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New group wants to help you educate your customers about dangers of wire fraud

The new Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Transfer Fraud is an effort backed by the American Land Title Association and others to spread awareness about the prevalence of wire fraud. Fortune Title has talked about this issue a lot, and we encourage you to continue the discussions on this topic with your customers during every transaction. Check out the group’s website (the aptly named www.stopwirefraud.org) for resources you can pass on during these conversations. Tell people if they ever become suspicious of something during the process, they should always verify information with a trusted party using a known phone number before sending their hard-earned money. If you ever need more advice on how to talk to your local buyers and sellers about wire fraud, reach out to Fortune Title today. Together, we can protect our customers’ money from these...

Ask Nick

Question:  With all of the growing concern about wire fraud, how does Fortune Title protect its clients from becoming a victim? Nick’s Answer: Wire fraud has become more prevalent than ever. The best way to protect all parties involved in a transaction is open communication from the beginning of the closing process regarding the possibility of wire fraud.  Fortune Title informs our purchasers and their representatives at the beginning that our wiring instructions will never change. We send our wiring instructions out in a secure (encrypted) email so that they cannot be intercepted. In addition, we advise our clients to call our office to confirm our wiring instructions before sending any money. We also advise that if anyone emails a supposed wire change to them, they should immediately contact us directly. Any change to wiring instructions supposedly from us or anyone else just prior to closing should be considered a suspicious act that throws up a red flag.  In fact, we recently had a fraud situation that was averted due to the diligence of the buyer, who received an email appearing to be sent from our office on a Friday for a Monday closing. The scam message requested that the funds be wired to the new account information attached to the email. Luckily, no money was lost because the buyer was aware of the likelihood that this was a wire fraud scam and contacted our office immediately, thereby avoiding becoming yet another victim of this nationwide problem.   We hope this Ask Nick is helpful to your work. If you have a question you’d like to Ask Nick, please email Nick.Timpanaro@fortunetitle.com....

Make your open house experience more digital-friendly with these two tips

The Fortune Title family’s goal is to always deliver the best customer experience for you. We pride ourselves on being the accessible, accurate and efficient title and closing provider you and your clients deserve. However, our work isn’t done there. We want to assist you in every way possible, and this month that means giving our Realtor friends tech-related tips they can use to better reach today’s modern customers, including those sought-after millennial buyers. Upgrade to a digital sign-in program for open houses. Today, there are more options out there than the pen and pad of paper at the entryway of a home, and they are all designed to save you time by making following up easy! Bonus: No more worrying about messy, unreadable handwriting either. Lots of people like a program called Open Home Pro (and there are both free and paid versions of it), but there are plenty of other options out there too. You may have heard before, but it’s worth reinforcing: Realtors should be creating video tours of homes. It’s a great way to showcase a new listing, get people excited about an upcoming open house and connect with interested buyers who can’t see the property in person right away. An easy way to produce such a video is to use Facebook Live or Instagram...

Ask Nick

This installment of “Ask Nick” with Fortune Title Agency President Nicholas Timpanaro deals with bail bonds and foreclosures. We thought this may be a topic of interest, so we wanted to share Nick’s answer with you. Question:  There is a bail bond that was not joined in the foreclosure action. I see there is a statute regarding the six-year expiration of a criminal recognizance lien (NJSA 2A:162-5). Can you advise if this lien falls under that statute? The lien is from 2007 for $50,000. Nick’s Answer: The bail bond is recorded as a Mortgage. Therefore, it does not follow the six-year term and does not fall under the statute referenced above. You will need to contact the lender and have them discharge the lien. We hope this Ask Nick is helpful to your work. If you have a question you’d like to Ask Nick, please email Nick.Timpanaro@fortunetitle.com. Under no circumstances is Fortune Title Agency, Inc. or any of its employees giving any legal advice. The Ask Nick Q’s and A’s are based on situations that the company has experienced and is sharing with the public for informational purposes only. Always contact your attorney for any legal...

Think you know the title industry? Test your knowledge.

The Fortune Title family hopes your summer is off to a hot start! As many of you know, our team takes pride in providing title and closing services that are accurate and customer focused. No matter what kind of residential, foreclosure or commercial transaction you have, we’re here for you. Realtors, lenders, attorneys, investors, buyers and sellers know they can trust Fortune Title Agency to deliver the best customer experience in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. https://fortunetitle.com/ Think you know the title industry? Take this quiz to find out  School is out for local students, but we have a little quiz for you. We have a feeling you get asked about title a lot, given that it’s one of the most misunderstood parts of real estate. Why not try to show them that title can be — dare we say — fun and interesting? This title101 quiz is largely created from the “What is Title Insurance” page on our website. Try it on your own first and then pass it on. The answers are at the end, so don’t scroll down too fast. Title establishes all of these EXCEPT? Your right to own or use your property Any limitations on your right to own or use your property rights Your authority and rights to a property above any lender How often is a title search conducted? Once a month Once, early in the home-buying process Once a year What are the two types of title insurance? An owner’s policy and an insurer’s policy An owner’s policy and a lender’s policy An insurer’s policy and a lender’s policy A lender’s policy and a...

Annual ALTA Advocacy Summit puts spotlight on wire fraud, other issues

Hundreds of our fellow land title professionals from across the country went to Capitol Hill to spotlight issues that are important to all of us in the industry. Fortune Title Agency wanted our local real estate community to know about this effort too. This year, the American Land Title Association focused on two issues: wire fraud and beneficial ownership legislation. Specifically, attendees asked lawmakers to sign a letter to the Federal Reserve Board urging its members to strengthen the country’s wire transfer system to better protect our customers against wire fraud. In addition, the industry is asking for support of H.R. 2513. This bill, according to ALTA, requires LLCs to file reports with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on their beneficial ownership at the time the LLC is created. Enacting such a law would help us as a title company when it comes to reporting cash transactions. The Fortune Title family believes that a strong industry at the state and national levels benefit our local partners and customers, and we are committed to staying up to date on everything title for...

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