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Knowing Your California Escrow: The Who, What, and When

Operating the housing process can be really complicated. Considering all of the rules, regulations, and important elements, people often call on escrow companies near them to give them a helping hand.

A big thing to take notice of in your escrow search is the capability and availability of companies from state to state. 

California involves several different moving parts in the escrow process compared to other states, whether you are buying or selling a home. Eventually, you’ll have to enlist escrow services from a company within the state. 

If you’re unsure about who can perform escrow services in California, this article has got you covered!  CLICK HERE to download the infographic below.

Who can help with Escrow in CA Infographic

Who Can Help Me With Escrow in California? 

In terms of California, the legislation on escrow defines who can and cannot practice escrow. The law dictates that corporations who receive and roll out escrows for clients and have an approved escrow license for California

While the legislature makes the parties who can perform escrow services in California clear, some exemptions have come about. Several parties have been deemed fit to take on escrow services, despite not having an escrow license from the state, or being a full-fledged corporation. 

These exemptions include: 

  • Banks, trust fund companies, building loan or savings, or insurance company under any state law in the USA 
  • California licensed attorneys with legitimate client ties to real estate principle 
  • Title companies licensed by the California Insurance Commission 
  • State-licensed real estate brokers in roles of real estate transactions that require a state license in real estate 

The form of the organization may change, but one constant element in the California escrow puzzle is the presence of an escrow license. 

The Escrow License in California

An escrow license in California is a title that allows companies to perform escrow services, under the watch of the DBO within the state (Department of Business Oversight). The DBO is the governing body that ensures that a company meets all the requirements in Escrow law and enforces consequences, good or bad. 

Once conditions have been met for licensing, a company will be dubbed “licensed” or “independent,” where they can legally run escrow services. 

Beyond licensed companies, there are “controlled” companies that operate within the state. These entities do not have any escrow license for California and don’t work under rules enforced by the DBO. 

There are a wide variety of governing bodies that controlled companies could work under in California, so be sure to check if you are requesting the services of one. 

When Does Escrow Start in California?

A big question gets asked about often escrows: When can escrow companies near me get involved in the house buying/selling process? From licensed to controlled escrow companies in California, the process starts mostly in line with other state escrows. 

In a short span after the buyer and seller of a property agree to a house, earnest money is put towards opening an escrow account and the escrow company begins to work. Initial documents and money are sent to the third party, and the escrow process is officially a go! 

A Helping Hand For All Your California Escrow Needs

If you’re looking for an escrow company to offer simple and fast help with all things escrow, contact New Venture Escrow today! From our team of escrow experts to our pool of resources available to you, we’ll make your escrow process simple and seamless! 

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