For years, ambitious class-action lawyers have tried to criminalize the business of captive reinsurance, with varying degrees of success. Recent decisions from federal courts in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia suggest that these lawsuits’ heyday might finally be over. Continue Reading Captive-Reinsurance Lawsuits Face Bleak Future

This past week, the real estate industry was rocked again by the latest development in the epic court battle between PHH Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many observers predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the matter. When I consulted my Magic Eight Ball about that, it responded, “Very Doubtful.” Continue Reading PHH Saga Will Not Reach U.S. Supreme Court

According to the FBI, in 2016, incidents of cyber fraud in the real estate industry shot up by 480%. Criminals somehow figured out the real estate process around that time and have been wreaking havoc ever since. So, as they say, there are two types of businesses: ones that have already been hacked and ones that will be. If fraudsters make off with your escrow money, here is what you should do to control the damage.  Continue Reading When Hackers Steal Your Escrow Money

Last week, regulators from 49 states and the District of Columbia announced a $45 million settlement with PHH Mortgage Corporation. Left unsaid was how that settlement would become legally enforceable and whether it would fully exonerate PHH. The answers to those questions are: the settlement will become enforceable through the Dodd-Frank Act and, no, PHH could face further liability. Continue Reading Swarming States Wield Dodd-Frank Against PHH Mortgage Corporation

Cyber fraud is quickly becoming real estate professionals’ worst nightmare, causing millions of dollars of damages each year. Part of your strategy for defending against cyber crimes should include proper insurance coverage. Because cyber insurance is a relatively new product and constantly evolving, you should take time to learn about the different types of policies that are available and which are particularly suited to the real estate industry. Continue Reading Cyber Insurance Policies for Real Estate Professionals

Mortgage servicers and lenders have spent years fending off class-action lawsuits involving lender-placed insurance. A recent lawsuit introduced a novel twist to those cases: going after the force-placed insurer itself. Moving to dismiss, the insurer succeeded only in partially defeating the claims. Continue Reading Lender-Placed Insurer Dodges RESPA Allegations

Companies that are sued in class actions often face two options, neither of which is pleasant: pay money to settle a baseless lawsuit or continue fighting until the court acknowledges the flaws in the case and dismisses it. First American Home Buyers Protection Company recently chose the fight option and won—but only after a years-long battle. Continue Reading First American Defeats Home-Warranty Class Action

At any informal gathering of real estate professionals these days the discussion often turns to the same topic: cyber scams. Home sales are a lucrative target for fraudsters because large sums of money are involved and the financial transfers are not done in person. So it is well worth your time to protect your company in advance. Here are four tips for doing that. Continue Reading Four Tips to Help Your Real Estate Business Avoid Cyber Scams