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NovDec 2016 - Volume 7, Issue 6 (Web version)

 

  Vol. 7, Issue 6, Nov/Dec 2016   Click Here for a PDF Version of This Newsletter    
 

IN THIS ISSUE >

Company Announces Strong Third-quarter Financial Results

Claims Prevention: Agent Uses Red Flags to Spot Unrecorded Mortgages

Vendor Spotlight on Email Encryption:
Zix
ShortTrack

Agent Link Resource Page: Your Access to Real-time Resources



HAVE A SUBMISSION?
Agents can send a brief submission and any related photos to their agency rep. Agency staff can share submissions with Linda Grahovec, NTP, VP, Marketing and Communications, at linda.grahovec@fnf.com or 630.222.0778.
 

 
 
IN APPRECIATION OF OUR PARTNERSHIP





Thanksgiving is a wonderful start to the holiday season. Before we get pulled into the flurry of activities and events that begin in December and don’t seem to end until the New Year, it’s an excellent time to pause and reflect on all of the people and things we are thankful for in our lives.

While Thanksgiving has passed and we have entered December full force, I want to take a moment to thank each of you. Our staff and agents are the anchor of our company and its success. Thank you for being part of our family of companies. We value your commitment to a changing industry and your willingness to move forward in new directions in order to continue to meet your customers’ needs.

This year has been filled with its share of challenges: TRID expectations, which in turn affect lender and customer expectations; new educational learning curves; new requirements and best practices … These are just a few of the many issues we’ve all been dealing with. Next year will bring its own set of challenges and opportunities, but ultimately it comes down to a few simple things:
• focus on serving our customers;
• innovate to simplify and expedite the process;
• raise the bar for our industry and ourselves; and
• always do the right thing.


Trust your instincts, which have been vital to your success, and know that we are ready to move forward with you for what’s next.

In closing, I want to wish you and your families a happy holiday season and a healthy, prosperous new year. We value our unique partnership with our agent network and look forward to helping you make 2017 your best year yet.
 

   
           
 

FOR MORE
INFORMATION >


To learn more, visit FNF’s website at www.investor.fnf.com.

 

 
 
COMPANY ANNOUNCES STRONG THIRD-QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS



Fidelity National Financial reported strong earnings for its Title segment during the third quarter of 2016, generating $1.9 billion in total revenue for the quarter and $5.1 billion for the first nine months of 2016.

TITLE PREMIUMS & ESCROW
Third-quarter results — The Title segment’s total revenue of $1.9 billion for the third quarter of 2016 is based on:
• title premiums for direct and agency operations of $1.3 billion;
• escrow, title-related and other fees of $569 million; and
interest and investment income totaling $29 million.

Agents were responsible for generating $713 million in title premiums, which represents 56 percent of the Title segment’s total direct and agency premiums earned during the third quarter.

Year-to-date results — The Title segment’s total revenue of $5.1 billion for the first nine months of 2016 is based on:
• title premiums for direct and agency operations of $3.5 billion;
• escrow, title-related and other fees of $1.6 billion; and
• interest and investment income totaling $94 million.

Agents were responsible for generating $1.9 billion in title premiums, which represents 56 percent of the Title segment’s total direct and agency premiums earned during the first nine months of 2016.


 

   
           
 

FOR MORE
INFORMATION >


Has your agency successfully handled a challenging claims situation? If so, please let us know about it. Contact Andrei Korotkov, AVP and Claims Counsel, FNTG, at andrei.korotkov@fnf.com or 904.701.6421. You might be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.


“The key to identifying an unrecorded mortgage is an agent’s ability to recognize the proverbial red flags in information collected from different sources, ranging from a seller intake form to tax payment history.”

 

 
 
AGENT USES RED FLAGS TO SPOT UNRECORDED MORTGAGES



As Madonna sang, “There’s nothing left to try. There’s no place left to hide. There’s no greater power than the power of good-bye.” Most property owners look forward to saying “good-bye” to their existing mortgages either in the context of a sale or a refinance. A title and closing agent plays a noteworthy role in that farewell process.

In this issue of Agency Insights, we highlight Joseph Kohn and his team at the Law Office of Joseph L. Kohn, P.A., in Coconut Creek, Fla. Joe, a barred attorney in the state of Florida, has been in business since 2000 and employs a team of seasoned professionals. His office was instrumental in recognizing and addressing a number of unrecorded mortgages.



The key to identifying an unrecorded mortgage is an agent’s ability to recognize the proverbial red flags in information collected from different sources, ranging from a seller intake form to tax payment history. These sources usually supplement a title search report. In theory, there will be no red flags between the seller intake form and the title search report. Stated differently, the same mortgage will be disclosed in both the seller intake form and the title search report.

In reality, things are a bit different. Issues usually arise when either a seller or a borrower neglects to disclose his or her unrecorded mortgage to the agent. So, the question becomes, how do you detect an undisclosed and unrecorded mortgage?

Over the years, Joe’s office became very proficient in identifying these types of mortgages in both purchase and refinance transactions. In talking with Joe, he shared a few memorable moments pertaining to unrecorded mortgages:

THE DISCHARGED LIS PENDENS NOTICE: The provided title search documentation contained a notice of Lis Pendens filed by a bank, with the corresponding discharge. At first glance, the discharged notice of Lis Pendens did not raise any red flags. However, upon closer examination, it was established that the notice of Lis Pendens was actually filed by the bank to establish an unrecorded mortgage. It prompted Joe’s office to follow up with a seller who confirmed the existence of the unrecorded mortgage.

THE PAYER OF PROPERTY TAXES: As part of its due diligence, Joe’s office was checking for any due and owing real property taxes prior to closing. In reviewing the payment history listed on the tax collector’s website, his staff noticed that the real property taxes were paid by a lender. However, a mortgage associated with this particular lender was not identified by the borrower or listed on the title search report. Accordingly, Joe’s office reached out to the borrower who provided the lender’s contact information, ensuring a proper closing.

To Joe and his staff, we applaud your attention to detail and due diligence in identifying unrecorded mortgages.

SUBMISSIONS WELCOME
Has your agency successfully handled a challenging claims situation? If so, please let us know about it. Contact Andrei Korotkov, AVP and Claims Counsel, FNTG, at andrei.korotkov@fnf.com or 904.701.6421. You might be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.
 

   
           
 

FOR MORE
INFORMATION >


For more information, please visit www.zixcorp.com, or contact Andrew Murphy:
781.993.6106
amurphy@zixcorp.com

 

 
 
EMAIL ENCRYPTION: BALANCING COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS

Unencrypted email is as secure as a postcard traveling in the mail. And without the proper security measures in place, it’s easy for an unauthorized person to capture sensitive data such as nonpublic personal information (NPI) as it travels across the public Internet. With the CFPB’s push to safeguard NPI, it’s critical to evaluate your need for email encryption and what features are critical to implementing security with minimal disruption to your employees, customers and partners — and to your business.

When implementing an email encryption solution, consider the following factors:

Convenient delivery for recipients: Innovative email encryption enables the automatic decryption of secured emails if recipients use the same platform. For others who don’t use the same platform, recipients can receive the message in less than two simple steps, removing any hassle and confusion.

Smooth mobile experience: Convenient mobile delivery of encrypted messages is an essential component to keeping business moving and making your customers and business partners secure and happy.

Powerful filtering capabilities: With automatic scanning and the use of proven and up-to-date policy filters, emails with sensitive content are encrypted without user action. Taking the decision out of your employees’ hands eliminates human error.

Audit function to demonstrate compliance: The audit trail function must work automatically in the background and not require regular management by a member of staff. The compliance reporting user interface should be easy to use and the reports easy to understand.

Large attachments are supported: The solution must be able to send emails that contain large attachments. Research shows that without this function, staff will often use alternative means to send large documents, such as online file sharing applications that use the public Internet and are not encrypted.




 

   
           
 

FOR MORE
INFORMATION >


For more information about ShortTrack, contact Steve Hargraves at steve@shorttrack.io for a demo. Or learn more at shorttrack.io/title.

 

 
 
DON’T BE A SECURITY BREACH STORY

Like many title agents, you have made cyber security a top issue, especially when it comes to wire instructions. Unfortunately, the real estate agents and attorneys with whom you work still use their insecure email accounts as their main form of communication.

Secure your wire instructions
Crooks have become wise to this. They hack weak email accounts and wait for the opportunity to send a buyer false wire instructions that direct the funds to the crooks. Then, POOF, the money is gone. The closing doesn’t happen and everyone gets sued. Fortunately, the solution is simple. Take the wire instructions out of email and store them encrypted in the cloud with ShortTrack.

Protect NPI data exchange
Not only is email encryption cumbersome, but it is inadequate. Would you send valuable documents via FedEx without requiring a signature on delivery? No, because the driver would leave the package on the front doorstep — where anyone could grab it.

Why do this with email? Your encrypted emails, once delivered, sit unencrypted on your customers’ email servers. Don’t leave them on the email doorstep — keep them encrypted in the cloud, delegate access, and prevent an NPI breach with ShortTrack.

Be the easy, secure title order
How about a secure one-click order? ShortTrack has integrated with the nation’s largest real estate software programs (ZipForm, DotLoop and others). Your real estate agents simply click a button in their software and the order is pushed into your production software, along with the relevant documents. Secure, compliant and efficient.

For more information
Contact Steve Hargraves at steve@shorttrack.io for a demo, or learn more at shorttrack.io/title.


 

   
           
 

Linking you to real-time resources for you and your customers. Links are updated each issue, so be sure to visit often!

 
 
YOUR ACCESS TO REAL-TIME RESOURCES





FNTG’S DEDICATED CFPB WEBSITE:
FNTG’s CFPB Website was created with agents’ customers in mind. It’s a tool agents can use for customer presentations — linking directly to the site.

Calendar Feature: This closing calendar (found on our CFPB website) helps real estate agents assess their potential closing dates and lets title agents or customers know when they should receive their CD in order to close on a targeted date.

CO-BRANDED MARKETING TOOLS AND RESOURCES:
FNTG offers agents a variety of sophisticated and educational brochures and fliers to use with customers. The pieces can be co-branded with the agent’s underwriter logo and the agent’s logo. Available pieces include:
• 2017 TRID Calendar
• What to Expect at Settlement
• Why You Need Owner’s Title Insurance
• Why You Need Title Insurance on a Refinance

Contact your local account manager or rep for details.




Check out recent additions to FNTG’s National Agency Website (some sections are password-protected):

Lender Updates and Correspondence: This section provides a full listing of recent lender correspondence.
The Solution Partners tab (top menu bar) and a shortcut icon (left margin) provide ease of access to the new website.
Cyber Crime Updates & Information provides important resources and contacts for agents.


TRAINING & EDUCATION
Escrow/Settlement Training: Check out this valuable training section, which offers e-learning modules for both new and seasoned employees.
Want to Learn, We Love to Teach: The ALTA/FNTG-sponsored Title Topics webinars cover timely topics. Link to these recent sessions:
Sales Is Not a Dirty Word — Everyone Can Sell
Closing Instructions: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly




FNTG Solution Partners Website — Our Solution Partners website easily connects FNTG agents and their customers to more than 40 of our hand-picked solution partners.

Printable PDF of the Solution Partners Listing — Link to an alphabetized, printable PDF of FNTG’s Solution Partners listing.

Best Practices Partner Resources — Connect with Solution Partners that can assist agents in attaining Best Practice compliance.




NewsDesk — FNTG’s NewsDesk provides industry news from a variety of resources. It’s a simple way to boost your social media efforts. Post one or two articles to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. We’ve done the work for you!




FNF’s Fraud Insights: Vol. 11, Issue 12 — Fraud Insights is produced for company staff and agents. Click above to link to a recent issue. If you aren’t receiving the newsletter and would like to, contact your agency rep.




ALTA Unveils New Website — be sure to spend some time on the site checking out the new format and content.

CFPB Promotes ‘Flexibility’ With Third-party Service Providers

Homebuyer Outreach Program
enables ALTA members to easily share the benefits of owner’s title insurance. ALTA recently released a Spanish Language Suite as part of this program. Click here for details.

Home Closing 101 Website is dedicated to consumers and the buying process.
 

   
           
 

Agents can send a brief submission and any related photos to their agency rep. Agency staff can share submissions with Linda Grahovec, NTP, VP, Marketing and Communications, at linda.grahovec@fnf.com or 630.222.0778.

 
 
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Agency Insights is produced for our valued agents and staff. We’d like to hear from you! We invite you to submit write-ups of special events and activities, including:
• industry-related recognition for individual or office accomplishments;
• involvement in industry-related events;
• compliance or Best Practice stories; and
• involvement in community-focused activities.


   
           
           
 

Agency Insights
 

 

© 2016 Fidelity National Title Group
nationalagency.fntg.com

   
           

 

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Copyright © 2017, Fidelity National Title Group. All Rights Reserved.