(1) Every licensed escrow agent shall keep adequate records, as determined by rule by the director, of all transactions handled by or through the agent including itemization of all receipts and disbursements of each transaction. These records shall be maintained in this state, unless otherwise approved by the director, for a period of six years from completion of the transaction. These records shall be open to inspection by the director or the director's authorized representatives.
(2) Every licensed escrow agent shall keep separate escrow fund accounts as determined by rule by the director in recognized Washington state depositaries authorized to receive funds, in which shall be kept separate and apart and segregated from the agent's own funds, all funds or moneys of clients which are being held by the agent pending the closing of a transaction and such funds shall be deposited not later than the first banking day following receipt thereof.
(3) An escrow agent, unless exempted by *RCW 18.44.021
(2), shall not make disbursements on any escrow account without first receiving deposits directly relating to the account in amounts at least equal to the disbursements. An escrow agent shall not make disbursements until the next business day after the business day on which the funds are deposited unless the deposit is made in cash, by interbank electronic transfer, or in a form that permits conversion of the deposit to cash on the same day the deposit is made. The deposits shall be in one of the following forms:
(b) Interbank electronic transfers such that the funds are unconditionally received by the escrow agent or the agent's depository;
(c) Checks, negotiable orders of withdrawal, money orders, cashier's checks, and certified checks that are payable in Washington state and drawn on financial institutions located in Washington state;
(d) Checks, negotiable orders of withdrawal, money orders, and any other item that has been finally paid as described in RCW 62A.4-213
before any disbursement; or
(e) Any depository check, including any cashier's check, certified check, or teller's check, which is governed by the provisions of the federal expedited funds availability act, 12 U.S.C. Sec. 4001 et seq.
(4) For purposes of this section, the word "item" means any instrument for the payment of money even though it is not negotiable, but does not include money.
(5) Violation of this section shall subject an escrow agent to penalties as prescribed in Title 9A RCW and remedies as provided in chapter 19.86
RCW and shall constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of the license of any licensed escrow agent or licensed escrow officer. In addition, an escrow agent who is required to be licensed under this chapter and who violates this section or an individual who is required to be licensed as an escrow officer under this chapter and who violates this section, may be subject to penalties as prescribed in RCW 18.44.430
[1999 c 30 § 8; 1990 c 203 § 1; 1988 c 178 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 156 § 6; 1965 c 153 § 7. Formerly RCW 18.44.070
was amended by 2015 c 229 § 1, changing subsection (2) to subsection (1)(b).
Severability—1988 c 178: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1988 c 178 § 4.]