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Welcome to Chicago and Commonwealth Land Title Massachusetts

We created this website for our valued Chicago Title Insurance Company and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company agents throughout Massachusetts.  We pride ourselves on providing our title insurance agents with the right answers, right away.

 
Data Security

What You Need to Know, Now!

Thanks to everyone who joined us on May 11th for our first Data Security webinar, entitled "Data Security - What You Need to Know, Now!" If you missed the live presentation, a recording of video and audio is available on our website; we urge you to watch it at your earliest convenience by going to our Training and Data Security page. Why? Because cybercrime is happening to your colleagues, right here in Massachusetts. We are sharing the experiences of two of our agents, so that you may understand the serious danger facing all of us.

The first case came to light 24 hours after closing, when Agent A was contacted by a fraud investigator at Bank X. The investigator told Agent A that she believed that funds which A had wired into a Bank X account had been fraudulently obtained, based upon suspicious activity which the bank had been tracking. Agent A told the investigator that the funds (sale proceeds) had been wired to Bank X with wiring instructions supplied by the seller's attorney. The investigator asked if the wiring instructions had been sent via email. "Click on the name of the sender in your Outlook mailbox", she said, "Check the actual email address they came from. Look at the email address carefully, and you will notice that one or two letters are off."  READ MORE

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Does your office have a system in place to protect NPI?

Are you sending emails securely?

Do you have backup procedures?

What is your Business Continuity Plan?

Go to our Data Security page for answers and more..

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Unencumbered Property

Forged Mortgage Discharges

The title insurance industry and its agents are experiencing an increase in fraud claims related to forged mortgage discharges.  Claims have been made in which an owner has forged a mortgage discharge and recorded it shortly before a closing. The result is a title search for the subject property which is free and clear of any mortgage.  In other instances, the owner has provided at closing a forged discharge of an existing unpaid mortgage and has represented that the mortgage has been paid.

Consequently, we present two Red Flags that should alert you to suspicious fact patterns during the title review and closing process, and suggested actions to take when you discover these Red Flags.

Red Flag No. 1:  Your title examination discloses that the property is unencumbered by a mortgage.  Upon further review, it is revealed that a mortgage discharge was recorded within the past two years.  Also, no sale or refinance of the property occurred contemporaneously with the discharge to account for the payoff of the mortgage.

Red Flag No. 2: A discharge of a currently outstanding mortgage is provided by the owner or owner's representative at closing.

Response:  Independently verify that the mortgage has in fact been paid, and the discharge is therefore appropriate.

Such independent verification may include a confirmation of payoff directly from the mortgagee, a credit report from the new lender indicating the prior mortgage has been paid, or other satisfactory documentation evidencing a proper payoff.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Bulletin, do not hesitate to contact our underwriting department.

 

Web Based Seminars

Check back here to see when our next webinar will be held. Click here to put your email address on our evite list.


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