When you choose a Licensed Escrow company like North Orange County Escrow, you get the peace of mind that there are knowledgable Escrow Experts at your service to make sure both the seller and buyer of the home are protected and come out of the sale satisfied.
Licensed Escrow Companies
All escrow companies in California can be put into two basic categories: Licensed or Controlled. Licensed escrow companies are independent businesses licensed by the California Department of Business Oversight. This license means that the Escrow company is required to comply with standard procedure and practices as determined by the government for consumer protection.
“Controlled” or Non-Licensed Escrow Companies
“Controlled” escrow companies are non-licensed. These non-licensed companies can be owned by a variety of entities: real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, banks, savings and loans, or title insurance companies. Such companies aren’t overseen by the Department of Business Oversight. They are governed by a wide variety of regulations and requirements that aren’t standardized. One fact remains constant, however. None of these other agencies have regulations as strict as those imposed on the Escrow companies who are licensed by the Department of Business Oversight.
Licensed Escrow Companies Offer Better Protection
Whether or not they’re licensed, your Escrow company handles large sums of money. This is a responsibility we don’t take lightly. But the large amount of money handled can attract unscrupulous characters to the scene. And unless the escrow company is bonded or licensed, there is often no safeguard for the money deposited into escrow.
Consumers’ Best Bet for Safeguarding their Funds
All licensed escrow companies are required to be members of the Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation, which provides protective coverage for member trust accounts up to the amount of $5 million. This fidelity bond guarantees that, in the event of theft of trust accounts, the consumers’ funds are protected.
The strict requirements set by the Department Business Oversight assure that every Licensed Escrow company has met the highest standards in the industry and it protects consumers with:
§ A Certification Program and background check for all escrow officers in the company’s employ by the Department of Justice;
§ A requirement that all Licensed Escrow companies have an escrow officer with at least five years;
§ Financial stability requirement, including at a minimum one CPA audit a year
§ Frequent surprise examinations conducted by the Department of Business Oversight;
§ Prohibiting employment of convicted felons or anyone who has been disbarred from the real estate industry;
§ Membership with the Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation which provides a $5 million fidelity bond;
§ Company’s sole business is doing escrow, which requires a higher level of state regulatory requirements and oversight.
The bottom line is that a Licensed Escrow company is the best possible neutral third party to complete your real estate transaction. Whether searching for an escrow holder yourself, or looking to recommend one to a client, a licensed escrow company like North Orange County Escrow gives you peace of mind! Contact one of our knowledgable Escrow Experts today!