REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, AGENT
Businesswire | May 15, 2023
CertifID, a leading wire fraud protection company, today announced the availability of an identity verification solution to help title agencies and real estate firms combat seller impersonation fraud. The solution augments CertifID’s existing capabilities that evaluate more than 150 markers of fraud, including the verification of wiring instructions and bank account information.
The new solution is aimed at addressing an alarming increase in seller impersonation scams involving vacant land. The real estate industry overall continues to be a top target for fraud, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Vacant lots scams in particular have been fueled by a downturn in existing home sales paired with an increase in vacant land prices, as noted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The news also follows an advisory issued by the U.S. Secret Service Cybercrime Investigations division in January, citing a “sharp increase in reports of real estate fraud associated with vacant and unencumbered property.” According to CertifID’s own research, 73% of real estate firms have seen a year-over-year increase in seller impersonation fraud attempts since the start of 2023.
To help detect seller impersonation fraud, CertifID recommends the use of its solution to comprehensively verify the identity of a seller in any property sales involving vacant land. The solution includes the use of device verification, multi-factor authentication and knowledge-based authentication to triangulate and verify the identities of sellers.
Here’s how it works:
At the beginning of the closing process, the title company works with the listing real estate agent to initiate a request for seller information through CertifID;
CertifID then performs a series of security checks that assess the risk of fraud;
If CertifID determines a high risk of fraud, a request for additional proof of ownership from the seller is made;
Any change in seller parties or payment details should trigger an additional request to re-verify identity before closing funds are sent.
The solution from CertifID also includes wire fraud insurance of up to $1M per transaction for sellers that are verified through the solution.
“Most of our transactions are with remote sellers, so it’s nearly impossible for me to verify identity in person,” said Christian Ross, President of Ross Law | Ross Title. “I’ve evaluated a number of ID validation tools to solve for this problem, and none of them provided the level of security that CertifID provides.”
“This latest increase in seller impersonation scams coincides with the adoption of virtual closings and the ongoing acceleration in cyber fraud activity,” said Tyler Adams, CEO of CertifID. “With a majority of U.S. states seeing a net increase in vacant land sales, the industry has to respond by upgrading its payments fraud protection capabilities. CertifID is providing this new solution to help title agencies and real estate firms secure and insure their transactions, as well as protect their client community.”
CertifID is a leader in wire fraud protection. The company safeguards billions of dollars every month from fraud with advanced software, insurance, and proven recovery services. Trusted by title companies, law firms, lenders, realtors, home buyers and sellers, and others, CertifID provides further peace of mind with up to $1M in direct coverage on every wire it protects.
MORTGAGE AND LENDING, ASSET MANAGEMENT
PRnewswire | June 02, 2023
Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national mortgage lender and servicer, announced the asset acquisition of retail lender Platinum Home Mortgage Corporation, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Planet will acquire the majority of Platinum's origination staff, including more than 20 branch offices in strategic locations throughout the United States.
"We look to acquire right-sized, financially solid distributed retail companies," said Michael Dubeck, CEO and President of Planet Financial Group, parent of Planet Home Lending. "Platinum is a solid cultural fit. Its talented, highly experienced people share our commitment to delivering exceptional lending experiences supported by deep personal care for borrowers."
Planet expects to continue gaining market share through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. The Platinum acquisition brings to Planet a purchase-focused platform and high-producing branches, expanding the company's footprint in Midwest, Northwest, and West Coast markets.
Planet is now #9 on Inside Mortgage Finance's overall lender leaderboard and #4 among government loan producers.
"The move to Planet brings immediate access to improved pricing, technology, and marketing to Platinum's branches," said Platinum CEO and President Lee M. Gross. Gross will join Planet as Senior Vice President and will continue to lead the Platinum team at Planet.
"Planet's efficient platform gives us the pricing advantage of $26 billion in volume," Gross said. "In addition to agency and GSE home loans, Planet also has niche products tailored to today's tight real estate markets, including self-funded One-Time Close (OTC) construction loans as well as manufactured housing and renovation mortgage loans."
Platinum's former President and CEO Bill Giambrone, along with his brother Michael Giambrone, founded the company in 1993. Bill Giambrone's illustrious 30-year career as an independent mortgage banker includes remarkable contributions to the industry, highlighted by his service as a board member and past president of the Community Home Lenders Association.
About Planet Financial Group, LLC
Planet Financial Group, LLC, Meriden, Connecticut, is a fully integrated family of companies delivering innovative origination, servicing and asset management solutions. Through this synergistic ecosystem of products, services and technologies, Planet Financial Group provides best-in-class experiences for investors pursuing value maximization and borrowers seeking streamlined end-to-end loan lifecycle support. Planet Financial Group is the parent of Planet Home Lending, LLC and Planet Management Group, LLC, which also does business under the name Planet Renovation Capital.
About Planet Home Lending, LLC
Planet Home Lending, LLC, Meriden, Connecticut, (NMLS #17022) is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA and USDA, as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer and a Standard & Poor's Global Ratings- and Fitch Ratings-rated special and prime residential servicer. Planet Home Lending, LLC has been assigned a corporate family rating by Moody's Investors Service viewable at www.moodys.com. Its correspondent division offers a full suite of government, agency and niche home loans. Planet Home Lending, LLC is also a special servicer managing diverse investor portfolios. Its customized servicing solutions maximize asset recovery and optimize performance through active management at the portfolio and loan levels. Planet Home Lending, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about Planet Home Lending, LLC,
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Businesswire | May 09, 2023
EasyKnock, the first technology-enabled residential sale-leaseback platform, today announced its acquisition of Ribbon, a pioneer of powerbuying and cash offer solutions. The transaction is a major milestone for the real estate industry, bringing together homebuying, homeselling, and agent solutions into one unified and simplified experience.
“We are thrilled to bring Ribbon and EasyKnock’s cutting edge financial products together under one roof to provide more options and a competitive advantage to consumers and industry partners nation-wide,” said Jarred Kessler, CEO and co-founder of EasyKnock. “This marks the beginning of a new wave of innovation in the real estate sector, the advent of PropTech 3.0. By combining these product suites and offering solutions for every stop along the homeownership journey, we are better positioned to responsibly empower more families with the financial flexibility and control they need to achieve their goals.”
In bringing the teams together, EasyKnock is accelerating the development of its marketplace planned to launch later this year; a new, more fulsome suite of products and services that will offer consumers alternative ways to buy and sell, finance new homes, and utilize their equity in one place. Recognizing that a new way is needed, the marketplace will benefit everyday Americans with convenience, cost savings, and the competitive edge afforded by the combination of multiple services, positively impacting not only existing and prospective homeowners, but the industry altogether.
“Making homeownership achievable has been Ribbon’s mission and guiding light since its inception. EasyKnock and Ribbon share a vision of enhancing consumer choice in the industry, facilitating its success and enabling a more simplified buying and selling experience.” said Shaival Shah, CEO and co-founder of Ribbon. “We are thrilled to come together with EasyKnock and their pioneering sale-leaseback offering to provide solutions to more and more people. Combined with Ribbon’s award-winning homebuying solutions and network of 90,000 agents and lenders, we are motivated to empower consumers across the country.”
Both EasyKnock and Ribbon have forged strong partnerships in residential real estate by using best-in–class technology that connects consumers with loan officers, real estate agents, and other participants in the homebuying and home selling experience. Following the acquisition, the EasyKnock and Ribbon teams will work with strategic partners to bring their expanded product suite to key markets with an eye towards national expansion.
Goodwin Proctor, a global law firm, acted as legal advisor and Temple View Capital, a Bethesda, Maryland-based business purpose lender, provided financing on the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.
EasyKnock is the first-to-market, technology-enabled residential sale-leaseback company in the U.S. Through innovative and accessible solutions, American homeowners who sell their property to EasyKnock can remain in their homes as renters while still getting the cash they need to pursue their financial goals. Headquartered in New York City and founded in 2016, EasyKnock has team members nationwide working to help homeowners unlock their financial freedom through non-loan programs so they can pay off debts, buy their dream home, fund a venture, and more - all while maintaining the ability to stay in their homes and communities. For more information, please visit www.easyknock.com.
Founded in 2017 in New York and Charlotte, Ribbon is on a mission to make homeownership achievable. Ribbon allows everyday families to compete on a level playing field with high-net-worth individuals and institutional buyers by upgrading their offers to winning RibbonCash Offers. As the leading real estate technology platform, Ribbon empowers agents, brokerages, and lenders to create a world-class experience for homebuyers and sellers through powerful financial products and digital workflow software.