In recent months, title agencies have been rocked by numerous fraud schemes, from both internal and external sources. It could only be a matter of time until the fraudsters turn their sights on your business. With fraud identification tips, prevention advice and technology guidance, the Fraud Watch for Title Agents Series is here to help.
Fraud Watch Series Part II:
Combating Closing Table Fraud: Tactics for Successful Identification and Reporting
Reported mortgage fraud and misrepresentation at the closing table continues to increase on a year-over-year basis. How is it still being facilitated?
Technology has provided fraudsters with the ability to access information, conduct criminal activities and remain anonymous via the internet, and manipulate processes that rely on the need for expediency. The systems and processes that can be beaten are the easiest targets and are often selected. Many believe the Reverse Mortgage market is ripe for schemes against the elderly, many of which can be identified at the closing table. According to MARI, lenders should leverage their relationships with providers such as title and closing agents to identify questionable documentation, report suspicious activities and halt suspicious closings.
New frauds emerge daily – the industry must react in real time. It’s imperative that title and closing agents strengthen their partnership with lenders to curtail fraud.
Who should attend:
- Title agents
- Settlement services providers
- Mortgage Brokers
Combating Closing Table Fraud will provide a forum in which new schemes can be discussed, red flags identified, and practical advice will be given to put together protocols for identifying and reporting fraud.
This second installment of the Fraud Watch for Title Agents Series includes:
- An overview of the newest fraud schemes
- Tips for identifying specific red flags at the closing table
- Guidance on implementing important protocols and practices for closing agents
- A look at fiduciary duty and liability issues for closing agents
- Guidelines for reporting fraud
Director of Investigations
Matthew Merlone is the Director of Investigations for Interthinx, where he directs the day to day operations of the Audit Services department out of the Saint Louis offices of the nation’s premier mortgage fraud prevention and detection company.
As a Certified Fraud Examiner and 20-year veteran of the mortgage industry Merlone has accumulated a broad reach of experiences that covers residential mortgage lending underwriting, mortgage servicing, quality control, consumer credit, and student lending. Merlone has authored a number of articles relating to the mortgage crisis and technology solutions and he regularly conducts training regarding fraud prevention and detection. He has worked for a number of leading national lenders including Bank of America and Citigroup. Merlone is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Saint Louis holding a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and he is an active member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Gregg D. Stevens
McGlinchey Stafford PLLC
Gregg D. Stevens is a member in the commercial litigation section of the Dallas office of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, where his practice serves the financial services industry, concentrating in the areas of Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, litigation and mortgage fraud. Gregg represents numerous financial services clients in suits involving breach of contract, mortgage fraud and identity theft.
Gregg was also successful in obtaining a 1.2 million dollar judgment against an individual who was operating a debt elimination scam.
He earned his J.D. at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and is admitted to practice in Texas, the Texas U.S. District Courts as will as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits.
First American Title Insurance Co.
Deborah Boyd is Underwriting Counsel with First American Title Insurance Co. She is a Florida Board Certified Real Estate Attorney and is also licensed to practice in Michigan.
She has been appointed Chair of the Real Estate Certification Committee of the State Bar of Florida, Chair of the Palm Beach County Real Estate CLE Committee and Chair of First American’s Eastern Division Mortgage Fraud Committee. Deb also initiated and Chairs the Fraud Prevention Committee of the Florida Land Title Association. In addition to being a frequently requested speaker, she is a very active member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, serving on the Problem Studies, Residential Real Estate, Title Insurance and Condo committees. She also serves as the appointed Liaison from the Real Property Section to the Power of Attorney statute drafting committee.
Deb obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Michigan State University and her J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company
Anthony Messineo is the Audit Director with Westcor Land Title Insurance Company, which he joined in September 2005. He has held the designation of a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) since 2002.
Anthony attended the University of Central Florida and Graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration majoring in Finance. After college, he went into the banking industry and in 2000 accepted a position with a major national title insurance underwriter headquartered in Florida where he was a senior auditor. In 2004, he accepted a position as a Senior Quality Assurance Representative with another major regional underwriter. He has also held the designation of a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) since 2002.
The Legal Description
October Research Corporation