Bulletin: FL000077

Date:
August 31, 1998
To:
All Florida Offices and Agents
RE:
Proper Escrow Procedures

Dear Associates:

Recently some allegations have been made against parties in the title insurance industry concerning several practices on escrow procedures. We wish to extend this caution to all Agents to be careful to follow correct escrow procedures and that includes the following:

1. Interest bearing escrow accounts are not uncommon today and if anything, they are probably the norm. However, you must be certain that you have disclosed to the customer that you are earning and retaining the interest on that escrow account and you should be doing so only with the written consent of the customer.

2. Should you have unclaimed escrow funds, any charges made against those funds should be totally supportable. Those funds are not the property of the Agency. Eventually those funds would escheat to the state government and any such funds that have reached that age should be paid over to the government.

3. Be certain that your recording fees accurately reflect the amount charged imposed by the county recording office.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
5.16 Escrow Closings
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None