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Source of Title Blog : Crime

Confirmed... The Ohio Good Funds Law is Harming Consumers
by Robert Franco | 2017/05/17

A few days ago I wrote a blog about wire fraud.  I commented that those responsible for the change in our good funds law were at least partially to blame for innocent consumers getting conned out of their life savings.  Well, yesterday a local ABC news station has confirmed that I was right.

[read more...]

Categories: Crime, Ohio Legislation

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Email Fraud in Real Estate Transactions is on the Rise
by Robert Franco | 2017/05/14

A scheme that targets real estate transactions can be devastating to potential homebuyers.  Such scams are on the rise and changes intended to protect settlement professionals may have made matters worse for many innocent, unsuspecting consumers.

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Categories: Crime, Escrow/Funding, Legislation, Ohio Legislation, Risk, Liability and Claims, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

Ohio House Bill Introduced to Regulate Solicitation of Deeds
by Robert Franco | 2017/03/22

The "Deed Scam" was discussed here on Source of Title more than a decade ago, and it hasn't gone away.  It refers to the official looking letter that warns you that you need a certified copy of your deed and then offers to get it for you... for $70.00, or more.  Considering I can get a certified copy for about $6.00 at the court house, I have always felt that this was nothing but a scam.  And, I'm not alone. 

[read more...]

Categories: Consumer Advocacy, Crime, Ohio Legislation

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Update: Crime Doesn't Pay
by Robert Franco | 2011/04/19

In July 2009, I posted a blog about insurance fraud perpetrated by an abstractor in Kentucky - Cut & Paste Insurance Fraud.  The justice system may not be swift, but finally, just this month, I have received word that this abstractor was charged with insurance fraud and convicted after a guilty plea. 

[read more...]

Categories: Abstractors, Crime, E&O Insurance

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

Foreclosure Prevention Scams: Be Aware!
by Robert Franco | 2010/06/29

With so many homeowners in foreclosure, there are plenty of potential victims for scammers to prey on.  They are easy to find and desparate enough to be willing to try anything.  It is a dream come true for con artists who have a plethora of scams to run on unsuspecting homeowners who are in need of help.  The myriad of government programs, often complex in nature, make it easy for them to make their scam sound legitimate.  Homeowners need to be aware of the variety of schemes designed to rip them off.

[read more...]

Categories: Consumer Advocacy, Crime, Foreclosures

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Cut & Paste Insurance Fraud
by Robert Franco | 2009/06/17

Errors and omissions insurance for abstractors is very expensive, at least in relation to the depressed fees that are prevalent in the industry.  Unfortunately, working without it is not an option for many abstractors.  Some states require abstractors to carry E&O insurance, and even if the state does not, many clients do.  Beyond that, it is rather foolish to incur the amount of potential liability that we do without some form of protection.

Recently, I was informed of an abstractor that crossed the line from foolish to criminal.  As ill-advised as it is to operate without E&O insurance, it is far worse to represent to clients that you have coverage when you don't.  Especially when in the process you forge a declarations page and pass it off as your own.  Issuing false certificates or proofs of insurance is insurance fraud.

[read more...]

Categories: Abstractors, Crime, E&O Insurance

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

Iowa Abstractor Arrested For Fraud
by Robert Franco | 2008/10/17

Mortgage fraud is becoming much too prevalent.  It is being prosecuted, and it seems that it isn't so easy to conceal.  So, why are people trying these scams that will most likely land them in jail?  I can't believe they really think that they can get away with it.  We always used to assume that criminals aren't that bright... but they do find creative ways to lie, cheat and steal. 

Terry Hoffert, an Iowa abstractor, was arrested when it was discovered that she wasn't using loan proceeds to payoff existing mortgages - she was pocketing the money.  Something that would eventually be discovered, but she did all that she could to delay the inevitable and continue her scam.

[read more...]

Categories: Crime

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

Former NALTEA Member Planning An All Expenses Paid Federal Vacation
by Robert Franco | 2008/09/04

Nazarra Bernardo, a former charter-member of the National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors (NALTEA), pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud in February.  Naz, which was how he introduced himself when I met him at one of the NALTEA conferences, portrayed himself as a "big shot" and a proponent of independent abstractors.  He definitely earned a reputation in the title industry - one which ran afoul of the NALTEA code of ethics.  He now faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

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Categories: Crime, Ethics, Land Title Associations

Source of Title Blog :: 5 comments ::

Simple Title Search Could Have Saved Two Lives
by Robert Franco | 2008/08/12

Carmel Valley, California, is a beautiful place.  I was fortunate enough to spend a year in nearby Monterey in the early 1990's.  Sadly, last year it made headlines for a tragic double homicide that could probably have been prevented with a simple title search.  A neighborly property dispute escalated to gun fire when a boulder was placed at the end of driveway blocking a carport.  The alleged murderer is now on trial and the prosecution is attempting to admit a tardily performed title search into evidence.

[read more...]

Categories: Abstractors, Crime

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Cut, Paste, Release!
by Robert Franco | 2008/06/30

I don't think anyone should be too surprised, but there is a new scam hitting Ohio counties, and probably other states as well, that is causing major headaches for lenders and title companies.  Forged mortgage releases are getting filed! What can you do to protect yourself?

[read more...]

Categories: Abstractors, Crime, Fraudulent Transfers, Small Agents, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 5 comments ::

< < Get older blog entriesGet newer blog entries > >
Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco
SOURCE OF TITLE

 

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