aviation escrow

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Beware of phishing schemes relating to aviation escrow matters see more

    NAFA member, Scott McCreary, Vice President at McAfee & Taft, warns of aviation escrow phishing schemes.

    The McAfee & Taft Aviation Group has recently seen an increase in the number of phishing schemes relating to aviation escrow matters. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically carried out by email spoofing, instant messaging, and text messaging, phishing often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website that matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.

    You may have recently received a phishing email purportedly from McAfee & Taft regarding our banking instructions. We wanted to advise you that McAfee & Taft has not and would never send out an email blast stating that its banking instructions have changed. All communication from McAfee & Taft will always come directly from an attorney or legal assistant with our group. Also, in responding to any emails, please be sure to check email address domains, as we have seen an uptick in email spoofs using similar email domain names (look for extra letters in domain names).

    At McAfee & Taft, we take our role very seriously in providing best practices for any transaction, including ones involving funds. For any transaction involving funds, we suggest the following to help keep fraudsters out of the mix:

    1. Always have a written escrow agreement or escrow addendum to your purchase agreement that contains the contact names of all relevant parties, with address, phone numbers and email addresses, so that you can always confirm that the parties on any email traffic are legitimate.
    2. Always include wire transfer instructions in the escrow agreement or escrow addendum. Providing wire instructions for the seller on or immediately prior to the day of closing or changing wire instructions for the seller could cause a delay in closing the transaction due to additional verification required.
    3. Verify wire instructions by phone for any wire transfers, whether going into escrow or being disbursed out of escrow. Locate a telephone number for the person receiving the funds from an independent source, such as an email from that person from a totally unrelated deal, or from LinkedIn, or from a website. Do not use the phone number from the email containing the wire instructions.

    We greatly appreciate the folks in the industry with whom we work, and we strive to do everything possible to protect the deals that we all work on to continue to make the world go round!

    This article was originally published in McAfee & Taft Aviation Alert | October 19, 2020.


  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Using Digital Signatures in Aircraft Title & Registration see more

    NAFA member, Debbie Mercer-Erwin, President of Wright Brothers Aircraft Title, discusses the use of digital signatures in the aircraft title and registration process. 

    It is an exciting topic and a fundamental priority for Wright Brothers Aircraft Title (WBAT) to stay current with technology, especially when it has the potential to increase efficiency and security in our services, as well as help reduce time and cost in transactions for our clients. We are always looking forward to how our company could put certain applications to use, even Blockchain in Aviation Escrow Transactions. For this month’s topic, we don’t have to guess though. 

    One huge hindrance to efficiency in aircraft title registration is the paperwork involved – handling and distributing numerous paper documents between multiple parties, whether in the United States or internationally. Printing, signing, mailing – more than once if corrections are needed, let alone if the documents are lost in the mail altogether – is enormously time-consuming. 

    WBAT wanted to find a way to streamline certain processes and reduce our amount of paperwork, while maintaining a high level of security – to save time and money within our business and for our clients. We were immediately interested in the use of Digital Signatures, which is a specific implementation of an electronic signature (eSignature).

    The US Federal ESIGN Act defines an eSignature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record”. A Digital Signature takes this a bit further with the addition of encryption/decryption technology – securing the data associated with an electronically signed document and creating a robust audit trail.

    Digital Signatures have been used for electronically signing an array of documents – sales contracts, offer letters, lease agreements, liability waivers, financial documents, etc. – and are legally enforceable in most business transactions throughout most of the world.

    We needed to make sure this solution would work with multiple signers on complex documents though and be compliant with the Federal Aviation Authority guidelines, including their Notice of Policy Clarification for Acceptance of Documents With Digital Signatures (81 FR 23384), which requires Digital Signatures – traceable and digitally encrypted – not just eSignatures.

    DocuSign was the clear answer for our business – meeting some of the most stringent US, EU, and global security standards, and using the strongest data encryption technologies available. It also happens to be the leading eSignature brand, with the ability to:

    • Easily upload and send documents for signing
    • Sign at any time, on a wide variety of devices, from nearly anywhere
    • Check signing status and send reminders to keep things moving forward

    This software has enabled us to get agreements done faster with fewer errors, which directly translates to lower cost, for our business and our clients. We’ve accomplished this with using Digital Signatures mainly for Bill of Sale and Application for Registration documents, which directly benefits our buyers and sellers.

    There are more benefits on the horizon though with more widespread use of this technology. With more lenders in the industry using Digital Signatures, it might not even be necessary to presign a release of the lien. Instead, the involved parties would digitally sign at closing when money is distributed, reducing the risk for all. 

    We’re excited to see where this technology takes us and the aviation finance industry. In the meantime, we’re thrilled with the results we’ve already seen and the time and cost savings we’re able to pass down to our clients. 

    This article was originally published by Wright Brothers Aircraft Title on September 16, 2019.