Update 1/26/2023: Westmoreland County is back up and running. Text document are being received without issue, but there may be some delays with sending images.
Please see the message below from Northern Neck Association of Realtors® Association Executive Teresa Whitlock regarding potential delays in closings for properties located in Westmoreland County.
On Monday, December 26th, Cott Systems identified some unusual activity on the servers. The Cott system is what Westmoreland County uses for Title searches and closings of real estate properties. This system has been hacked rendering it useless. It has been determined that Cott Systems is the victim of an organized cyber-attack. Both the FBI and Homeland Security are investigating. Unfortunately, since December 26th, the title companies and real estate companies have been in limbo, unable to perform title searches or closings for their customers. With no end in sight, it is developing into a disastrous hardship for buyers, sellers, title companies, attorneys, and real estate companies who do business in Westmoreland County. The FNF (Fidelity National Financial) has issued a notice that under certain circumstances, the company may permit its offices and agents to perform closings and insure titles if the customers will sign an indemnity, but this puts the customer at risk and lenders are not willing to allow that. Files are backing up; buyers are losing their interest rates which have already been extended once and are now starting to cancel contracts because they can’t afford the payments due to the higher rate. The clerk’s office in Montross has not kept a paper copy of the land records in years. Everything was on that system that was hacked!