- January 29, 2007
- All Issuing Offices in Florida
- Search Requirements: Stewart Title Special Alerts
The recent proliferation of fraud in real estate transactions including counterfeit and fraudulent bank checks requires that you change your standard closing practices.
Specifically, Stewart Title Guaranty Company ("Stewart") requires that you either conduct a search or verify that a search was conducted of Stewart's database at the Stewart Title Special Alerts website at https://specialalerts.stewart.com/index.jsp to determine if there are any closing/fraud alerts involving the parties to the transaction. If there are any alerts, you are required to follow the instructions on the alert.
In addition, if you are presented with a check by a party other than the lender in the transaction, you are required to conduct a search of the Stewart's database at the Special Alerts website to determine if there are any closing/fraud alerts involving the institution upon which the check is drawn. If an alert is found which was issued by the FDIC, you are required to contact the institution to verify the authenticity of the check. If the alert was issued by Stewart, you are required to follow the instructions on the alert.
Please keep in mind these requirements are in addition to the procedure set out in Stewart's National Bulletin NL135 which informs that the United States Patriot Act requires that you verify that the parties to the transaction are not listed on the Specially Designated Nationals List. This verification can also be conducted at the Stewart Title Special Alerts website.
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.