Top 10 Most Read Articles of 2018

December 27, 2018

Topics such as digital closings, blockchain and the CFPB dominated headlines throughout the year, but articles about wire fraud were the clear favorite. What was your preferred content? Read on to view our most read articles of 2018. 

No. 1: Hit by Wire Transfer Fraud? Use the Kill Chain Process

The FBI offers a Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) process to help recover large international wire transfers stolen from the United States. This process can only be used if the fraudulent wire transfer meets certain criteria.

No. 2: Fidelity to Acquire Stewart for $1.2 Billion

Fidelity National Financial Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. for $1.2 billion. In a release, Fidelity said it will retain and grow the Stewart brand. The deal is subject to certain closing conditions, including Stewart stockholder approval and federal and state regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close during the first or second quarter of 2019. Read on for details.

No. 3: Fraud Alert: LLC Identity Theft

In 2017, title companies uncovered a large-scale national fraud scheme targeting distressed properties and borrowers. This fraud has evolved and criminals are now hijacking legitimate LLC real property owners. Read on to learn about this more about this latest fraud and the red flags to prevent it.

No. 4: Fraud Alert: New Scheme Asks Company to Verify Account Info Before Funding

Fraudulent bank emails indicate that the buyer's lender requires verification of account information before it will fund a transaction.

No. 5: Download ALTA's Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents

Information security and wire transfer fraud are critical topics for the land title insurance and settlement industry. Wire transfer fraud is a threat to every title operation regardless of size, location or years in business. ALTA’s priority is helping you protect your systems, plan for a rapid response in case of an incident, and prepare your employees, clients and customers to be aware and vigilant.

No. 6: Blockchain Can’t Protect Property Rights but Title Insurance Can 2,906

There are potential applications of blockchain technology that touch the title insurance industry, including, but not limited to, land recording systems. Enthusiastic proponents argue that these systems would be so efficient and secure that they would eliminate the need for title insurance. However, this argument ignores the fundamental purpose of title insurance: to protect a homeowner against undiscovered title issues and provide assurances of property rights.

No. 7: Court Rules RESPA Allows Referral Arrangements, Finds CFPB Structure Constitutional

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Jan. 31 issued a ruling in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a landmark case challenging the bureau’s constitutionality and a controversial anti-kickback enforcement action for alleged RESPA section 8 violations.

No. 8: Up In Smoke: Budding Legality of Pot Poses Challenges to Title and Escrow Industry

While more states are legalizing marijuana, the federal government still categorizes marijuana as a controlled substance. This means it’s viewed the same as heroin. Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, the title industry faces several challenges and significant risk  when handling transactions involving marijuana money.

No. 9: Who Is Fifth Wall and Why You Should Care

The Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Fifth Wall Ventures is a company that’s stepped to the forefront partnering with several companies leveraging technology in the real estate, title and settlement space.

No. 10: House Passes ALTA-supported Bill to Fix TRID

By a vote of 269-143, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that corrects the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) and help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.

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