Best Practices to Avoid Falling Victim:
- EVERY wire request should be verified and the more personal the verification, the better.
The best way to verify wiring instructions is to have the Seller sign the wiring instructions at the closing ceremony in the presence of the attorney. We know of no wire fraud which has taken place when this has occurred, and even if it did, the closing attorney would likely be insulated from liability by the doctrine of contributory negligence.
If the Seller is unable to attend the ceremony, we recommend the wiring instructions be included in the same package in which the deed is delivered. In these situations, have the Seller sign wiring instructions and have the signature notarized, if possible. Even then, we recommend the Seller verify the closing instructions over the telephone via a call initiated by the law office, using contact information from very early in the file prior to any discussion of proceeds and wires.
Confirming a telephone call verification via email is a good practice and a great way to document the file. However, an email verification alone is inadequate.