48.29.180  <<  48.29.190 >>   48.29.193

RCW 48.29.190

Conducting business as escrow agent—Requirements—Violation, penalties.

(1) Every title insurance company and title insurance agent conducting the business of an escrow agent as defined in RCW 18.44.011 and exempt from licensing under *RCW 18.44.021(6) shall:
(a) Keep adequate records, as determined by rule by the insurance commissioner, of all transactions handled by the title insurance company or title insurance agent, including itemization of all receipts and disbursements of each transaction. These records shall be maintained in this state, unless otherwise approved by the insurance commissioner, for a period of six years from completion of the transaction. These records shall be open to inspection by the insurance commissioner or his or her authorized representatives;
(b) Keep separate escrow fund account or accounts in a recognized Washington state depositary or depositaries authorized to receive funds, in which shall be kept separate and apart and segregated from the title insurance company or title insurance agent's own funds, all funds or moneys of clients which are being held by the title insurance company or title insurance agent pending the closing of a transaction and such funds shall be deposited not later than the first banking day following receipt thereof; and
(c) Not make disbursements on any escrow account without first receiving deposits directly relating to the account in amounts at least equal to the disbursements. A title insurance company or title insurance agent shall not make disbursements until the next business day after the business day on which the funds are deposited unless the deposit is made in cash, by interbank electronic transfer, or in a form that permits conversion of the deposit to cash on the same day the deposit is made. The deposits shall be in one of the following forms:
(i) Cash;
(ii) Interbank electronic transfers such that the funds are unconditionally received by the title insurance company or the title insurance agent or the title insurance company or title insurance agent's depository;
(iii) Checks, negotiable orders of withdrawal, money orders, cashier's checks, and certified checks that are payable in Washington state and drawn on financial institutions located in Washington state;
(iv) Checks, negotiable orders of withdrawal, money orders, and any other item that has been finally paid as described in RCW 62A.4-213 before any disbursement; or
(v) Any depository check, including any cashier's check, certified check, or teller's check, which is governed by the provisions of the federal expedited funds availability act, 12 U.S.C. Sec. 4001 et seq.
(2) For purposes of this section, "item" means any instrument for the payment of money even though it is not negotiable, but does not include money.
(3) Violation of this section shall subject a title insurance company or title insurance agent to penalties as prescribed in Title 9A RCW and remedies as provided in chapter 19.86 RCW and shall constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of the certificate of authority of a title insurance company or the license of a title insurance agent. In addition, a violation of this section may subject a title insurance company or a title insurance agent to penalties as prescribed in this title.
NOTES:
*Reviser's note: RCW 18.44.021 was amended by 2015 c 229 § 1, changing subsection (6) to subsection (1)(f).
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