Showing posts tagged with: Industry News
Vigilant law firm spots and averts real estate email spoofing in time!
11Aug
Vigilant Law Firm Spots and Averts Real Estate Wire Fraud!
Fraud

Vigilant law firm spots and averts real estate wire fraud!

 

Lawyers who work with real estate clients and wire funds as part of their practice need to be aware of email spoofing frauds that could potentially cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While spoofing (email messages created with fraudulent sender address) affect all types of professionals, real estate lawyers are particularly vulnerable as they handle millions of dollars. Here is a close call shared from clients in the Prairies.

Fraud Summary:

A Manitoba lawyer representing a private lender received a call from the law firm representing the borrower in a private loan transaction. The borrower’s law firm received an email that appeared to be from the lawyer requesting that they advance by wire $9,000 to secure the forthcoming private loan.

The law firm knew something smelled fishy and made a call to confirm the lawyer’s email request. The lawyer denied the demand for the $9,000 wire advance, and upon closer look, the email address of the spoofer was off by one character.

Had the firm wired the $9000, the money would be gone and the loss unrecoverable.

5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Email Spoofing

  • Look out for odd URL links, unusual urgency, strange requests and last-minute changes
  • Always call to confirm payment details as the law firm did in the incident above
  • Check your junk mailbox daily and install antivirus software
  • Regularly change your passwords and use 2 step authentications where possible
  • Be vigilant and examine whether the incoming email has passed authentication processes like DKIM, DMARC and SPF
  • Link to more tips

The Chicago Title Assurance:

Real estate lawyers and notaries are encouraged to contact their Regional Managers at Chicago Title to understand better the fraud types and how to protect themselves and their clients.

To learn more visit ctic.ca.

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How an alert real estate lawyer prevented fraud with a simple phone call
11Aug
How an Alert Real Estate Lawyer Prevented Fraud with a Simple Phone Call
Fraud

How an alert real estate lawyer prevented fraud with a simple phone call

 

Many types of real estate frauds occur in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Some of these can be fairly unassuming and can trip up even an experienced, diligent lawyer.

Here is a fraud incident reported from Saskatchewan (Yes, fraud can happen in the prairies too). It’s an indication of why lawyers should always stay on alert when it comes to protecting their client’s interests.

Fraud Summary:

A lawyer in Saskatchewan was emailed a request to re-direct funds on the day of closing a sale transaction for their client.  The email included a copy of a void cheque sent from their supposed “client.”

Fortunately, the lawyer exercised caution and picked up the phone to confirm this change in direction. As feared, it turned out, her client did not email redirection for the sale proceeds.

Of course, the client was very confused by the call, and in the end, the lawyer was thankful she trusted that little voice in her head that said something was off. She was able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars from falling into the wrong hands.

Extra due diligence is a must when dealing with real estate transactions and any last-minute changes.

The Chicago Title Assurance:

Real estate lawyers and notaries are encouraged to contact their Regional Managers at Chicago Title to understand better the fraud types and how to protect themselves and their clients.

To learn more visit ctic.ca.

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Title Insurance – Popular Myths Exposed
11Aug
Title Insurance – Popular Myths Exposed
Industry News

TITLE INSURANCE – POPULAR MYTHS EXPOSED

 

In the last few years, title insurance has gone from a little-known product to being acknowledged as an essential part of any property purchase. Today, nearly all Ontario residential and commercial real estate transactions are title-insured. Yet title insurance appears to be somewhat misunderstood by many, and worse yet, some lawyers only obtain title insurance simply because a lender requires it as a condition of financing.

While it is a known fact that title insurance protects property owners against matters related to their ownership or title, there are many misconceptions about title insurance coverage and the finer details of individual policies. That is why it is important to understand how title insurance works and dispel some of the myths surrounding it.

Is title insurance a one-size-fits-all policy?

It is not a one-size-fits-all agreement, and the wrong policy can actually end up doing more harm than good to the insured.

One of the most common errors lawyers make is that they end up purchasing the wrong title insurance policy for the property. For example, a lawyer purchases a single-family dwelling policy when it is a multi-unit property. In this type of case, the multi-unit property would require more searches than a single unit, and after closing, it is discovered that there were no searches done for outstanding work orders that were later identified. Given these details, the homeowner or lender could be denied coverage because the lawyer did not do an adequate search and ended up purchasing the wrong policy.

Can title insurance cover anything that comes up before closing?

Title insurance will cover many issues that have been made apparent before closing, after a thorough search or survey of the property.

It’s important that lawyers invest time in asking their clients about the type of property they are buying and how they plan to use it so they can perform the searches required for the specific property type.  This will ensure that the client gets the correct title insurance policy and peace of mind for lawyers and their clients.

With title insurance, is there coverage for future renovations?

Title insurance policies will only cover defects that were identified prior to closing. As a rule, title insurance policies will not cover compliance defects that may have been identified in a traditional search through governmental building department records.

This includes conducting renovations on the property without obtaining a permit and if it is not up to code. For instance, if you notice illegal wiring behind the drywall, the defect would never be discovered in a traditional property search. In such a scenario, your title insurance will not cover the cost of bringing the wiring up to code.

This is why it is recommended to read the policy and understand precisely what is covered and what is not.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. To learn more, get in touch with us at Chicago Title Today.

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What does Title Insurance not Cover?
11Aug
What does Title Insurance not Cover?
Industry News

WHAT DOES TITLE INSURANCE NOT COVER?

 

While ‘title insurance’ is a phrase often thrown around related to property purchase, there are still a lot of questions that most purchasers are left wondering about, such as; “What is title insurance, what does it cover and what does it not cover?”

Here is the 101 on title insurance with the answers to our frequently asked questions.

Title insurance: An overview

An essential form of insurance, title insurance provides coverage for future claims or future losses regarding the property you own. The owner pays a one-time premium for a title insurance policy, which protects the owner from issues ranging from title defects, fraud and forgery, as well as swapped titles and much more.

Remember, the one-time premium the owner pays ensures that the title insurance policy will remain in place for as long as the owner holds possession of the property. Title insurance can be purchased for residential as well as commercial properties.

A title insurance policy provides superior protection against losses from unknown title defects that could impact your property ownership, title fraud, unforeseen errors in public records and surveys, issues regarding encroachment and more.

What does title insurance not cover?

As a property owner purchasing title insurance, it is important to be aware of what the policy covers and understand what title insurance doesn’t cover.

Some obvious exclusions of title insurance include:

  • Title defects that were clearly made aware to you before you bought your home
  • Soil contamination and other environmental hazards
  • Claims made by native land owners
  • Self-created renovations or changes to your property that may attract zoning by-law violations

It is also worth mentioning that your title insurance policy does not cover non-title-related issues, for example, fences, damages due to natural disasters, regular wear and tear of your home and other issues that are not necessarily title-related.

We recommend reviewing your specific title insurance policy carefully, as it could include exceptions and exclusions or additional endorsements that may not appear in a general title insurance policy.

To learn more about title insurance, get in touch with us at Chicago Title Today

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UNDERSTANDING FORCED REMOVAL ENCROACHMENT AND HOW TITLE INSURANCE HELPS
24Jun
Understanding Forced Removal Encroachment and How Title Insurance Helps
Claims

Understanding Forced Removal Encroachment and How Title Insurance Helps

 

After spending months looking at houses, you have finally found your dream house. It meets all your needs and is within your budget. You are excited to proceed only to discover after you have purchased the property that a structure situated on the property is encroaching onto the neighbouring lands!

An encroachment is the projection of the actual building or a portion thereof including any improvements on the lands as of the date you purchased the property onto the land belonging to the adjacent property owner. This can include but is not limited to, a portion of the home, garage, shed or driveway encroaching onto the neighbouring lands.

As a homebuyer, can you proceed with the transaction if you become aware of an encroachment issue before you complete your transaction? Well, the short answer is you should consult with your lawyer/notary who can then liaise with your title insurer to determine whether there is any comfort or coverage available for the known defect. The title insurer will then explain the nature of the limited coverage available if any, and you can make an informed decision while instructing your lawyer/notary on how you wish to proceed.

In some instances, depending on the nature of the encroachment, no coverage may be possible for the issue. With title insurance, you may get a limited form of coverage or be able to close with the known defect, but without coverage. Read the following story to see how title insurance may provide coverage for an encroachment.

 

How Chicago Title Settled the Insured’s Endorsement Claim

An insured purchased a property that had an encroachment onto the neighbouring property. The purchaser was aware of the encroachment and it was noted as a known defect as it did not affect the marketability of the property. So Chicago Title issued an owner’s policy that covered the encroachment to the adjacent property (with an Identified Risk – Enforced Removal Endorsement) owned by the School Board.

Shortly after purchasing the property, the Insured reached out to the School Board to purchase part of the lot or to obtain a servitude to park or servitude for vehicular access.

The School Board sent an email refusing to sell a portion of the lot or to provide any servitude. They advised that they were open to a temporary servitude to allow the Insured to rectify the encroachment of the exterior cladding, the two Hydro-Quebec electrical meters and the two ventilation outlets.

Since the insured had a Chicago Title insurance policy with the Identified Risk – Enforced Removal Endorsement, we settled the claim by paying the cost of rectifying the encroachment.

Title insurance provides coverage from an actual loss suffered by the insured resulting from the forced removal of a structure encroaching on an adjoining property or a public utility easement.

In unique cases like this, the underwriter will consider the possible title insurance endorsements and exclusions from coverage and review the property comprehensively. This includes considering easements and servitudes, standard restrictions, the option to purchase or the right of first refusal and other reservations mentioned in the title commitment. It is important to review the policy issued for actual coverage and exclusions.

Title insurance helps and it’s an essential form of insurance. Chicago Title provides insureds with coverage for any actual loss suffered in relation to matters that are covered under the title insurance policy and are not otherwise excepted or excluded from coverage. For a competitive, one-time premium, an owner’s title insurance policy protects the purchaser or the existing owner from title issues, fraud and other title defects more specifically set out in the title insurance policy.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can help provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. For more information, contact your Regional Manager today!

CTIC.ca

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Understanding title insurance - blog post resize
13Jun
Understanding Title Insurance
Commercial

Understanding Title Insurance

 

Buying a home can be an emotional, exciting journey and probably the single largest investment you could make in your life. Understanding title insurance can help you protect your property’s title.

Do note that when buying a home, many hidden issues may spring up after you purchase it. This is why it is important to get an owner’s title insurance policy as it protects you from legal title discrepancies and other fraud issues. Here are other reasons why understanding title insurance is vital to protecting your home.

Everyone has a checklist of things they look for when buying a house. This could include a quiet tree-lined street, a neighbourhood with good schools and others. These are all important things to consider but what about the property’s history?

Did you know there could be issues like pre-existing liens, easements, zoning violations, outstanding work orders, forged identity and more? These issues could cause confusion over who has right to the property. And the last thing you want as a homeowner is a big confusion that puts your property in jeopardy.

Here is where title insurance comes in when you buy or refinance a home. Title insurance confirms there’s no dispute over who has rights to the property.

Peace of mind with a one-time fee!

Unlike homeowners’ insurance where you pay a monthly premium, title insurance only requires a  one-time fee to protect you and your property. Title insurance gives you and your client peace of mind that any disputes or restrictions that may arise are resolved or known.

Regular title insurance covers you against losses from unknown title defects that could impact your property ownership, title fraud, unforeseen mistakes in public records and surveys, issues regarding encroachment and more.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. To learn more get in touch with us at Chicago Title today.

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How to Avoid Social Media Fraud. The Do's and Don'ts!
25May
How to Avoid Social Media Fraud. The Do’s and Don’ts!
Fraud

How to Avoid Social Media Fraud. The Do’s and Don’ts!

 

The month of June is recognized as Internet Safety Month the world over. Online fraud shows no sign of abating and every day, thousands of people fall victim to cybercrime. The worldwide web is definitely a tempting ground for fraudsters to commit fraud and they are getting more sophisticated with their ways.

This is why it’s important to stay extra vigilant as you perform online transactions, especially those that involve the sharing of personal and financial information on multiple social media channels. It is up to each one of us to assume personal responsibility, manage our network and regulate privacy settings on most social medial channels.

Of course, it goes much beyond that. In recognition of June Internet Safety Month, here are some important Dos and Don’ts to protect yourself from online fraud.

DO’s

  • Update your privacy settings regularly on your social media accounts. Use options to choose who is allowed to see your posts. And in addition, check your credit score and bank accounts regularly.
  • Set up two-factor authentication to access any account. This ensures that only you can access an account even if someone else gets hold of your password. As a rule, you can have different passwords for all your accounts.
  • Stay away from strangers who try to forge close bonds on social media. If you get a request from strangers for money, immediately cut off the contact.
  • Call up a friend or contact or meet them in person if you get an online message from them for urgent money or a lucrative investment opportunity to avoid social media fraud. Chances are their account too may have been hacked.
  • Think twice before you post a message on social media and don’t share your whereabouts easily. This could give hackers access to your personal information for identity theft. Worse, vacation pictures can send out signals to intruders that your home is empty.

DON’Ts

  • Mention your home address or other personal information in your social media public profile.
  • Accept friend requests from strangers or say yes to suspicious links, even if the posts come from people you know to avoid social media fraud.
  • Consent to targeted advertising. This also prevents apps from accessing your profile information. Avoid social media quizzes or surveys that could soon ask personal questions, even ones that seem harmless.
  • Download or install apps or software from social networking sites. Lookup sites like VirusTotal or Google Safe browsing to see if a link carries a phishing or malware risk.
  • Access social media sites while using a public Wi-Fi network. Some public networks may not be secured. This gives scammers ample opportunities to intercept personal data associated with your accounts. Especially avoid making any online financial transactions or transferring sensitive information.

How to Protect Yourself

At Chicago Title, we offer multi-layered ID verification, which can verify the identity of a person against various data sources. For more information, contact your Regional Manager today!

CTIC.ca

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cottage season
17May
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip
Industry News

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip

 

Now that the weather is warming up, cottage season is upon us. Vacation properties have become a red hot market driven by the allure of short-term rental investment properties to those who are looking for a quiet place to relax outside of the city. Before dipping your toes into the market, or into the lake, there are 5 things you must consider to protect yourself, and your dream investment from becoming a nightmare:

  1. Property and Surroundings

Start the process by visual inspection of the property. Look for things like missing shingles, holes or damage on the roof, cracks in the foundation, and damage to porch screens, decks or chimneys. If the property is on a lake, don’t forget to check docks, lifts and boathouses.

  1. Water Supply

A reliable water supply is critical. Ensuring that the plumbing is in order and testing water potability, gives you the peace of mind that you will have a reliable and safe water supply for the cottage season.

  1. Septic System

Take note of potentially strong odours, water pools or damp spots around the septic tank. This also includes gurgling sounds in the plumbing system and slow draining bathtubs, showers and sinks. The last thing you want to be surprised with is water or sewage coming up your toilets, drains and sinks. Pay close attention and engage a professional if you see any red flags.

  1. Mold or Mildew

Check for mold and mildew around the sills. Remember that bathrooms are often a hot spot for growth as the conditions often provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew to flourish. If you find any mold or mildew be sure to never touch or disturb it, as even a small amount may be a health hazard.

  1. Ease of Access:

If you intend to make regular use of your vacation property, look for one with unencumbered access by road. Remember, Cottages that offer access by water only, may cost less, but you must also factor in the added expenses of operating, parking and protecting your boat. Being isolated by water also provides yet another opportunity for potential intruders to go unnoticed.

Bonus Tip

Lastly and most importantly, remember that title insurance coverage is one of the greatest tools you have to protect against potential losses arising from issues like encroachment, zoning violations, fraud and more.

That’s it. By exercising the precautions above and ensuring you have protected your investment with a title insurance policy you can ensure that your dream property does not become your worst nightmare. Click on the link to learn more about our seasonal property endorsement.

 

Chicago Title offers comprehensive coverage for your cottage.  Contact your lawyer for more information on our coverage today!

CTIC.ca

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11Apr
Chicago Title was the main title insurer in a landmark real estate deal in Quebec worth $5.7 B
Commercial

Chicago Title was the main title insurer in a landmark real estate deal in Quebec worth $5.7 B

Congratulations to Canderel, Group Mach, and their partners on acquiring Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust. We are proud to be the major title insurer for this historic deal valued at $5.7B, considered one of the most important real estate transactions in Quebec’s history.

Chicago Title Insurance Company congratulates Canderel, Group Mach, and their partners for acquiring this commercial real estate property.

Meet the team of experts for your commercial title insurance needs.

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Chicago Title insured six out of the top ten CRE transactions
07Feb
Chicago Title insured seven out of the top ten CRE transactions
Commercial

Chicago Title insured seven out of the top ten CRE transactions

 

In 2021, there were 1,799* commercial real estate transactions resulting in $9.92 billion transaction volume in Montreal. Out of these, a few multi-residential, retail and office transactions emerged as the top ten commercial real estate transactions. Chicago Title insured seven out of these ten transactions.

We are the exclusive underwriter of commercial title insurance for thousands of notaries and lawyers across the country. The following are just a few reasons why they trust us with their commercial deals:

  • Local knowledge and expertise allows us to effectively underwrite regional specific commercial title matters;
  • Experience which allows us to understand and underwrite the most complex commercial title matters in a creative and solutions-oriented manner with a proven ability to work with our clients to build transaction-specific policies using our extensive endorsement library;
  • Service focused team underwrites and processes orders in a timely and responsive manner, allowing our clients to meet their customers’ expectations; and
  • Competitive pricing.

Commercial title insurance protects the owners and lenders from losses arising from fraud and title defects. Due to the pandemic, commercial property owners and lenders have faced a lot of uncertainty and challenges. During these tough times, one thing that has remained unchanged for them is the protection provided by title insurance.

Learn more about commercial title insurance and contact our business development team to understand how it can add value to your clients’ real estate transactions.

 

*Source: https://renx.ca/montreals-top-10-cre-transactions-of-2021/

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