Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Escrow Agent Interpretive Letters

2003 | 2002-2000 | 1999-1998 | 1997 | 1996-1995 | No Action Letters

The opinions expressed in the interpretive letters are informal and non-binding. These opinions reflect the position of the Department of Financial Institutions at the time they were produced. The DFI could learn of additional facts, which would cause us to change our position. The letters may also contain policy statements providing a written description of the current approach of DCS to implementation of a statute or other provision of law.

Readers are cautioned that the opinions in both the interpretive letters and policy statements may have changed because of statute or rule revisions or other additional facts presented. Consult your attorney for advice regarding the current state of the law and how it may apply to the issue or situation you have in mind.

Note: Only letters directed to all escrow agents, designated escrow officers, and other interested parties are available by "hyperlink" from this page. If the letter you're interested in does not have a live hyperlink to the letter text, you may order a copy using the Public Records Request Form.


1996-1995 Interpretive Letters

Number 96-05 ES
Date 11/21/96
Statute 18.44.020
Subject Exemptions to Act
Summary DRAFT RESPONSE to the following two questions: (1) Which provisions of the Act apply to persons excepted from the Act’s registration and licensing requirements? (2) How does the Department interpret the exception, found in RCW 18.44.020(1), for "the duly authorized agents of title insurance companies [ herein, "title companies"] the business of which agents is exclusively devoted to the title insurance business," and what is the Department’s interpretation as to the scope of this exception?

Number 96-04 ES
Date 9/24/96
Statute 18.44.070
Subject Cashier's Checks
Summary Whether a cashier’s check is convertible to cash on the same day it is deposited is a question between the issuer and the escrow agent’s bank. If it is not converted to cash on the day deposited and an escrow agent disburses uncollected funds, the agent will be in violation of ch. 18.44 RCW.

Number 96-03 ES
Date 9/24/96
Statute 18.44.145
Subject Co-op Promotional Activities Referral Fees
Summary A licensee, in cooperation with the real estate agent, may provide a magazine subscription to buyers and sellers as long as each party pays its fair share. Each party is expected to pay for the percentage of the promotional activity (advertisement, etc.) which he receives.

Number 96-02 ES
Date 5/20/96
Statute 18.44.020
Subject Exemption
Summary Request by Attorney for Clarification on Exemption from Escrow Registration Act.

Number 96-01 ES
Date 4/01/96
Statute 208.680E-011
Subject Escrow Collection Account
Summary An escrow agent may use a recognized state depository institution to receive escrow collection funds directly from clients into a trust account and later transfer them to the escrow agent’s main trust account. An escrow agent may keep more than 1 trust account as long as the escrow agent provides monthly reconciliation.

Number 95-1 ES Alert
Date 12/18/95
Statute 18.44.070
Subject Trust Accounts
Summary Zero Tolerance of Violations

Date All Prior to 1989
Statute 18.44
Subject Various
Summary Various AGO and Relating to RCW 18.44.
DFI