We’ve prepared a list of the most commonly asked questions relating to the PEXA Residential Seller Guarantee. Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Reply to this post and we’ll get back to you.
PEXA has introduced the PEXA Residential Seller Guarantee (PRSG) to provide protection to sellers of residential property in the event of certain kinds of fraud. Where the PRSG applies, the seller has the option to make a claim against PEXA, rather than seeking to recover the loss by an alternative means
PEXA understands that buying and selling a home is an emotional time for your customers and we appreciate the stress that can be felt when things don’t go to plan. We’ve listened to you and we’re committed to those who use our platform and the clients you represent.
As your digital property exchange platform, we understand the role we play in maintaining the security of the network. Accordingly, the PRSG has been introduced to provide protection to sellers in the event of certain kinds of fraud.
The PRSG only applies in respect of the sale of residential property. The following circumstances must also be satisfied:
(a) The seller provided the seller’s practitioner with payment instructions (i.e. bank account details).
(b) The seller’s practitioner accurately entered those bank account details into the PEXA platform.
(c) After (b) a fraudster gained access to the PEXA platform and changed those bank account details.
(d) After (c) the practitioner approved the settlement (including the changed bank account details) by digitally signing the financial settlement schedule by applying their personal digital certificate and PIN.
(e) Upon settlement, the relevant funds were paid into the fraudster’s bank account, and not to the seller’s bank account.
(f) Within 3 business days of settlement (or such longer period as PEXA in its absolute discretion will allow), both the seller and the seller’s practitioner signed and lodged the PEXA claim form with PEXA. This form can be found here.
If any of those circumstances do not exist, then the PRSG will not apply.
The PRSG does not cover the situation in which the seller’s instructions were intercepted, with the result that the practitioner entered the fraudster’s bank account details into the PEXA platform. Email is not necessarily a secure method of communication, therefore practitioners should confirm all account details by some other means of communication.
The seller will need to complete and sign the Claim Form. The seller’s practitioner is also required to sign the Claim Form as it contains warranties that are intended to confirm the existence of the set of circumstances required for application of the PRSG. The Claim Form must be received by PEXA within 3 business days of settlement (or such longer period as PEXA in its absolute discretion will allow).
The claim form can be found here. The Claim Form can be submitted to PEXA by email to email@example.com.
The PRSG does not apply where the seller is a commercial vendor, such as a developer. The reason for this is that a commercial vendor will not be made homeless as a result of a fraud which the PRSG is intended to cover. Also commercial vendors are carrying on a business and should be better able to protect themselves vis-à-vis their practitioner compared to a non-commercial seller.
Furthermore, the PRSG does not apply where a mortgagee or other third party is exercising a power of sale (ie. ATO, confiscation orders, sheriff etc.). Again, a mortgagee or third party exercising a power of sale will not be made homeless as a result of a fraud which the PRSG is intended to cover. Payments in these cases will not generally be paid directly to the proprietor.
The maximum liability of PEXA under the PRSG is $2 million in respect of a single settlement.
Assuming all the conditions are satisifed and subject to the $2 million cap, PEXA will pay the following:
(a) The amount of the “vendor’s funds” paid to the fraudster’s bank account which have not been recovered, returned or frozen by the receiving bank at the time the payment is made by PEXA;
(b) Interest on that amount from the date of settlement until the date of payment by PEXA payable at the published RBA cash rate; and
(c) Where the fraud has resulted in the seller failing to settle on a purchase of another residential property on the due date, rescission notice fees, reasonable accommodation expenses, penalty interest, reasonable legal costs and additional storage and removalist costs.
If your loss is greater than $2 million, your client should carefully consider whether to make a claim under the PRSG, or whether instead to take steps to recover their loss by some other means. If your client makes a claim under the PRSG, PEXA will have certain rights. In particular, PEXA will have the right (to the exclusion of your client) to take action in your client’s name to recover the loss and may compromise or settle any such action on such terms as PEXA sees fit. Accordingly, unless PEXA agrees otherwise, you are not entitled to take action to recover the amount of your loss above $2 million.
Moreover, if PEXA recovers any amount after making a payment under the PRSG, PEXA is entitled to retain the amount so recovered up to the sum of:
(a) the amount paid by PEXA under the PEXA Residential Seller Guarantee;
(b) plus any interest recovered on that amount;
(c) plus an amount equal to any costs (including without limitation administrative, recovery agent, funding and legal costs) which PEXA has incurred in taking any recovery action, before paying the excess (if any) to your client. This could mean that your client recovers less in aggregate than your client’s total loss.
We are currently investigating an issue which is impacting financial payment file responses across the Electronic Lodgement Network in all jurisdictions. Workspaces with financial settlement will likely remain in a status of 'Settling' or 'Disbursing' for longer than usual until the underlying issue can be resolved. We will provide a further update in approximately 1 hour.
In the first of a number of initiatives to be rolled out across PEXA, additional tools are now in place to assist you in upholding the highest possible security standards to safeguard transactions conducted via the platform.
The following new features are now available:
Authentication of new users
Any new users created in an existing Subscriber account will remain in an ‘inactive’ status until PEXA activates them following identity and authenticity checks. The verification process will be initiated by PEXA with a phone call to the Subscriber. Authentication may take up to two business days and the new user will not appear in your user list until complete.
Remember: only users who have been assigned signing permissions and have a bespoke digital certificate with accompanying password can sign documents and the financial settlement schedule in PEXA.
Workspace time stamps for modifications
The financial settlement schedule now displays the date and time of the latest changes made to destination line items, as well as the specific user who made the change. This can be used as an additional method to validate details prior to signing. The document signing screen also displays the destination line items owned by you based on your role in the workspace to assist with your final checks.
More information on these features and what else is to come later in Release 8.0.2 can be found in the Release Notes.
Keeping the network safe, together
In the coming weeks, PEXA will introduce multi-factor verification when logging in to PEXA. Once enabled, members will be prompted to follow a simple set-up process allowing their identity to be confirmed at log in.
As ever, we encourage members to continue practising security measures such as verbally confirming bank account details with clients, not using public Wi-Fi for business, keeping security patches up-to-date and importantly, checking payment directions immediately prior to signing.
If you have any questions around these new features, please ask here in Community.
Last week, we informed our members of an incident whereby an unknown party gained unauthorised entry to a practitioner's compromised email account, accessed a change-in-password email sent from the PEXA platform and used it to gain access to the practitioner's account, creating a new user.
As an extra measure of assurance for your practice, you can check your PEXA account to ensure all users are authorised by following these steps:
Login to PEXA as normal
Select the Administrator Tools tab (the fifth tab on the grey ribbon)
Select Manage Users. You can organise them in alphabetical order by clicking the column header you would like to sort by
Look for any unusual or incorrect email addresses, additional users or change of permissions. You can view a user’s permissions by either:
Clicking on the user in the list and looking at the box called User Permissions
Clicking the action wheel, selecting Edit, and scrolling to the bottom to view the permissions
If you suspect there has been changes or new users have been added without your consent, please delete the suspicious user account and contact PEXA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current activities underway to bolster the security of the network
As custodians of the network, it’s our responsibility to ensure all our members have confidence in the broader network. This means leaving no stone unturned in the management of security measures, and there are plans in place to deploy new features in the immediate future including:
Increased monitoring of PEXA Workspaces: PEXA has been monitoring all Workspaces to identify any unusual activity surrounding password resets, new user creations and changes to BSB and account numbers. PEXA has been actively contacting practitioners to confirm any such activity is legitimate. No new instances of this fraud have been found and these continue to be isolated incidents.
Creation of new users within existing accounts: As of this week, PEXA will only allow new users to be created to existing Subscriber accounts in an ‘inactive’ status, and PEXA will be required to activate them after verifying their authenticity.
Workspace time stamps: As of this week, PEXA will add a feature to the system which highlights the date, time and specific user that last updated the settlement schedule. This will provide an additional method to validate the details prior to signing and will be displayed on the signing screen.
Multi-factor verification: Over the next few weeks, PEXA will introduce additional two-factor authentication. All Subscribers will be required to confirm their identity through this additional verification layer when logging into PEXA.
Keeping the network safe, together
We encourage members to continue practising security measures such as verbally confirming bank account details with clients, not using public Wi-Fi for business, keeping security patches up-to-date and importantly, checking payment directions immediately prior to signing.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any concerns, and need to speak to us, please contact the PEXA Support Centre on 1300 084 515, available 8.30am – 8.00pm AEST Monday to Friday.
PEXA has been alerted to an incident whereby an unknown party gained unauthorised access to a practitioner's email account where a change in password email, that was sent from the PEXA platform to the Subscriber, allowed this person to access the Subscriber's PEXA account. As a result, the destination account details in the settlement schedule were fraudulently changed. We want to assure you that the PEXA platform was not compromised. A practitioner's email account was compromised.
This in isolation isn't enough for a fraudulent payment to occur. Any payment instruction requires you to digitally sign (or re-sign) the financial settlement schedule confirming the account details that you have entered, allowing settlement to proceed. Please be conscious of checking the settlement schedule immediately prior to signing to ensure that the information you are signing off on is correct.
We are working closely with all parties, including the relevant authorities to assist in every possible way.
While attempts of this nature are not specific to e-Conveyancing, PEXA urges all practitioners to take steps to reduce the risk of fraud. This includes, among others, verbally confirming bank account details with clients, not using free public Wi-Fi and keeping security patches up to date.
The PEXA security team is currently undertaking detailed monitoring of all Workspace activity, checking for any similar scenarios where passwords have been re-set in close succession among a number of other things, which may be considered ‘unusual’ behaviour.
If we find any Workspaces or accounts that fall into this category, we will immediately call you to double check if you undertook the activity in question. PEXA is also in the process of adding additional security measures. We will continue to keep you updated.
The Law Institute of Victoria offers a practical guide covering cyber security which we would encourage you to read. In addition, The Queensland Law Society has also published a warning in relation to email scams.
PEXA will continue to provide its members with the latest in cyber security awareness tools and tips via our seminars, newsletters and bespoke security page on the PEXA website.
With the 1 July 2018 NSW compliance date for the electronic lodgement of standalone transfers and caveats fast approaching, our Training Team is offering free Transfers 101 webinars to ensure you can confidently make the transition from paper to electronic conveyancing.
The Team will be running multiple sessions showing you how to complete a transfer from the perspective of both a Proprietor on Title (representing the Vendor) and an Incoming Proprietor (representing the Purchaser).
Registrants may be able to claim one CPD point for their attendance.
We are continuing to investigate an issue which is impacting payment file transmission across the Electronic Lodgement Network in all jurisdictions. Our integrated service partner is continuing to work on restoring the service. Workspaces with financial settlement may remain in a status of 'Settling' or 'Disbursing' for longer than usual until the underlying issue can be resolved. We will provide a further update in approximately 1 hour.
PEXA continues to provide innovative solutions for the e-Conveyancing community, and with our APIs, your system can integrate directly with the PEXA platform.
Our APIs enable you to trigger activities straight from your system into our platform, removing the need for re-entering data manually in PEXA.
See these time savings in action: As shown in the below video’s simulated Conveyancing System, a workspace created via API can take only 22 seconds, compared to manually creating a PEXA workspace taking up to 3 minutes!
The PEXA APIs:
Eliminate 98% of clicks within the manual settlement process
Removes manual dual data entry in the PEXA system
Allow straight-through processing
Provides time savings = $ savings
To learn more about integrating with PEXA, contact us today.
We are investigating an incident which is impacting performance of workspaces.pexa.com.au. Subscribers may continue to encounter 502 Bad Gateway or similar errors. If you encounter an error please try again. We will provide a further update in approximately 1 hour.
Coinciding with the Release 8 launch webcast, the e-Conveyancing Community will host an 'Ask Us Anything' event.
Join us here any time between 12pm- 2pm (AEST) on Monday 21 May. Our experts, including the Release 8 experts, will be ready to answer your PEXA questions on the spot! Head to theAsk a Question forumto post your question.
If you’re not already a member of the e-Conveyancing Community, register today so you can participate.
The team are excited to host this special event again! Release 8 Webcast - RSVP here
Join PEXA CEO @MarcusPrice on the couch for our new 5 in 5 segment!
Filmed monthly, Marcus will respond directly to your questions in a brief fireside chat with lauded Australian journalist Stephen Feneley. So whatever’s on your mind, Marcus is here to give his views and perspective.
To have your question asked, post below and we’ll select five for Marcus to answer.
P.s. While he may only have five minutes to respond to five questions, we’ll do our best to make sure things get answered directly even if they don’t make the segment.
The first edition of 5 in 5 with Marcus Price launches through Community on Tuesday 27 March – we can’t wait!
Land Use Victoria have this morning advised they are experiencing state-wide issues with their systems, impacting all services.
In respect to PEXA transactions:
If your workspace is in “Ready Ready” status, your transaction will proceed as scheduled
If you have a transaction with financial settlement scheduled for today and have a successful Lodgement Verification, settlement can proceed. Please note, if changes have been made in the workspace since the last Lodgement Verification, the transaction will be unable to proceed until Land Use Victoria services are restored
You may continue to experience workspaces in a status of 'Verifying' or 'Lodging' for longer than usual until Land Use Victoria Services is restored
For more information regarding proceeding with settlement when a land registry is unavailable, click here.
PEXA will remain in contact with Land Use Victoria and provide updates as they come to hand.