Industry Update: the Future of eClosing and RON

Join industry experts for an in-depth discussion on the future of eClosing and how hybrid and RON closings benefit lenders and borrowers.

DOJ v. NAR and the ethics of real estate commissions

Today’s HousingWire Daily features the first-ever episode of Houses in Motion. We discuss the Department of Justice’s recent move to withdraw from a settlement agreement with the NAR.

Hopes for generational investment in housing fade in DC

Despite a Democratic majority, the likelihood of a massive investment in housing via a $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package appears slim these days. HW+ Premium Content

Road to the one-click mortgage

This white paper will outline how leveraging a credential-based data provider can save money for lenders, reduce friction for borrowers, speed time to close, and overall bring lenders one step closer to a one-click mortgage.

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Wire Fraud: Are you the weakest link?

The multi-million dollar cybercrime haunting consumers

HW+ wire fraud

It’s the moment everyone fears: in the frenzy to close a house sale, commitment to fraud preventions falters. Busy professionals involved in the sale override their own cautions about fending off wire fraud by reverting to tried-and-true email addresses to convey the most sensitive financial information.

Trying to keep with the drive to the finish line, the harried consumer let down their guard. Instead of questioning email directions from their agent, title insurer or lender, the consumer hits ‘reply.’

And just like that, coordinates for a wire fraud transfer of tens of thousands of dollars —­ even a lifetime of home equity — disappear. A digital thief hijacked the transaction, redirected the money, and disappears, leaving the shocked consumers, real estate agent, title insurer, lender and others to pick up the pieces.

Fraud prevention was slowly escalating as an industry priority when 2020’s strange confluence of factors hit. 

The pandemic accelerated the use of digital tools and platforms to effect closings, while also tangling many house sales in a patchwork of paper and online functions.

As the pandemic recovery takes hold, a robust housing market has pulled fraud prevention back on track. Houses are selling faster than ever, and for more money than ever. COVID-catalyzed changes are formalizing into new fraud prevention standards, even though some in the residential real estate industry have yet to fully come on board.

Digital fraud comes at real estate transactions in several forms. Released in March, the 2020 report of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ internet crimes operation documents significant increases in each of the categories most pertinent to residential sales:

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