The Reason for all the Hassle – NPPI
The reason we must sometimes encrypt your email from our office is “NPPI”. “Non-public personal information” about you is just about the most precious commodity we handle. You entrust us with this information to enable us to represent you and protect your interests in suits, closings, and all kinds of legal processes. What kind of protectors would we be if we broadcast your information out there for all the world to see? Basically, the experts say that sending unencrypted email is like mailing your legal documents to you on a post card through the postal system. The sophistication of identity thieves and cyber criminals is so advanced that they can see just about anything sent on the internet that is not encrypted.
Think of yourself as an involuntary participant in a spy game. For you to communicate effectively and quickly with our office and not let “the enemy” in on it, we have to have our own secret code. There is no one best way to encrypt. The military budget for encryption is mind boggling and just about as soon as they come up with the next great thing, it becomes obsolete. But for our purposes, we let a third party expert deal with staying on the cutting edge of the spy game. All we need you to do in order to get important communications from us containing NPPI is as follows:
We currently do our encryption through a company called “SendInc.com.” If you receive an email from someone here at Pittlaw, and the email says that it is “secure” or encrypted, you may need to take an extra step to open it and read it. You will be prompted (i.e., there will be an easy to see box right on your screen to click) to create an account on www.SendInc.com, and you can do that for FREE.
Next, you are asked to “sign in” with your email address and password. This is practically automatic in the future, but for just the first time you get encrypted email from us, you will need to skip down one line and select the option “Create an account”. That will take you to SendInc’s website and you will have three options to choose from to create an account. Select the option furthest at the bottom, (most people skip the “Pro” and “Corporate” options) and click on the option known as “SendInc Basic”. Fill out the information on the next screen to create your account and then you can open any secure email from Pittlaw using your own SendInc.Com encryption account. For most of us, it took less than a minute to set up.
For You to SEND secure emails is just as simple. If our firm has not sent you a secure email yet, and you wish to provide us confidential information, go to www.SendInc.com and click ‘sign up’ in the top right corner of the screen. You will be at the page with the options “Pro” and “Corporate” and at the very bottom “SendInc Basic”. Select that option, and you will be taken to a screen in which you will fill out the information requested and once you have, you can send secure emails to anyone here @Pittlaw.net. through your own account at SendInc.
What kinds of emails do we strive to encrypt? Exactly what is included in NPPI? NPPI – names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, SSNs, account numbers, credit info, . . . includes any types of sensitive information that you do not want to be available to the public. Never feel like it is asking too much to have all your email from our office encrypted or to specify certain things that should be encrypted that most people may not feel are “sensitive”. Keep in mind that much of what we communicate to you, especially in real estate matters, may be deemed a matter of public record and therefore our best efforts to keep is confidential between us may be for naught. For example, your deeds, mortgages, and many certificates, orders, and pleadings are all on file at the local circuit court and there is usually a reporter who combs through those filings periodically for anything newsworthy.
If you have not heard the word “TRID” yet, you will be! Anytime you purchase or refinance or sell real estate from now (October 5, 2015) on, you will see new forms with elements of old forms you have gotten accustomed to seeing in closings: HUD-1, Truth in Lending, Good Faith Estimates, etc.. The cornerstone form is now referred to as the TRID and a borrower is entitled to have it for review a fully 3 days before a closing! If anything changes on the form during those 3 days, the 3 day “look-see” period starts over! All of this is part of the Dodd-Frank Act which has now phased in this final round of “consumer protections”. Some say it is a lender’s worst nightmare and is driving up the cost of borrowing to the consumer by forcing lenders to spend millions of dollars collectively on compliance with the Act. Another unintended and not so consumer friendly consequence is that the Act empowers lenders to be more selective about third party closing service providers (like this office!) with whom they do business. The buck now stops with the lender and they don’t want to do business with anyone who does not engage in “best practices”. Hopefully, it will protect consumers that the lenders narrow their pool of acceptable providers and only “best practices certified” providers will make it on the lender’s approved list. Nonetheless, as a consumer, you still need to be diligent and report any perceived abuses, e.g., lenders or realtors who seem to be forcing choices upon you for closing service providers, to the CFPB.
Safely, Securely Sending Emails Under the New Rule Click here for a deeper analysis of this colossal industry change, I attach an article on TRID and Best Practices and Encryption.