Bulletin: NL000102

Date:
April 27, 2001
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
Anti-Fraud Plan/Counterfeit Cashier's Check
Dear Associates:

This Bulletin is to advise you, in accordance with Stewart Title Guaranty Company's ("Stewart") Anti-Fraud Plan, that a non-Stewart agent in Arizona, was recently presented with a counterfeit cashier's check at closing. The following is the fact pattern which gave rise to that agent's loss.

An order is opened with the agent, over the telephone, without a broker. The caller asserted he was a well-to-do physician who was selling his current home and purchasing a new home. He stated he did not have time to deal with the sale and wanted the agent to take care of everything. He then stated he would drop by the respective purchase and sale contracts, covering his sale and purchase. The contracts were left after hours; no one ever saw the individual who left the documents. The seller called the next day to confirm receipt of the contracts. He also advised the agent that his sale contract provided that his buyer authorized the early release of a portion of the earnest money deposit. The seller advised he would deliver, to the agent, the buyer's deposit. The seller presented the agent with what appeared to be a cashier's check, drawn on a nationally recognized Bank, representing it to be the buyer's deposit. The agent accepted the check and deposited the same. Before the check had cleared, the agent cut its own check to the seller, in accordance with the instructions contained in the sales contract relating to the early release of the funds. Sometime thereafter, the Bank notified the agent that the cashier's check was a counterfeit. By this time, the agent's check had been negotiated. Attempts to contact the seller or buyer were unsuccessful, as the phones had been disconnected.

If you suspect such a similar attempt to defraud or a fraud should ever be perpetrated against you, your agency, or Stewart, please report the activity immediately to:

Patty Hoesl
Claims & Litigation Paralegal
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
1980 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 710
Houston, Texas 77056
(800) 729-1902
(713) 629-2248
Email: phoesl@stewart.com

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None