Bulletin: NH000001

Date:
July 24, 1989
To:
All Issuing Agents
RE:
Forgery and Fraud Prevention

Dear Associates:

There has been a growing concern within the title insurance industry regarding the number of claims arising out of forged executions of deeds, mortgages, assignments and discharges. It is imperative that every effort be made by our Agents when reviewing your abstracts of title, witnessing the execution of documents and acknowledging the executing of documents, that extra care be taken to guard against these criminal acts. We like other title insurance underwriters have set forth certain guidelines for your offices to follow to prevent such losses. We must ask for your cooperation in an effort to prevent these types of claims. A standard that we ask all of you to use is... "would you disburse the proceeds of your own funds based on the signature just provided to you." You are our Agents. We need your assistance to safe guard the assets of Stewart Title. Our Agents are in a unique position because of the proximity to the parties to guard against these problems, thus preventing substantial losses. Indeed, Stewart Title has developed a program that offers a reward for the detection of fraud.

Unless the Borrower(s) are personally know to you, two (2) forms of identification must be presented and reviewed.

One of the I.D. should be a "picture" I.D. or identification card issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

The second I.D. may be a "non-picture" I.D., such as a major credit card with a signature on the back.

Basic common sense and caution should be utilized and signatures on I.D. and current mortgage documents must be compared with previously recorded document in your title file.

If the signatures are known to you, that information should be noted in a memorandum to your file with basic information on the nature of the acquaintance.

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:
6.36 Forgeries
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None