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Top TitleNews Online Articles of 2021

Nationally, the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis continued to dominate the headlines. For the title industry, articles focused on cybersecurity and wire fraud were the most popular. Today, we begin our countdown of the most-read TitleNews Online article of the past year. Below are articles six through 10. On Thursday, we will reveal the top five most-read stories of 2021.

No. 10: FPB Finds Mistakes With Simultaneous Issue Rates on TRID Disclosures
Some lenders are inaccurately disclosing fees for lender’s title insurance on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures in violation of Regulation Z, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) summer Supervisory Highlights report. While report focuses on lenders, title and settlement companies should take note that the CFPB is reviewing disclosure of fees and finding mistakes.
No. 9: Multifamily Housing Down in 2021 but Will Rebound in 2022
Regulatory and supply-side challenges coupled with slowing rent growth and rising vacancy rates will weaken the multifamily construction market in 2021. However, the development market should stabilize by 2022, according to economists from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Read on for analysis from NAHB as well as commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE.
No. 8: ALTA Board Approves 2021 Policy Forms
Revisions to the 2021 ALTA Policy Forms collection have been published and went into effect July 30, 2021. Recommended changes were approved by ALTA’s Board of Governors in May, for adoption on July 1, 2021.
No. 7: When Can Title Professionals Get COVID-19 Vaccine?
Guided by evolving federal recommendations and limited vaccine supplies, states continue to refine distribution plans that prioritize when specific workforce members and populations receive the COVID-19 vaccine. States are choosing who gets the vaccine and in what order based on various phases. Considered essential workers by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, title and settlement professionals fall into the last tier of phase one in most states. Read on for more information.
No. 6: Split Closings New Target of Wire Fraud
Diverting seller proceeds and mortgage payoffs appear to be happening with more frequency in markets such as Michigan and Wisconsin where split closings are commonplace.

No. 5: Fannie Mae Issues Guidance Regarding Remote Ink-signed Notarizations
Fannie Mae updated its Selling Guide announcing specific requirements for remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) for loans issued on or after July 1. Fannie Mae added specific minimum standard audio-visual requirements for RIN.

No. 4: Survey: Title Professionals Targeted for Wire Fraud in a Third of all Transactions
Title insurance professionals reported cyber criminals attempted to trick employees to wire funds to a fraudulent account in a third of all real estate and mortgage transactions, according to ALTA’s 2021 Wire Fraud and Cyber Crime Survey. However, training and education seem to be working as funds were only wired to a fraudulent account in a little over 8% of these attempts.

No. 3: Criminals Using SMS Messages to Beat Multifactor Authentication
Criminals have deployed a Zelle fraud scam that allows them to infiltrate a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service used by many financial institutions by circumventing multifactor authentication and accessing a victim’s bank account without knowing the username or password.

No. 2: Cloud-hosting Vendor Suffers Ransomware Attack
Cloudstar, which is a cloud-hosting and data security provider to title and settlement companies, was the target of a sophisticated ransomware attack in July. Several software vendors and title companies offered their expertise and services to help title companies impacted by the cybersecurity incident. 

No. 1: Wire Transfer Scheme Targets Mortgage Payoffs, Secret Service Warns
The U.S. Secret Service issued an advisory warning of a drastic increase in wire transfer fraud related to mortgage payoffs.


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