Ransomware attack on Hinds County impacts home buyers and seller

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Another day has gone by and Hinds County offices remain closed until further notice because of a ransomware attack on its computer system.

Realtors and closing attorneys say the housing process in Hinds County is at a standstill until further notice. because of it.

Your ability to buy or sell a home in Hinds County became a lot more difficult -- after hackers took over the County’s computer system nearly a week ago.

“If you want this house, you’re gonna have to wait. And if you want to sell this house, you’re just gonna have to wait,” Tolar Purvis explained.

Tolar Purvis, a closing attorney with Purvis Law Firm, says his office currently has 22 housing cases that remain in limbo with dozens more expected to be added to the pile over the next few days because of a lack of access to county records.

“Our abstractors have to go down there and they have to pull old deeds, deeds of trust, get the taxes, make sure the taxes have been paid. And with the shutdown, our abstractors can’t go do their job, which means we can’t close on houses in Hinds County right now,” Purvis said.

Sadly, there’s no way around the delay. Purvis says it would be a huge liability for you or closers to bypass court records.

“If there’s a mortgage on the property, and our seller doesn’t tell us that and we don’t run a title search, it ends up falling back on us, and we’re responsible for paying for it. It could range anywhere from a $20,000 mortgage to 2 million depending on where you are in Hinds County and we just can’t assume that type of liability and take people for their word,” Purvis said.

As you wait, your rates could change as well - even if you tried filing before the hack happened.

“You have buyers who have interest rate locks at a certain rate. And if it doesn’t happen within a certain amount of time, the interest rate adjusts to whatever the rate is at that moment. So you have both sides pushing to get it done. But we’re just kind of at a standstill at this point,” Purvis explained.

Hinds County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones says the county is currently getting daily guidance from the federal government as to how to proceed against the attack. He says there is no timeline as to when the ransomware will be lifted.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it and include the headline of the story in your email.