Verify Wiring Instructions

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 351,936 complaints in 2018. That’s an average of more than 900 each day. The most financially costly complaints involved business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud, and investment scams.


“Awareness is one powerful tool in efforts to combat and prevent these crimes. Reporting is another. The more information that comes to IC3, the better law enforcement is able to respond,” said Donne Gregory, chief of IC3. Click here to learn more about IC3 and file a complaint. Streamlined communication has assisted the FBI field offices in recovering funds for businesses that report fraudulent activity. In one case a victim wired $56,179.27 for a home purchase to a thief after receiving a spoofed email request from the lending agent. The Recovery Asset Team worked with the FBI Field Office and the victim’s bank to freeze the funds transfer and return $54,000 of the stolen money.

Click here to read IC3’s list of common and current scams.

Click here to read IC3’s internet crime prevention tips.


Although the complaints involved victims of every age, there was a concentration of financial losses for individuals over the age of 50. One way we can all do our part to prevent fraud is to verify wiring instructions. It’s great practice to validate wire instructions on each closing completed and ARS is here to help. We have master instructions available should you want to confirm or update any saved instructions you may have for our company.


Contact your Account Manager or Settlement Team for more information.

California Notices of Solar Contracts

The recorded Notice of Solar Contract is just that – it is a notice informing us there is a contract between the homeowner and the solar company regarding leased solar equipment on the subject property. It is not the contract itself, and the contract is usually not recorded. It can be mistaken that if the solar company records a release of the Notice, any exception for the solar contract can be removed from the commitment/policy. However, releasing the Notice is kind of like that old adage about closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. You can release the Notice, but despite the Release we still have actual knowledge of the underlying contract because the Notice was recorded in the first place. We still know there is a contract out there that affects our property.

There are only two ways we can remove the exception for the solar contract: 1) The homeowner to provide us evidence that the solar contract itself has been terminated between the parties and that the solar panels and equipment have been removed from the property, which is usually accomplished by an inspection of the property. 2) The homeowner to buy out the solar contract so that he/she owns the panels and equipment outright.

The issue that title insurers have with these solar contracts has nothing to do with lien priority. The solar companies readily admit, and state in their documents, that the contract does not create a lien on the property. However, insurers are concerned because the Notice does impart knowledge that the solar facility is not part of the real property and that the solar company retains ownership of the solar facility and can enter the property and remove it, potentially causing damage to the property. Some of these contracts also grant the solar company certain easement rights over the property. While title companies are not willing to remove the exception except under the conditions mentioned earlier, they did create endorsements we can offer the lender (see attached example). They insure the lender against loss due to any impairment of the lien of the insured mortgage caused by the solar contract (addresses the lender’s main concern about lien priority), except to the extent that the solar contract discloses the solar company’s rights of ownership to the solar facility (addresses the insurer’s concern about ownership rights).

The only options regarding solar are: terminate the solar contract, buy it out, or take a policy with the exception (and endorsement, if so desired.) Additionally, if the lender agrees to take the exception (with or without the affidavit), amended closing instructions stating they will accept the exception on their policy will be required.

Example of a Solar Endorsement: Solar Endorsement

August Webinars

The Borrower’s Experience – CRMP Cetified Course

Tuesday, August 14,  2019 – 10:00am PST/1:00pm EST 

This class will give the attendees a bird’s eye view of the entire process from Marketing to Post Closing of a reverse mortgage transaction.  It will cover some pit falls and how to avoid them. Although you may only handle one portion of the transaction, the borrower is a part of the whole process which can be overwhelming. We will explain how the attendees can be more empathetic to our borrower’s needs

Note: CRMP Credit not available for California residents. 

Click here to register.


Introduction to Powers of Attorney

Wednesday, August 21,  2019  10:00am PST/1:00pm EST

Reverse mortgages are complex and being prepared is key to a successful closing. Powers of Attorney are very common in the Reverse Mortgage industry. We are happy to share our experience and knowledge with you and together we can make the borrower’s experience a pleasant one.

Click here to register.

ReverseVision Dissolving Integrations

As of July 1, 2019 clients will not have to ability to place orders via ReverseVision. However, ARS has an online order site you will find easy to use. Order Source allows you to place, track and manage your orders.

Email to request access.

July Webinars

The Payoff Process

Tuesday, July 16,  2019 – 10:00am PST/1:00pm EST 

Paying off debt is a crucial part of the reverse mortgage transaction. Join us to familiarize yourself with the timeline and requirements when there is debt involved. We will also cover ways to identify potential liens that may cause delays in the closing of your file.

Click here to register.


Ins and Outs of Title and Settlement in Texas

Wednesday, July 17,  2019  10:00am PST/1:00pm EST

Join us for a webinar dedicated to walking you through a Texas closing from start to finish, with an emphasis on Texas guidelines. We will review vesting tips and hits, required forms and documents, state specific fees, trusts and so much more.

Click here to register.


Preventing Wire Fraud

In this day and age wire fraud is one area that places a company at higher risk. The people attempting to intercept funds are becoming more creative in their efforts and have an understanding of our industry.

We know our teams are on the front lines to act as the eyes, ears and voice that has proven time and time again to be worthwhile.

Our client presented us with an updated payoff from the existing lender. They had received an email from the borrower that the wiring instructions had been updated. Nicole Snyder, Lead Settlement Officer, recognized that this was out of the ordinary. She promptly called the client to confirm wire instructions and then found that the new payoff had in fact been altered to change the account number along with a few minor additions/deletions of wording of the wire portion. Thanks to her diligence, Nicole prevented a potential loss of $153,000.

Use the First American document below to help identify fraud red flags.

NAD 18.153; NA-2018-016Guideline Preventing Wire Fraud and Other Fraud

Title Tidbits: Endorsements

Title Tidbit from ARS’ Underwriting Counsel/Title Manager, Kevin Weaver. 

Q: Which endorsements are required for my policy?

A: The required endorsements may vary between different lenders and policies but there are tools available to provide clarification. Your lender’s instructions will provide a list of required endorsements for the policy. If you have questions regarding what a specific endorsement is or what is applicable to your transaction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We have developed an endorsement matrix to assist with inquiries.

Q: Which endorsements are applicable to my state or product?

A: Our new fee calculator makes knowing and customizing your endorsements simple. You will be directed to a page to view an itemized list of endorsements after you enter your product and property address. The endorsements will default based on the product and state selected. You then have the ability to select additional endorsements to include on the quote to your borrower.

When in doubt, remember that we are always happy to assist and make your transaction as smooth as possible.

We are your constant. We are your solution.