escrow


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Related to escrow: Escrow account, Escrow payment

Escrow

Something of value, such as a deed, stock, money, or written instrument, that is put into the custody of a third person by its owner, a grantor, an obligor, or a promisor, to be retained until the occurrence of a contingency or performance of a condition.

An escrow also refers to a writing deposited with someone until the performance of an act or the occurrence of an event specified in that writing. The directions given to the person who accepts delivery of the document are called the escrow agreement and are binding between the person who promises and the person to whom the promise is made. The writing is held in escrow by a third person until the purpose of the underlying agreement is accomplished. When the condition specified in the escrow agreement is performed, the individual holding the writing gives it over to the party entitled to receive it. This is known as the second delivery.

Any written document that is executed in accordance with all requisite legal formalities may properly be deposited in escrow. Documents that can be put in escrow include a deed, a mortgage, a promise to pay money, a bond, a check, a license, a patent, or a contract for the sale of real property. The term escrow initially applied solely to the deposit of a formal instrument or document; however, it is popularly used to describe a deposit of money.

The escrow agreement is a contract. The parties to such an agreement determine when the agreement should be released prior to making the deposit. After the escrow agreement has been entered, the terms for holding and releasing the document or money cannot be altered in the absence of an agreement by all the parties.

A depositary is not a party to the escrow agreement, but rather a custodian of the deposit who has no right to alter the terms of the agreement or prevent the parties from altering them if they so agree. The only agreement that the depositary must make is to hold the deposit, subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement. Ordinarily, the depositary has no involvement with the underlying agreement; however, an interested party may, in a few states, be selected to be a depositary if all parties are in agreement. In all cases, a depositary is bound by the duty to act according to the trust placed in him or her. If the depositary makes a delivery to the wrong person or at the wrong time, he or she is liable to the depositor. The document or the money is only in escrow upon actual delivery to the depositary. Ordinarily, courts are strict in their requirement that the terms of the agreement be completely performed before the deposit is released. A reasonable amount of time must generally be allotted for performance. Parties may, however, make the agreement that time is of the essence, and in such a case, any delay beyond the period specified in the agreement makes the individual who is obligated to act forfeit all his or her rights in the property in escrow.

escrow

1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" (an individual, escrow company or title company) into which is deposited the documents and funds in a transfer of real property, including the money, a mortgage or deed of trust, an existing promissory note secured by the real property, escrow "instructions" from both parties, an accounting of the funds, and other documents necessary to complete the transaction. When the funding is complete and the deed is clear, the escrow agent will then record the deed to the buyer and deliver funds to the seller. The escrow agent or officer is an independent holder and agent for both parties who receives a fee for his/her/its services. 2) n. originally escrow meant the deed held by the escrow agent. 3) n. colloquially, the escrow agent is called an "escrow," while actually the escrow is the account and not a person. 4) v. to place the documents and funds in an escrow account, as in: "we will escrow the deal." (See: escrow agent)

escrow

noun conditional deed held in trust, condiiional instrument, contingent deed held in trust, instrument held until the performance of a condition, written instrument of contingency
See also: binder

escrow

1 a deed delivered to a third party to hold until fulfilment of a condition, when it will be delivered; e.g. a conveyance executed by a vendor of property and delivered to his solicitor pending completion by the purchaser's paying the purchase price.
2 more generally a service which offers to hold something for a seller pending payment of the price.

ESCROW, conveyancing, contracts. A conditional delivery of a deed to a stranger, and not to the grantee himself, until certain conditions shall be performed, and then it is to be delivered to the grantee. Until the condition be performed and the deed delivered over, the estate does not pass, but remains in the grantor. 2 Johns. R. 248; Perk. 137, 138.
     2. Generally, an escrow takes effect from the second delivery, and is to be considered as the deed of the party from that time; but this general rule does not apply when justice requires a resort to fiction. The relation back to the first delivery, so as to give the deed effect from that time, is allowed in cases of necessity, to avoid injury to the operation of the deed, from events happening between the first and second delivery. For example, when a feme sole makes a deed and delivers it as an escrow, and then marries before the second delivery, the relation back to the time when she was sole, is necessary to render the deed valid. Vide 2 Bl. Com. 307; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2024; 4 Kent, Com. 446; Cruise, Dig. t. 32, c. 2, s. 87 to 91; Com. Dig. Fait, A 3; 13 Vin. Ab. 29; 5 Mass. R. 60; 2 Root, R. 81; 5 Conn. R. 113; 1 Conn. R. 375; 6 Paige's R. 314; 2 Mass. R. 452; 10 Wend. R. 310; 4 Green]. R. 20; 2 N. H. Rep. 71; 2 Watts', R. 359; 13 John. R. 285; 4 Day's R. 66; 9 Mass. R. 310 1 John. Cas. 81; 6 Wend. R. 666; 2 Wash. R. 58; 8 Mass. R. 238; 4 Watts, R. 180; 9 Mass. Rep. 310; 2 Johns. Rep. 258-9; 13 Johns. Rep. 285; Cox, Dig. tit, Escrow; Prest. Shep. Touch. 56, 57, 58; Shep. Prec. 54, 56; 1 Prest. Abst. 275; 3 Prest. Ab. 65; 3 Rep. 35; 5 Rep. 84.

References in periodicals archive ?
Anyone interested in applying to work with Oakwood Escrow, please send all resumes to employment@oakwoodescrow.
Other officers are Kim Pitts, vice president, from First American Title Company of Los Angeles in Palmdale; Gayle Matthews, secretary, from Gemini Escrow Services Inc.
The focus is on taxable sales; the article does not address the installment method as it relates to qualified escrow accounts or qualified intermediaries in the deferred like-kind exchange context.
Reports about the new service and its advantages have appeared in Newsday, The New York Times and on the front page of the New York Law Journal, and it is drawing considerable attention from both escrow depositors and attorneys.
Real estate brokers licensed by the DRE can perform escrows (known as Broker Controlled Escrows) under an exemption from the State's Escrow Law only where the escrows are in the course of or incidental to a real estate transaction in which the broker is an agent or a party to the transaction and in which the broker is performing an act for which a real estate license is required.
In a recent interview Wendy said: "I am fully committed to providing my real estate agents, as well as their buyers and sellers with the most accurate, efficient and friendly service that can be found in the escrow business.
Quackenbush promised that the customers will not lose money, however, as any shortfalls in their escrow accounts will be made up by the insurance carriers underwriting Universal.
P will not purchase replacement property for T, the sales proceeds are placed in an escrow account that restricts T's access to the funds.
When FIE is named escrow agent, it immediately takes full responsibility for the escrow funds, Halpern explained.
Founded in 1956, the California Escrow Association (CEA) is a statewide organization for professional escrow practitioners with more than 2,700 members.
One part that new homebuyers sometimes find confusing is the mortgage escrow account.