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Fall 2018 Newsletter
Escrow Industry Update
|License Types||As of October 2018||As of October 2017|
Time to Get Ready to Renew
Be on the lookout for your annual Escrow Agent renewal notice. The Department will mail notices by November 1. The renewal process is the same as in previous years. As a reminder, in order for an escrow agent to renew, the following information must be current:
- The DEO’s license for the main and/or branch office
- All quarterly reports filed with the Department
- E&O, Fidelity and Surety bonds
Once you receive your renewal notice, verify the information is accurate. If it is incorrect, submit an Amendment Form to update the changes.
If your company is not going to renew, complete a Closure/Surrender Form.
Commonly Overlooked Items for Escrow Agents
1. A ten-day post notification is required for any change in a principal officer(s), controlling person, or change(s) in ownership affecting ten percent of the escrow agent’s equity.
- Escrow agents report mistakes in the principal officer(s), controlling people, and/or ownership information shown on their quarterly report. In most cases, it was because the Department was not notified by the escrow agent of the change.
See WAC 208-680-265(3)(e) & WAC 208-680-265(4)(c).
2. Changes to the designated escrow officer or branch designated escrow officer must be reported in compliance with the WACs below.
- The escrow agent must notify the Department within one day of the loss of the designated escrow officer and within five days with the name of the replacement.
- The escrow agent may not accept new clients or new files until the proposed designated escrow officer has been approved. The escrow agent may continue to handle escrow transactions and provide escrow services on existing client files to the extent necessary to avoid prejudicing those existing clients.
See WAC 208-680-265(4)(d); WAC 208-680-174(4), (5), and (6); & WAC 208-680-176.
3. Escrow agent renewal and reinstatement.
- All escrow agent licenses expire annually on December 31.
- If the escrow agent license isn’t renewed by December 31, the escrow agent must stop doing business until the license is renewed.
- An escrow agent license can be renewed thirty days after the license expires, but will be subject to a late renewal penalty.
- An escrow agent license not renewed after the thirty day period will be cancelled, and the escrow agent will have to reapply for an escrow agent license.
See WAC 208-680-240.
4. If the current trust account changes or if a new trust account is added, the escrow agent must mail to the Department a signed and notarized original trust account form showing the change(s).
- Twenty-four hour post-notification is required if there is any change to the trust status of the trust account.
See WAC 208-680-265(2)(a).
5. Quarterly reporting
- Quarterly reports must be filed with the Department within thirty days following the end of each fiscal quarter.
See WAC 208-680-425
6. Certificate of Insurance/Escrow agent renewals.When mailing in the escrow agent renewal, include the Certificate of Insurance that shows the current E&O and Fidelity policy information.
- Check the date of expiration for both insurance types and provide the Department with a new certificate before expiration. You can email the certificates to CSLicensing@dfi.wa.gov or fax to (360) 664-2258.
Escrow Committee Openings
The Department is currently seeking an individual to fill an opening on the Escrow Committee. You must be a licensee under RCW 18.44, the Escrow Agent Registration Act. Members of the escrow committee are appointed by the Department’s Director and meet quarterly via webinar to discuss industry issues.
If you hold a license under RCW 18.44, you are encouraged to consider participating in this important committee.
Escrow Committee Application
Escrow Committee Meeting
Information from the most recent Escrow Committee meeting, held this month, can be found on the Escrow Committee Webpage.
November 1 Escrow Agent Renewals Begin
December 31 Escrow Agent Renewal Deadline