Hewlett Packard security researchers reported that 44 percent of known breaches happened as a result of server misconfigurations and vulnerabilities discovered years ago. The report cites 33 percent of identified exploit samples from Microsoft Windows, 11 percent from Adobe Reader and Acrobat, 6 bugs in Oracle Java, and 2 flaws in Microsoft Office flaws. “Our… Read More »

Settlement services providers wondering how mortgage lenders will respond to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Integrated Mortgage Disclosure requirements have gotten an answer from two of the largest ones.  In order to ensure that the disclosures are delivered accurately and within the tight deadlines the rules require, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have… Read More »

The RESPA winds are blowing again and they seem to be nearing gale force. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has replaced the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as RESPA’s primary enforcer, recently socked New Day Financial with a $2 million penalty for violating the anti-kickback provision of the law by paying… Read More »

With the widely publicized hacks of computer systems at (among others) Target, Sony and the U.S. Central Command (the latter occurring while President Obama was giving a speech describing his new cybersecurity initiatives) data security is sounding increasingly like a contradiction in terms. (See related article.) But for financial institutions and their vendors, few compliance… Read More »

By Steven Winkler, Chief Underwriting Counsel and Secretary Williston Financial Group   Title insurance coverage for access to a property is well-established but not well understood.    The American Land Title Association’s policies for owners and lenders both insure against loss or damage resulting from “no right of access to and from the land….”  The critical… Read More »

NEW YORK Atlantis National Services Inc. has completed the audit examination required for SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2 certification. The certification is one way title agents can demonstrate that they meet the compliance standards lenders are requiring.  “By going through such an extensive six-month auditing process, we are now able to provide lenders and other… Read More »

The massive winter storms that hit the East Coast and the Midwest in late January and early February made snow a four-letter word for anyone in their path.  The storms and their aftermath also brought a dramatic reminder of the need to plan for emergencies of all kinds. “Severe winter weather can lead to property… Read More »

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt insists that loans with low (3 percent) down payments, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now be able to purchase, are no riskier than loans with larger down payments as long as they are properly underwritten. Congressional representatives quizzing him at a recent House Financial Services Committee… Read More »

Since the economic downturn and well into the housing recovery, real estate industry executives have been blaming unduly conservative appraisals for scuttling home sales. But the gap between what owners think their homes are worth and the values appraisers are estimating is getting narrower. In fact, according to a Quicken Loans index of November sales,… Read More »

President Obama covered a lot of domestic and foreign policy ground in his state-of-the-union address, but one topic was conspicuously absent: Housing. The President referred to housing policy only indirectly and briefly, when he noted his administration’s belief that “sensible regulations could prevent another crisis,” and said that “things like lower mortgage premiums and a… Read More »