Escrow Agent: In this capacity, we are responsible for receiving and disbursing all funds involved in the transaction. We hold all funds in FDIC insured accounts and all monies are strictly accounted for through a monthly audit by an independent third party. However, we are ultimately accountable to and regulated by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services, which requires that we be bonded and insured. Some examples of our duties are to hold the earnest money deposit as a neutral party pending closing, to deliver the sale proceeds to the seller on closing, to deliver payoff funds to the holder of any mortgage or other liens encumbering the property, the proper calculation and payment of any taxes due on the deed and/or mortgage, and the proration of taxes and homeowners association dues. All of these and any other funds relating to the transaction are specified on the closing statement.
Title Agent: This involves our examining the public records to determine the current status of title and to issue a title insurance commitment, which includes any requirements that must be fulfilled before we can issue the insurance policy. We facilitate the cure of any title defects, such as a prior deed lacking sufficient witnesses, or an error in the legal description. We also make sure that all taxes are paid, that any existing mortgage(s) are satisfied and that the appropriate release documents are recorded in the public records. Upon closing of the transaction, we record the appropriate documents in the public records. This includes such things as the deed of transfer, the mortgage(s) and affidavits and any other necessary documents to insure that title to the property is brought to the new buyer free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.
Closing Agent: When the big day finally arrives, we are the party responsible for preparation of the core closing documents, such as the deed conveying title, various affidavits and IRS reporting documents such as 1099s. These documents are then combined with the lenders package (assuming there will be a new mortgage,) to become the closing package. Of course, as part of this we prepare the closing statement. We schedule and hold the closing during which we coordinate execution of all documents pertinent to the transaction and forward final documents to the appropriate parties. The Owners, and/or Lenders Title Insurance Policy is also issued during this time. This policy protects the parties for an amount up to the purchase price from claims that might arise from title issues at a later date.