Category: Compliance


Who’s responsible for wire fraud?

We hear about it all the time, wire fraud, cyber security, secure networks and portals. We don’t think it can happen to us, until it does.

The way wire fraud cases are handled is changing. No one is exempt from wire fraud, and going forward, everyone in a transaction could be held responsible for the wire fraud.

As Thomas W. Cronkright II, Esq. and Lawrence Duthler, Esq. of CertifID LLC show in their recent report, all participants in a transaction are responsible for wire fraud loss. A recent Kansas Federal District Court decision ruling found a bank, title company, real estate agent, and real estate broker liable in a transaction hit with wire fraud. The cybercriminal hacked into the seller’s agent’s email and was able to reroute the buyer’s wire to a fraudulent bank account. The buyer lost $196,622.76 that day, none of which was recovered.

According to the report:

“The buyer argued that all defendants had a duty to protect them from the losses they incurred and that the failure of these defendants to live up to that duty led to the fraudulent loss of their funds. In response, the defendants responded by arguing that they owed no duty to the buyer because they did not serve in a formal representative or fiduciary capacity.”

While the bank and title company settled in mediation, it was the seller’s real estate agent and broker who were found liable for 85% of the losses during the transaction, since the fraudulent email came from the seller’s agent.

We don’t think it can happen to us, until it does. And if it does, all parties in the transaction may be held liable. Are you ready for it?

“All defendants had a duty to protect them from the losses.” We all have the duty to protect our clients. That’s why it’s so important to do business with a title company who can secure you and your clients. Agencies in the Florida Agency Network are among the Nation’s top 1% in security, compliance and innovative technology. We work hard behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly, and your clients are protected.

For more information on how we can secure your closing, contact us at info@flagency.net or visit any of our offices.

PDS-Cyber-Security-Presentation_12.2018_COMPRESSED

To download this presentation, click HERE.


Florida Agency Network in The Title Report

Did you hear the news?

Last week, Florida Agency Network (FAN) announced its launch of The Closing Manager.

Partnering with Premier Data Services, the secure collaboration portal combines wire fraud security best practices with the benefits of a consumer-friendly closing experience.

“The Closing Manager minimizes the cyber footprint of a transaction and extends industry best practices through to the consumers at a time when it is needed most,” said Chief Technology Officer of Premier Data Services, Jay Roberts.

With features like secured chat, multi-factor authentication, and two-way document sharing,  The Closing Manager reduces email exposure and the chances of clients becoming victims of cyber crimes.

To see the full feature on The Title Report’s website, click HERE.

You can read the official announcement HERE.

 

For more information on how the Closing Manager can help your agency, contact Jay Roberts at jay.roberts@premierdataservices.com

 

 


Florida Agency Network’s Closing Manager Featured in TitleNews

Did you hear the news?

Today, Florida Agency Network (FAN) announced its launch of The Closing Manager. Partnering with Premier Data Services, the secure collaboration portal combines wire fraud security best practices with the benefits of a consumer-friendly closing experience.

“The Closing Manager minimizes the cyber footprint of a transaction and extends industry best practices through to the consumers at a time when it is needed most,” said Chief Technology Officer of Premier Data Services, Jay Roberts.

To see the full feature on ALTA’s website, click HERE.

To see the original announcement, click HERE.

 

 

For more information on how the Closing Manager can help your agency, contact Jay Roberts at jay.roberts@premierdataservices.com

 

 


Independent Audit Confirms FAN’s Internal Data Security Controls

Florida Agency Network completes SOC 1 Type 2 attestation

 

PLANT CITY, Fla. – Florida Agency Network, (FAN), the largest network of title agencies in Florida, has completed a meticulous third-party examination of its data security and privacy policies and procedures under the Service Organization Controls (SOC) 1 Type 2 standards.

The demanding third-party examinations were administered by the professional IT assurance and compliance staff at 360 Advanced, a respected national Qualified Security Assessor, HITRUST CSF Assessor and Certified Public Accountant firm based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Companies that complete annual SOC 1 assessments can demonstrate a substantially higher level of security assurance and operational visibility as compared to those companies without an assessment. The assessment focuses on the internal controls impacting customers and the protection of their non-public personal information (NPPI).

“Proving up to date compliance with SOC 1 Type 2 is a rigorous process for all involved.  I am proud that FAN completed our annual assessment successfully and believe that it affords us a competitive advantage,” said Andrea Somers, Compliance Officer for FAN. She added that the staff at 360 Advanced is “knowledgeable, detailed, and a pleasure to work with.”


FDFS Implements New Ruling on Unlawful Inducements

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The Florida Department of Financial Services has adopted a new rule (Rule: 69B-186.010) regarding “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the transaction of title insurance.” The rule goes into effect on February 9, 2016 and will ensure the playing field within the title industry continues to have balance.

The ruling details practices and activities that are deemed unfair and unlawful. Some of the activities listed include:

  • Providing membership in any organization, society, association, guild, union, alliance or club at a discount, reduced rate, or at no cost to a referrer of settlement service business.
  • Sponsoring and hosting, or paying for the sponsoring and hosting, of open houses for real estate brokers or real estate sales associates to promote their listings.
  • Paying advertising costs to advertise and promote the listings of real estate brokers or real estate sales associates via publications, signs, emails, websites, web pages, banners, or other forms of media.

While some of the mentioned activities are vague, the FDFS makes the seriousness of each offense known.

To read the full list of illegal activities and the ruling, click HERE.


Florida Agency Network Completes SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type 1 Examination

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Tampa, Florida – November 6, 2015 – The Florida Agency Network (FAN), Florida’s largest network of independent title agencies, is proud to announce it has completed its SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type 1 examination. The examination was performed by 360 Advanced, P.A., a full-service audit and consulting firm that specializes in integrated compliance solutions, 360 Advanced also conducted SOC 1 examination for FAN and presented the certification October 1st.
The SOC 2 Type 1 report focuses on the non-financial controls of an organization as they relate to maintaining the integrity of Non Public Personal Information (NPPI). The SOC 2 report is modeled around four areas of review: policies, communications, procedures, and monitoring. Each of these pillars have specific parameters which must be met to demonstrate compliance in order for certification to be granted.
Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), Trusted Service Principles (TSP) Framework is based on a criteria geared towards technology and cloud-based computing systems. The TSP Framework is comprised of five standards whereby a practitioner is required to examine and report on. Companies who complete an annual SOC 2 examination are able to demonstrate a substantially higher level of assurance and operational visibility as compared to those companies who have not yet achieved certification.
In obtaining SOC 2 Type 1 examination, Florida Agency Network reinforces a commitment to security, confidentiality, availability, privacy and processing integrity by ensuring the highest quality and security of services provided to their clients. Since the implementation of the TILA/RESPA reform on October 3, 2015, many title companies have yet to complete either the SOC 1 or SOC 2 examination, leaving their stakeholders in a position of risk to the exposure or breach of Non Public Personal Information (NPPI).

“We are proud to announce the completion of our SOC 2 certification. We are one of a few in our industry with the acclaim of both SOC 1 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 1 certification. I think this clearly portrays the standard to which we strive to protect data and NPPI (Non Public Personal Information). Having gone through this rigorous assessment, we can provide certification and proof that the Florida Agency Network and its affiliates have taken its systems, procedures, and control levels above and beyond what the industry has designated in its Best Practices. This certification puts us on a tier similar to that of our banking and lending partners when it comes to compliance and protection.” says Aaron M. Davis, CEO of the Florida Agency Network and its multiple brands. FAN includes Hillsborough Title, Trident Title, Paramount Title, Tampa Bay Title, Cornerstone Title, Homeplus Title, Uptown Title, Bella Title, Performance Title & Escrow, Stronghold Title and Progressive Title Solutions.

The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK (FAN) is made up of a network of independent title agencies that have formed a strategic alliance to provide shared back office services, pooled resources, and greater geographic coverage throughout the State of Florida. Resources of FAN include multiple on staff attorneys, access to private title plant and ancillary services, IT company, centralized processes & post-closing, agency administration, compliance management and financial oversight. Powered by nine national underwriters, FAN offers residential, commercial, builder, lender and investor services, experienced escrow staff, personalized customer service, over 30 locations throughout the State of Florida and much more.


Florida Agency Network Completes SOC 1 (SSAE 16) TYPE 1 Examination

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Tampa, Florida – October 1, 2015 – The Florida Agency Network (FAN), Florida’s largest network of independent title agencies, is proud to announce it has completed a SOC 1 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 [“SSAE 16”]) Type 1 examination. The examination was performed by 360 Advanced, P.A., a full-service audit and consulting firm that specializes in integrated compliance solutions, including conducting SOC 1 examinations.

SSAE 16, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), is the most widely recognized authoritative guidance that provides service organizations a uniform method for disclosing independently assessed information about the design and operation of internal controls related to their services. Companies who complete an annual SOC 1 examination are able to demonstrate a substantially higher level of assurance and operationally visibility than those companies who do not.

Securing SOC 1 Type 1 examination reinforces FAN’s, and its embodying agencies, commitment to security, confidentiality, availability, privacy and processing integrity by ensuring the highest quality and security of services provided to their customers. As the implementation of the TILA/RESPA reform is set to happen on October 3, 2015, many title companies have yet to complete the SOC 1 examination, leaving their stakeholders in a position to risk the exposure of non-public personal information (NPPI).

“We are proud to announce the completion of this major accomplishment. Very few in our industry can boast having a SOC 1 (SSAE 16). I think this portrays our level of commitment to the protection of data and NPPI (Non Public Private Information) to our real estate partners, and more importantly, to the consumer. Having gone through this rigorous assessment, we can provide certification and proof to our lenders and banks that the Florida Agency Network and its affiliates have taken its systems, procedures and control levels above and beyond what the industry has supplied in its Best Practices. Best Practices is simply the start, to get the industry moving in the right direction. SSAE 16 compliance is the next step, putting us on the same level as our banking and lending partners when it comes to compliance and protection.” says Aaron M. Davis, CEO of the Florida Agency Network and its multiple brands, which include Hillsborough Title, Trident Title, Paramount Title, Tampa Bay Title, Cornerstone Title, HomePlus Title, Uptown Title, Bella Title, Performance Title & Escrow, StrongHold Title and Progressive Title Solutions.

The FLORIDA AGENCY NETWORK (FAN) is the largest network of independent title agencies in the State of Florida. We have formed a strategic alliance to better serve our clients, allowing us to provide more services throughout the state. FAN offers convenient locations and many services that most title agencies do not provide, such as in-house legal counsel, in-house title plant, HOA estoppel ordering, dedicated REO department and much more.

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