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New MLS Rule Change

September 20, 2018
By: Bob

The MLS Advisory Group and Board of Directors has approved an MLS rule change that would prohibit listing Participants from entering or submitting title company information into the MLS, such as in the remarks section. There have been many recent reports by brokers who have received fraudulent emails from someone posing as the title rep for the company referenced in the MLS. In some cases, different title companies were being used on the transaction and this drew suspicion. In other cases, the title company referenced in the MLS was being used and some of these incidents of wire fraud were successful. This rule will go into effect on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Any current active, option pending or pending listings that contain title company information will receive a notification of the new rule and will have five days to remove that from the listing.

Image result for wire fraud

In a further effort to make it more difficult for those trying to commit wire fraud, “Selling Agent” and “Selling Broker” will be removed from the Agent Full report while a listing is in Pending status. There have been reports this information may be being used to identify agents with clients under contract. Posing as the title rep referenced in MLS, the perpetrator requests the buyer’s contact information to send wiring instructions. This rule will automatically go into effect on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

 

The TAR Wire Fraud Warning (form 2517) should be provided to your clients and may be accessed in the HAR Forms Manager.

 

According to the FBI, May 2018 (the most recent figures available) was the most active month for wire fraud ever. If you or one of your clients suspects wire fraud, you may report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center by visiting http://www.ic3.gov.

 

Look for additional information in the October Houston REALTOR® magazine and in all of HAR’s communications.

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