Bulletin: SLS2013013

Date:
October 03, 2013
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
CLAIMS AVOIDANCE - Timeshare Sales Scam

Dear Associates:

This bulletin advises you of a scam involving timeshares that may ensnare hapless timeshare owners and impugn Stewart’s good name.

In this scam, perpetrators contact timeshare owners regarding the sale of their timeshare interests. The timeshares may be located in the United States or other countries. The perpetrators claim to be brokers who have a buyer for the timeshare, and request a bogus “security deposit” from the seller (the current owner of the timeshare) and/or pre-payment of a fabricated “international tax” from the seller, purportedly to be refunded when the timeshare sale closes. Sometimes the sellers are instructed to send the payments outside of the country. There are no actual buyers and the closings do not occur. The sellers are defrauded of these funds. 

Click here for a link to the FBI’s Public Service Announcement describing Timeshare Marketing Scams. 

It has come to our attention that perpetrators of this scam have misrepresented themselves as being affiliated with Stewart and/or falsely advised the timeshare sellers that the escrow will be handled by a Stewart office. These perpetrators have used the Stewart name and logo without authorization on the internet and in various telephone and written communications relating to timeshares. Please be advised that these perpetrators have no affiliation with Stewart or Stewart’s Vacation Ownership Division. 

If you receive an inquiry from a potential timeshare seller relating to the above, please contact Stewart’s Compliance Officer at Compliance@stewart.com

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.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