Update 11/29/24 @ 3:15pm: Fidelity and Chicago Title offices are operational and currently scheduling, closing, and funding transactions. For clients using those offices, we are working with those title companies to facilitate the closing of their deals.
You might have heard about a cyber attack that is preventing real estate closings from happening. As of last week, one of the major title companies, Fidelity National, and its subsidiary, Chicago Title, were attacked.
What does a title company do?
A title company is a crucial part of the final step in the sale of a home. It checks the property’s title, issues title insurance, and ensures a smooth transfer of ownership. The company also coordinates with the buyer, lender, and seller during the closing. Acting as a middleman, the title company facilitates the money exchange during the closing.
What was the cyber-attack?
Fidelity National Financial is currently facing service disruptions due to a cyberattack, leading to the shutdown of multiple systems in an effort to contain the incident. The title insurance giant disclosed in a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) just before Thanksgiving that the attack has affected various services, including title insurance, escrow, mortgage transaction services, and technology provided to the real estate and mortgage industries.
What steps are the title companies taking to address this issue?
The company initiated an immediate investigation into the incident and promptly notified law enforcement. The ongoing investigation has revealed that unauthorized access was gained to certain systems, leading to the theft of some credentials.
What if we are using Fidelity or Chicago Title for my closing?
If one of the affected title companies is involved, your closing could be delayed.
If Fidelity or Chicago Title are involved in my matter, what can I do?
You can wait, hoping that the issues will be resolved, or you may try to switch title companies.
If you were allowed to order title in your original contract, we didn’t use any affected title companies, so there shouldn’t be any delays for you.
If the other party had the ability to order title, we are requesting to transfer those files to companies that were not affected. Both you and the other party need to agree to switch from Fidelity National or Chicago Title.
The Law Office of Dionna Reynolds, LLC is here to help you with your real estate needs. If you have any questions please contact to our office to learn more.