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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
"BUILDING HOMES & JOBS ACT" (aka SB2) UPDATE
According to The Orange County Recorder’s office, from January through June 30 of this year, OC collected $12,969,979.00 for the Building Homes and Jobs Act (“SB2”) - averaging $2.162 million dollars per month for the stated purpose of improving the critical housing shortage in the state. That’s from Orange County alone. We have no information at this time as to the total collected from all of the state’s 58 counties during this period, nor how the funds are being administered in Sacramento.
It would be interesting to try to obtain that information. If you like, ask your elected state representatives. Find out who they are and how to contact them by visiting the Secretary of State’s website: click here.
Heads up! We understand that fraudsters are taking a new angle to perpetrate wire fraud. They’ve begun attacking e-faxes - the preferred method of delivery for...wait for it...PAYOFF DEMANDS. They’re intercepting demands and switching out the wire instructions. This might be “easier” to detect for a large institutional lender, but what about the unknown smaller ones, and/or (gasp!) private party Beneficiaries??!!?? Knowledge is power - be aware and put systems in place to be as vigilant as you can be.
Progress has actually been made in finding some of the bad guys! In late June, federal authorities arrested over 80 people who allegedly participated in wire hijacking schemes. The bulk of those arrested perpetrated their crimes using “BEC” (Business Email Compromise). Others were involved in a “widespread, Africa-based cyber conspiracy.” Arrests were made in the United States, Nigeria, Ghana, Canada, Mauritius and Poland. Several of the indicted remain at large.
It’s good news, but wire fraud danger isn’t close to being under control. Keep your guard up, continue to use your Super Sleuth powers to recognize the signs of a “BEC” or another method, and avoid becoming a victim yourself.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2018:
** IMPORTANT NOTE - DATE CHANGE **
Please note that our usual schedule of “third Wednesday” would put our meeting on the evening before Thanksgiving this year. We have changed that date, and our meeting will now be held on Wednesday, November 7.
Our September meeting will truly be all about YOU! We’re planning a Panel of Experts to answer YOUR burning questions related to all-things-escrow. This will be a perfect time to bring your assistants, for some bare-bones straight talk on best escrow practices. We have started a list of topics to discuss, but please email me with questions you’d like to have answered, and we’ll do our best to cover all we receive by the time of the meeting!
WIN A FREE REGISTRATION TO CEA CONFERENCE!
Registration for Conference is now open, with early bird pricing in effect on or before September 23.
OCEA is committed to providing educational opportunities to its members, and we are proud to be offering early bird pricing scholarships to CEA Conference in October for Escrow Officers and for Support Staff! I must receive your completed emailed application and 50-100 word essay no later than 5:00 PM August 1, 2018, so don’t delay! Get yours in TODAY! Here’s the link to the application and instructions!
2018 PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATIONS EXAM SCHEDULE IS SET
Is this the year you'll earn a Professional Designation? Here are the remaining test dates and application deadlines:
Log onto CEA’s website for details. While you’re there, check out ways that you can get involved with OCEA, and even more educational opportunities offered by neighboring regionals.
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY - IT'S GOOD FOR EVERYONE: YOU, YOUR EMPLOYER, AND YOUR CLIENTS
Between “fuzzing,” “phishing,” “whaling,” “GTO’s,” Cryptocurrency, Cannabis concerns, FIRPTA, YELP reviews, and whatever new legal delicacies our legislators are dreaming up in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., it’s clear that escrow is (as ever) a dynamic industry, and riskier than ever for the uninformed or under-informed. If you’re not staying current on the issues, you’re falling behind, which creates additional risk for you, your employer, your Realtor and Loan Officer clients, as well as your Buyers and Sellers.
OCEA can help you stay on the cutting edge of all the latest trends and hazards affecting the industry. Maximize your benefits of full membership by joining now. Among other things, you’ll receive discounted pricing for remaining events to be held this year - including some events sponsored by neighboring regional associations, AND CEA’s Conference. Non-Member pricing for Conference is $210.00 higher than members’ - that alone should help make your decision easier. Here’s the link to a membership application.
Reminders: CEA doesn’t have a category for group corporate membership -- memberships are all individual. We’d love to have you as a member, but if you choose not to be, then please be sure to pay nonmember prices for all events, and come on down.
OCEA'S JUNE 20 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
OCEA is so fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and entertaining professional right in our own back yard. Many thanks to Lisa Tyler for once again telling it like it is on a variety of hot topics, including E-notarization vs. Remote Online Notarization; Bitcoin, Sale transactions structured (disguised?) as refinances, diverted wire transfers and of course, FinCEN! Are you aware that if you happen to know the top secret criteria for the latest “GTO” that you could be imprisoned for discussing them with anyone? Yes, it’s that serious.
Big thanks for the generous and abiding support of our meeting’s sponsors: Jennifer Felten of RELaw, APC, Margie Coenraad-Martinez of Infinity Bank, Steve Stosen of Notaries Express, and Monica Ng of Umpqua Bank. Thank you for all you do!
Lucky winners went home with door prizes from these generous donors - thanks to each of you!
We’re very grateful to Larry O’Brien of The Escrow Training Institute for his dedication to education and membership. Larry once again sponsored Individual Support Staff memberships to OCEA! Congratulations to these three winners, each of whom will receive a free one-year membership:
Also, thanks to everyone who helped us sell raffle tickets and 50/50 chances: Hilda Avila of RBJ; Jennifer Felten of RELaw, APC; Lina King of MyNHD; Denise Hueth of Pacific Escrow; Lisa Baugh of WFG, and Robyn O’Neil of BBS Notary!
Please be sure to “like” OCEA’s Facebook page, and invite your escrow and affiliate colleagues to do the same: https://www.facebook.com/OrangeCountyEA/. Also, please “like” CEA’s page: https://www.facebook.com/ceaescrow/
Enjoy your summer, schedule plenty of fun, make some memories, and we hope to see you at our September 19 meeting!