If you haven’t yet noticed, you soon will: the mortgage industry is under siege by fraud.
Think we’re being a bit dramatic? Consider a few numbers from our friends at ALTA:
- The number of wire fraud scams reported by title companies to the Internet Crime Complaint Center went up 480% in 2016.
- These crimes have cost consumers $5.3 billion. That’s “billion.” With a “b.”
- “The average successful bank robber’s haul is $3,816 while the average successful wire fraud loss is $129,427,” according to ALTA Past President Daniel D. Mennenoh ITP, NTP during a Congressional hearing on November 1, 2017.
What can be done? Unfortunately, when it comes to an evolving and adapting threat like this, there’s no silver bullet. Mennenoh suggested that “all parties involved in the real estate transaction—including real estate agents, banks, policy makers, consumer groups, title insurers, settlement agents and real estate attorneys—need to help educate customers and the dangers and how to protect their data and money. A second option is that financial institutions should match not only the account number but also the payee’s name when there is a wire transfer.”
From what we’re hearing, fraudsters are becoming students of the entire mortgage transaction—especially its weak links when it comes to funds transfer. They’re also becoming more sophisticated in their schemes. But above all, they’re getting bolder by the day.
It’s going to take an entire industry, working together and innovating new solutions while maintaining a collective vigil in order to slow and eventually stop this threat. We don’t believe it’s hyperbole to say that, left unchecked, mortgage fraud could change the way we do business. Even worse, it could threaten the place of the mortgage transaction itself—perhaps even the economy.
We at reQuire will be doing our part to help. Will you? Contact us to see how we can help.
About the Author
Randy Cruz is the Business Services Manager at reQuire. Randy has been with reQuire since 2008 when he started in reQuire’s Finance department. While working at reQuire, Randy earned a degree in Network Security. However, he quickly realized that the IT field was not his calling, his true passion was helping our Partners by providing unsurpassed Customer Service. Prior to coming to reQuire, Randy spent 10 years with Prolink Solutions. Prolink offered a GPS and course management solution system for golf courses around the globe. Randy lives in Virginia Beach with his wife Gladys and their beagle Niki. Together they have two daughters and two sons. Randy enjoys playing golf and he is our resident Star Wars SME.