read More Data Breaches from Email Phishing Scams Still Rocking Mortgage Industry: WEI Mortgage latest victim.

Why Settlement Agents Pose the Greatest Risk to Mortgage Lenders and Borrowers

Settlement agents, the men and women who manage the closing of residential mortgage loans, carry a great burden with them.  Each time they close a loan they have access to mortgage proceeds, lender documents including the important collateral security instruments (note and mortgage) and borrower personal and financial information (in the final 1003 and other […]

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The Unique Conduct of Mortgage Closings in California Amid Concerns Over Fraud

According to figures published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Corelogic, Interthinx and LexisNexis, based upon filed SARS reports and other available data, California has been cited in the top ten fraud states nearly every year for the past decade. In 2009 and 2010 California was 3rd in […]

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NJDOBI Issues Wire Fraud Warning and Recommended Policies to Prevent Losses

Today the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance issued its advisory Bulletin No 18-04 addressing all banks in the state on the topic of wire fraud. The notice explains the recent increase in fraud schemes involving the changing of wire instructions in an effort to steal mortgage loan proceeds.  It recommends that lenders do the […]

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NJ To Create its Own CFPB, Following Pennsylvania. Consumer-Driven Financial Regulation of Mortgage Lenders and Banks is Not Going Away.

Just when lenders were expecting the CFPB in Washington to fade silently into the mist of the night, there were rumblings that states were considering enacting their own CFPB organizations and regulations to prevent the Trump Administration from killing consumer protection oversight.  Today those rumors have gained serious traction. According to the New Jersey Mortgage […]

Read More NJ To Create its Own CFPB, Following Pennsylvania. Consumer-Driven Financial Regulation of Mortgage Lenders and Banks is Not Going Away.