I guess what they say is true: nothing drives blog traffic like warning about trust account scams.
One visitor was my good friend Peter Zuk. Peter works for the Defender General but has a long history in the title insurance world. After reading about the latest scam, he reached out to share a cautionary tale. It’s one he encountered in a previous job, while wearing his title insurance hat. It bears passing on & keeping in mind.
Peter described it as follows:
“Atty pays off credit cards as part of the closing. Credit card company retains trust account check information and electronically associates it with the credit card. Client charges on the credit card. Pays bill by phone by answering question, ‘Do you want to pay with your checking account’. Client says ‘Sure!’. Funds electronically withdrawn from Atty Trust Account based on last payment made.”
Be wary. Be careful.
For further information, here are some resources:
- the Professional Responsibility Program’s Trust Account Manual
- A digest of disciplinary decisions – 12 of the past 17 involve trust account violations
- The disciplinary decisions themselves.