(1) A title company may donate the time of its employees to serve on a trade association committee.
(2) A title company may donate to, contribute to or otherwise sponsor a trade association event only if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The event is a recognized association event that generally benefits all members and affiliated members of the association in an equal manner;
(b) The donation must not benefit a selected producer member of the association unless through a random process; and
(c) Solicitation for the donation must be made of all association members and affiliated members in an equal manner and amount.
(3) A title company may pay for its employees and a single guest of each employee to attend trade association events only if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The title company pays a fee equal to fees paid by producer members of the association in the events;
(b) The title company employees and their guest(s) actually attend the event (except when attendance is prevented by an emergency); and
(c) The guest of the title company employee is not a producer (except where the guest is related to the title company employee by blood or marriage or their domestic partner).
(4) For purposes of this section, trade association events include, but are not limited to, conventions, award banquets, symposiums, educational seminars, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, receptions, cocktail parties, open houses, sporting activities and other similar activities.
(5) A title company may:
(a)(i) Donate to, contribute to, or otherwise sponsor a trade association event under subsection (2) of this section;
(ii) Advertise in a trade association publication under WAC 284-29-215
(iii) Sponsor a trade association educational seminar under WAC 284-29-235
(b) Give a thing of value listed under (a) of this subsection to a trade association only if all of the following requirements are met:
(i) The thing of value is limited to one thousand dollars per event, advertisement, or sponsorship of an educational seminar;
(ii) The title company must not give a thing of value to all trade associations more than three times in a calendar year;
(iii) The title company must not combine any of these permitted expenditures into one expenditure; and
(iv) The title company must not accumulate or carry forward left over or unused expenditures from one of these permitted expenditures to a subsequent expenditure.
(6) If a title company owns or leases and maintains a complete set of tract indexes in more than one county:
(a) The limits set forth in subsection (5) of this section apply on a county by county basis for donations, contributions, sponsorships, payments for events, advertisements, or sponsorship of educational seminars of trade associations a majority of whose members are located in that county;
(b) A donation, contribution, sponsorship, payment for an event, advertisement, or sponsorship of an educational seminar to a statewide trade association shall constitute one of its expenditures for each and every county in which the title company is authorized to issue title insurance policies; and
(c) The title company must not combine or accumulate unused expenditures of these permitted expenditures from one county to another county nor to a statewide trade association.
(7) If a title company that is under common ownership makes a donation, contribution, sponsorship, payment for an event, advertisement, or sponsorship of an educational seminar to a statewide trade association, the expenditure shall constitute an expenditure as one of the expenditures for each and every one of the title companies that are under common control.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.29.005 and 48.29.210. 09-05-077 (Matter No. R 2008-21), § 284-29-220, filed 2/17/09, effective 3/20/09.]