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One of the latest wiring scams involving title companies

One of the latest wiring scams involving title companies

Just as soon as one type of wire scam is uncovered it seems like a new one pops up. One of the latest versions involves the perpetrator sending the funding lender wiring instructions to a legitimate account belonging to an innocent, unknowing title company. In verifying the account number, the lender will see that the funds are being wired to a legitimate title entity.

Once the wire has gone through, the scammer contacts the unknowing title company and states that the funds were sent in error. The scammer gives the title company instructions for sending the funds back, but those instructions are fraudulent and the funds will be sent to the scammer. The title company then confirms that it was not entitled to the funds and sends them back using the account information that it has received from the scammer.

The lesson to be learned here is that if you receive wired funds in error, the wire should be rejected. In doing so, the funds will automatically go back to the original sender.

Everyone needs to be vigilant in dealing with wire transfers, verifying information by directly contacting the other parties through secure channels and being skeptical when instructions are changed at the last minute or appear out of the ordinary.

 

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How do money wiring scams work?

How do money wiring scams work?

In a money wiring scam, a dishonest person lies and tricks you into wiring money to them.

The scammer might say:you won a prize, or inherited money, but you have to pay fees first;

  • you won the lottery, but you have to pay some taxes first;
  • a friend or family member is in trouble and needs you to send money;
  • you need to pay for something you just bought online before they send it;
  • you got a check for too much money and you need to send back the extra.

These are all tricks.  If you wire money, the scammer will keep it and you will not get your money back.

Wiring money is like sending cash.  If someone you do not know asks you to wire money it is probably a scam. Scammers are clever and they try to make things look real. They are good at fooling people and they also want to rush you. They want your money before you have time to think, but before you do anything, stop and check.

If you have already wired money to someone who contacted you…that money is probably gone. Remember, if you gave money to a scammer once, you will probably be targeted again . The best thing you can do to help yourself and others is to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.

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Tenancy in New Hampshire

Tenancy in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has two types of tenancy, Tenants in Common and Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS). This has been the law in New Hampshire since November 13, 1959.

Every conveyance of real estate to two or more persons creates a tenancy in common pursuant to New Hampshire RSA 477:18. That means, that if the person preparing your deed fails to state the type of tenancy, you will automatically become tenants in common. When one person dies their half of the property will pass to their estate according to the probate process.

If you want to have your property pass to the surviving person that must be specifically stated. Your deed must state after your names “as joint tenants with rights of survivorship”. The property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant without the need of filing probate. You simply record the death certificate and in future deeds reference the death and state that you are the surviving joint tenant.

The failure to state tenancy, or stating it incorrectly, happens quite often, especially when the deed has been prepared by an out of state attorney who may not be familiar with our laws. Different states have different types of tenancy laws. We sometimes see a husband and wife owning property and thinking they owned it as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. One spouse dies and it is not until the other gets ready to sell the property that this is discovered. It can create quite a mess, take a while to clear up and ultimately delay the closing.

So use this information to take a look at your deed and be sure that you own your property the way you wanted. If you don’t, you can have a Quitclaim Deed prepared and record it to establish the proper tenancy that you want. Please give us a call at 603-836-5309 if we can assist you in this process.

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Information for Homebuyers

Information for Homebuyers

A Buyer normally pays for the following:

Recording the new deed

Their share of the tax stamps. Tax stamps in New Hampshire are 1.5% of the purchase price and are split equally between the buyer and seller

The title examination and closing

The owner’s and lender’s title insurance policy

All costs associated with getting a new loan

A Seller normally pays for the following

Their share of the tax stamps

Any commission to the realtor for the sale of the property

To prepare the Purchase and Sales Agreement when no realtor is involved

Recording any lien release documents pertaining to their loan

For the preparation of the new deed conveying the property

Both parties share in the proration of the real estate taxes and there may be other miscellaneous costs associated with the sale.  Give us a call at 603-836-5309, if we can help with the sale or purchase of your home!

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How do we determine that your title is valid?

How do we determine that your title is valid?

The title company makes sure that the title to a property is legitimate, so that a buyer is assured that once he buys property he is the rightful owner. To ensure that the title is valid a title search will be done. This is a thorough examination of property records to make sure that the person or company claiming to own the property does, in fact, legally own the property and that no one else could claim full or partial ownership of the property.

During the title search, the title company also looks for any outstanding mortgages, liens, attachments, judgments or unpaid taxes associated with the property. They also look for any restrictions, easements, leases or other issues that may impact ownership. Before a title company issues title insurance, it will prepare a title commitment for the Lender, which is a summary of what it found during the title search.

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Real Estate Agents and the new TRID rules

Real Estate Agents and the new TRID rules

Closing on your home soon…here is how changes aimed at helping you could end up hindering you. Your real estate Agent plays a large role in getting the deal to Settlement. One of the big challenges that real estate agents have now encountered has to do with the new consumer privacy rules.

Agents are used to being provided with copies of the settlement documents. The agent was then able to explain the documents to their clients and help check the numbers to ensure everything was correct prior to the closing. Under the new TRID rules, agents may now be on the outside looking in. Sometimes the agent is not able to see the disclosures until they are sitting with their clients at the settlement table.

As of now, some lenders and title companies lack clarity about what they are allowed to share with whom. That leaves it up to the consumers to be proactive about sharing the document with their agent. If the consumers fail to do so, it means the agent cannot catch mistakes early on that could end up delaying the settlement.

The roll-out of TRID was a big deal for the industry and the changes have not been without frustration. There has been a lot of discussion about whether the changes are a real value to the consumer and whether lenders may have to increase fees to account for the added time and manpower now needed to process loans. While it’s nice that the consumer can now get their costs and fees well in advance of closing, the new rules are adding time and some anxiety to the closing process.

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The Five Worst Passwords to Use

The Five Worst Passwords to Use

It was recently reported in a posting on foxnews.com that as of 2016 the five top most commonly used passwords on the Internet and therefore the worst to use from a security standpoint are:

 

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 123456789
  5. qwerty

Unfortunately people are still using these passwords because they are easy to remember. Some industry experts recommend using no fewer than 9 characters, with at least one number, a symbol and an upper case character and no sequential patterns. The thought is that 6 characters takes possibly seconds to break, but 9 or more non-sequenced characters makes it more difficult so hackers may move on. Changing your passwords regularly is also key. Some cyber security measures start with the simplest of items, strong passwords being one of them.

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Things to consider when applying for a joint mortgage

Things to consider when applying for a joint mortgage

Valentine’s Day can bring up questions surrounding a relationship, including, “Will the relationship affect our mortgage?”  Buying a home and applying for a mortgage are big tasks and can be further complicated when a significant other is added to the equation.  If you are married, applying for a mortgage in both you and your and your spouse’s name may seem like common sense.  However, in some circumstances, applying in only one name may be your best option.

When a couple asks a lender for a loan, the bank may not average the two credit scores.  They may instead focus on the lower of the two and calculate the loan terms based on that to arrive at the interest rate that will be charged.  The debt-to-income ratio is a measurement that a lender uses to measure how much of the applicant’s income is spent on debt.  If you leave a spouse with significant amounts of debt off the mortgage application it may lower the debt-to-income ratio and result in better loan terms.

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