Raising awareness about the scourge of cybercrime in the real estate industry has been our top priority in recent years (see here, here, and here). Our goal is to make sure consumers know that they will be targeted by cybercriminals throughout their real estate transaction, which is often one of the largest financial transactions a person will make.

To further bring attention this critical issue, President Michele Richardson sat down with Guy Gordon on WJR to explain the new phenomena of “split closings” and discuss why these kinds of closings are even more vulnerable to cybercrimes like wire transfer fraud, phishing schemes, and more. Ultimately, to quote Michele in the piece, what keeps us as title professionals awake at night is the vulnerability of our customers. How do we fight this anxiety and fear? We constantly work to be the consumer’s advocate throughout the closing process – as an independent title agency, we know we can best represent our customers’ interests.

You can listen to the full interview here:

Short on time? Our favorite takeaway from the piece is the three questions all buyers and sellers should ask when choosing a title company:

  1. Who is the title company you are being asked to use? Is it associated with a real estate agent or lender? How many people work there? How long have they been in business? You want to work with a company that makes title and escrow services their core business, not a side gig for extra money.
  2. What are the title company’s security measures? What protections do they have in place to protect your money (either on the buy or sell side) throughout the closing process? If they aren’t worried about cybercrime, you should be very worried about allowing them access to all of your personal and financial information as well as your funds.
  3. What kind of insurance do they carry? Who will shoulder the cost if funds are lost? Here at Liberty, we understand that the title company is liable for escrow losses, so we invest in a lot of insurance to protect ourselves and, in turn, our customers.

Have additional questions? Contact us today to learn more. And be sure to check out our new Umbrella by Liberty Title program, which provides you with premiere protection against cybercrime before, during, and after closing.