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.

1999-1998 Interpretive Letters

Number 99-01ES Alert
Date 6/15/99
Statute 208-680-D-040
Subject Escrow Agent Responsible to Principals to Escrow Agreement not to RE Agent.
Summary RE agent has purchaser sign a disbursement authorization (DA) instructing escrow agent to disburse salesperson commission direct to salesperson and also B & O tax. DFI believes if escrow agent complies with DA, the agent is in violation of WAC 108-680D-040 and RCW 18.44.260(5).

Number 98-1ES Alert
Date 10/28/98
Statute 18.44.070
Subject Funds Availability
Summary Notice received by the Department of two chapter 11 Bankruptcy filings by 31.04 Licensees. RCW 18.44.070 requires available funds before disbursement by escrow agent. Very important now. This will be verified in examinations.

Number 98-03ES
Date 10/20/98
Statute 18.44.020
Subject Licensing Requirements for Out of State Escrow Company Whose Primary Business is Personal Property Transactions Over the Internet.

Number 98-01ES
Date 7/28/98
Statute 18.44 208-680D & E
Subject Excise Tax Account
Summary Establishment of separate account specifically for payment of excise taxes.

Number 98-02ES
Date 6/15/98
Statute 18.44.200
Subject Continuance of Escrow Agent Following Termination of Designated Escrow Officer
Summary Continuing to conduct business as a licensed escrow agent following the termination of the licensee’s designated escrow officer is disallowed unless a licensed escrow officer is authorized to immediately assume the duties of the designated escrow officer.