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Escrow services are intended to ensure security by acting as a middleman in transactions where the two parties do not trust each other. Rather than sending money or goods directly to the other party (which is insecure, as one or the other party must send its item first, at the risk that the other party may not reciprocate), both parties send their items to the escrow service, which holds them until both items are received, then sends each on to the intended recipient. If either party fails to deliver its part of the deal, the other party's item will be held at the escrow service and eventually returned.
Your Escrow and You
This information is being provided in order to inform you about some of the aspects of escrow, including a clarification of the role of the escrow holder and knowledge that will help you through the escrow process. Entire books are written that explain the many elements of escrow; this writing is intended to provide an overview of the escrow processes only.
What is Escrow?
Simply defined, an escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion of a particular condition or event. The California Escrow Law-Section 17003 of the Financial Code-provides the legal definition.
Why Do I Need an Escrow?
Whether you are the buyer, seller, lender, or borrower, you want the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until ALL of the instructions in the transaction have been followed. The escrow holder has the obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in the possession of the escrow holder, and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when all provisions of the escrow have been complied with.
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