Send EMDs Electronically and Securely Now!

It's official - realtors and home buyers can NOW send earnest money deposits electronically and securely to Federal Title & Escrow Company with ZOCCAM!

This is a leading banking application for smart phones that deposits and transfers escrow money instantly, any time, day or night- from your pocket!

Simply take a picture of the front and back of your earnest money deposit check, select Federal Title & Escrow Company's escrow account, confirm the information to be accurate, then select send. The agent and home buyer will be immediately notified that the escrow money deposit was received.     

This is a game changer for agents and home buyers because it saves time, money, and is hassle free with just a simple click of an app on your smart phone. Oh and it's FREE, SAFE, and SECURE!

ZOCCAM doesn’t contain or hold any financial account information, and all content is encrypted and sent using state-of-the-art security techniques that ensure every client’s non-public personal information is protected. 

View this short ZOCCAM demonstration, download the app, and begin to use today! 

  • View the step-by-step instructions for agents here
  • View the step-by-step instructions for home buyers here

 

Close It! House of the Week: A home to love in Chevy Chase

Close It! House of the Week: A home to love in Chevy Chase

We’ve made our way to the D.C. side of Chevy Chase to see about a wonderful home filled with lots of light, charm and character. It’s listed for $935,000.

Featuring 3 BR / 1.5 BA and a bonus room, this detached single family home also offers lots of room to grow: walk-up attic, unfinished basement and studio in the back yard. A lovely sunroom overlooks a terraced garden and deck for cookouts and entertaining.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $213,782.36. Monthly payments will then be around $4,432.84. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Close It! House of the Week: Walls of windows in Logan Circle; Walkscore of 97

Close It! House of the Week: Walls of windows in Logan Circle; Walkscore of 97

An ideal living option for someone who prefers a carless lifestyle, we’ve ventured out from our second office location in Logan Circle to check out a 1BR / 1.5 BA condo. It’s listed for $725,000.

This unit features a top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar and separate dining room space. Southern exposures flood the open floorplan with lots of sunlight. The master bedroom offers two walk-in closets and en suite bathroom. The location – steps from some of the city’s best restaurants and retailers – is tough to beat. Designated parking is available for an additional sum.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $164,935.99. Monthly payments will then be around $2,686.80, including the $544 HOA fee. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Close It! House of the Week: Condo in converted school house rare find in heart of city

Close It! House of the Week: Condo in converted school house rare find in heart of city

This week we’re exploring a converted school house in the heart of Logan Circle where an amazing 2BR / 2BA condo with 14-foot ceilings and custom closets is waiting for the right homebuyer. It’s listed for $815,000.

The unit was renovated in 2015 and features heart of pine hardwood flooring, new kitchen appliances and large windows with custom window treatments. Many of D.C.’s tastiest restaurants, located along the 14th Street Corridor, are essentially at the doorstep of this prime location.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $184,936.32. Monthly payments will then be around $4,852.40, which includes the HOA fee. For a complete picture of cash-to-close, including the seller’s net proceeds from this home-sale scenario, check out the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Wire fraudsters relentless in phishing attempts for down payments, seller proceeds

Wire fraudsters relentless in phishing attempts for down payments, seller proceeds

A very serious cyber threat continues to loom over the homebuying process, and hyper-vigilance is presently the only way homebuyers and sellers, as well as real estate professionals, can protect themselves.

The threat is wire fraudsters, who remain relentless in their efforts steal homebuyers’ down payment funds and sellers’ net proceeds and are becoming increasingly deft at defrauding title companies and consumers alike. We’ve encountered multiple scams in which criminals attempted to phish away down payments and net proceeds funds belonging to unsuspecting to consumers.

How do these wire fraud scheme work?

As far as we can tell, the fraudsters are gaining entry to the email accounts of unsuspecting real estate agents probably through some kind of malware attack.

Once the criminals have access to the agent’s account, they scan the inbox looking for information they can use to make their email scams sound more legit, in particular property addresses, closing dates and the title company that will handle the closing.

Next the scammers create a phony email account that looks almost identical to the agent’s legit email account that was hacked – perhaps an extra hyphen or dash is the only difference. With the acquired bait and the phony email account in place, the trap is set.

The would-be victim receives an innocuous email. She recognizes the sender’s name because she has been working with that agent the past few weeks or even months leading up to the closing. If she is not paying close attention, she may not notice the sender’s email address is only slightly different from previous exchanges.

That’s when the defrauding occurs. The victim executes the wire transfer request and the money is gone. Fraudsters are becoming so clever they even time the delivery of their fraudulent emails to coincide with the actual dates and times of closing.

Homebuyers’ down payment funds at risk

In this scenario, the real estate agent’s email account has been compromised and the fraudsters have learned the agent is working with homebuyers and in the final stages of helping them purchase the new property.

With intel in hand, the fraudsters will reach out to the homebuyers from the phony agent email address a day or so prior to closing. The fraudster’s email directs them to wire their down payment funds to the title company’s escrow account in preparation of their big day. In this scam, the “title company’s” bank account belongs to the fraudsters.

We recommend homebuyers verify over the phone the authenticity of any wire transfer instructions just to be on the safe side, because once funds are transferred to the wrong account and cleared out by the cyber-criminals, they are virtually impossible to recover.

Sellers’ proceeds from home sale at risk

This version of the scam targets title companies more directly than consumers, but it’s worth noting because it can lead to a delay in the delivery of proceeds to the seller who may be planning to use them on the purchase of another property.

Just last month our title company spotted two of these wire fraud attempts. We received emails purporting to be from the real estate agent representing the property seller and referencing a property that was scheduled to close at our office. It was a different agent for each case, which suggests the scam may be becoming more widespread.

In the phony email the agent asked for our help wiring funds to the seller’s bank account. In this case, obviously, the scam is that the “seller’s” bank account belongs to fraudsters. What’s not always so obvious, though, are the clues to alert the would-be victim of the fraud that is taking place.

Just as we advise homebuyers, we verify over the phone the authenticity of any wire transfer instructions just to be on the safe side because, again, once funds are transferred to the wrong account and cleared out by the cyber criminals, those funds are virtually impossible to recover.

Many title companies purchase cyber fraud insurance as added protection against increasingly sophisticated wire fraud attempts, including ours. But understanding how the scheme works help avoid the hassle of filing a cyber fraud insurance claim.

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

    Learn more

  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

    Learn more

  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

    Learn more

Connect with us


Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.