An independent licensed escrow company is the NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY that holds the escrow and works for all participants in a transaction. In a property sale, the escrow company prepares a contract among the principal parties and the escrow holder and performs all duties required. The income of an independent escrow company comes from the fees you pay for processing the escrow according to regulations and your instructions. Your escrow fees may be tax deductible. Unlike some other escrow holders, an independent escrow company has no stake in the outcome other than the successful closing of your escrow.
WHY IS AN INDEPENDENT LICENSED ESCROW COMPANY A BETTER CHOICE?
In an escrow, you should want an “arm’s length” transaction – a neutral third party protecting your interest so there is no chance of collusion or conflict. Some title companies, banks, mortgage brokers and real estate brokers offer escrow services as a secondary source of income. They are NOT the same. They are not licensed by the Department of Corporations, like we are. They operate under different rules and regulations that don't protect the public nearly as well as the rules and regulations of an independent like D & G Escrow. They propose to hurry the process at a reduced fee. Do not mistake these ancillary departments for an INDEPENDENT licensed escrow company.
The primary purpose of a title company is selling title insurance; the mortgage company arranges financing on real property; the banks sell loans; and the brokers sell real estate and business opportunities. Since it is in their financial interest that the sale or loan closes, they might be less neutral and thorough than you wish. There can never be a conflict of interest when you use an independent licensed escrow company. These other escrow departments are not subject to the same stringent regulations as an independent licensed escrow company. The employees of these escrow departments might not be as qualified in experience or training. Furthermore, they may not be as financially stable as an independent licensed escrow company. Consider the recent rash of bankruptcies, failed banks and Savings and Loans. All stockholders, directors, officers and employees of an independent licensed escrow company are fingerprinted and must pass security clearances.
The escrow officers of an independent licensed escrow company usually complete a course of training and continue with programs of education. An escrow officer must have five years of experience before becoming a qualified escrow company manager. There are other assurances unique to an independent licensed escrow company. We must keep your funds in approved banks. We must always keep adequate liquid assets on hand. We are the only escrow holders required to go through two audits per year. The state conducts one audit and our own C.P.A. certifies the other and delivers it to the state. We are members of a self-insuring corporation and an educational institute. Your escrow will be different from all others. No two escrows are ever the same. There are special provisions and contingences involved in every case.
It pays to hire an independent licensed escrow company. These are the people with the training, experience and knowledge. They are familiar with a variety of special situations and know how to deal with them professionally.