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escrow services


Have you ever wondered who can actually provide escrow services in California?

Purchasing a property is an exciting time.  Yet, there are always a ton of questions to answer. There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes either. The escrow services and process can be confusing and intimidating.

So, it’s no surprise some of the questions that people want more information on is usually regarding escrow. We have begun to answer some of these issues in previous posts.

But, for this particular one we will address who can actually provide escrow services? Specifically in the state of California.

Escrow Law


According to Escrow law, escrow services must be a corporation who are in the business of receiving escrows for deposit or delivery. That corporation must be licensed by the California Corporations Commissioner.  This doesn’t mean there aren’t any exceptions to that law. Here are a few examples of corporations or persons exempt from the requirements of escrow law.

Any bank, trust company, or insurance company under law of California would be considered exempt. These exemptions are not available when performing an escrow for more than one business though.


Licensed and Controlled

All escrow agents performing escrow services in California are either from a licensed or controlled escrow company. What’s the difference?

The DBO provides the license for a licensed escrow company, also known as an “independent” escrow company. The DBO or The Department of Business Oversight is essentially the umbrella for the independent company. This ensures that a licensed company does not obtain legal status of enforcing escrow law until all of the requirements are met.

The difference in a controlled escrow company is that the DBO does not license it. An example of this is any of the earlier mentioned exemptions to escrow law. Because of these, a controlled escrow is usually under different rules and regulations that independent companies don’t have to consider.

Clarifying the escrow process is important. Especially if you’re about to enter into an escrow agreement. The more you know, the better prepared you will be when addressing any and all questions related to California escrow requirements.

Let us know if you are in need of escrow services in California. We will be glad to help and answer any questions you may still have.


Also, please read this post we did on: How To Open Escrow.



Contact Open Escrow:

Call: 858-225-4299


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